Hundreds of Cops Left the San Diego Police Department This Year

The City of San Diego is hemorrhaging police officers. More than 230 cops have left the department this fiscal year. That’s a 52% increase from last year and the highest rate in over a decade.

The departures have hit every rank and unit, from patrol, SWAT and K-9 to helicopter pilots. The majority (67%) have been resignations, not retirements. Over half of the officers left for policing jobs in other cities, including El Cajon, Carlsbad, and Oceanside.

“We’re at the point where we’re just chasing 911 calls,” Jared Wilson, president of the San Diego Police Officers Assn., told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re not really doing a whole lot of preventative policing or patrolling. It’s really toxic for our community, for community trust and relationships.”

Wilson blames the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Others blame heightened scrutiny of police and a decline in morale since the murder of George Floyd. El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell, whose city has hired several former SDPD cops, say many police prefer working for smaller cities like his.

Mayor Todd Gloria’s office says the city has adopted a number of initiatives to aid recruitment and retention of police, including 10% pay raises, new proposed bonuses, and a bigger recruitment budget.

In a statement, Gloria’s communications director Rachel Laing said her boss "is confident SDPD can reach full staffing and ensure San Diego continues to be one of the safest big cities in America.”