by Scott McClallen
Michigan police forces appear to be faring better than those in Minnesota’s largest metro areas after a year troubled by controversial and tragic police encounters ending in death.
In many metropolitan cities across the United States, violent crime increased in 2020. In Detroit, there were 327 murders, up 19% from 2019, and 1,173 non-fatal shootings, up 53%, Michigan Public Radio reported.
Michigan State Police (MSP) spokeswoman Shanon Banner said the state police tracks enlistment numbers by fiscal year, but it’s difficult to conclude whether retirements are “up” or “down” from year to year because retirements are largely based on when recruits become eligible for retirement.
The MSP hires in large batches, so 25 years after a batch, they become eligible for retirement, so some years are bound to have higher retirements.
- FY 12 – 55 retirements
- FY 13 – 52 retirements
- FY 14 – 34 retirements
- FY 15 – 42 retirements
- FY 16 – 55 retirements
- FY 17 – 63 retirements
- FY 18 – 89 retirements
- FY 19 – 92 retirements
- FY 20 – 117 retirements
In Detroit, the number of recruits has fluctuated over the last five years, Detroit Police Department spokesman Bryan Warrick told The Center Square.
- 2016: 303
- 2017: 259
- 2018: 177
- 2019: 304
- 2020: (so far) 120
Detroit’s retirement numbers weren’t immediately available.
In Grand Rapids Police Department, here’s the following application numbers for years immediately available:
- 2019: 1,139
- 2020: 819
- 2021: (so far) 398
Meanwhile, here’s the separation numbers:
- 2016: 13
- 2017: 19
- 2018: 19
- 2019: 24
- 2020: 30
- 2021: (so far) 13
In Minneapolis, there were 82 homicides in 2020, the third-worst year in city history, according to MPD data. The Star Tribune reported 97 homicides were recorded in 1995, the worst year on record, followed by 83 in 1996. In 2019, there were 48 homicides.
Two months after the death of George Floyd, 200 police officers out of the roughly 850 officers serving in the Minneapolis Police Department filed paperwork to leave their jobs with the department.
Previously, Minneapolis’s average annual separation was between 40-45 annually.
Floyd’s death reportedly sparked a “25-year low,” for police recruits in Minnesota, with departments such as the Shakopee Police Department losing potential recruits due to low morale.
Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken told the Star Tribune he expects to replace more than one-fifth of his 158 officers in the next three years due to retirements.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Michigan Police Car” by Michigan Police.