The Demo-induced police recruitment, retention, and morale crisis
By Mark Alexander
I have written Profiles of Valor for many years — and those columns are high on the list of the most inspirational posts. Most often those profiles are about past and current recipients of the Medal of Honor. They are a pleasure to write and a fitting reminder that we should live our lives worthy of their sacrifices.
I've also written much over the last three years about the perilous national security threats, both domestic and global, that have emerged as a direct result of Joe Biden's profound ineptitude. And that incompetence has significantly eroded our nation's military readiness because Biden has denigrated our military men and women to the point that morale is as low as his presidential approval ratings.
On top of the explosive foreign threats to our nation, Biden's ineptitude has also degraded the recruiting efforts of our military service branches, which are not meeting their minimal recruitment goals. In fact, 2023 was the worst recruitment year on record, with the uniformed services coming up short by more than 40,000 recruits.
With military recruitment and morale at an all-time low, the Biden administration has floated lots of reasons to explain away this shortfall crisis.
Biden's "white supremacy" delusion — demeaning our military ranks by claiming they are full of "extremists," a label he uses to describe Donald Trump supporters — is a factor. But an extensive report concludes that, in fact, our military ranks are not full of "extremists," though pro-Trump sentiments are high.
The real reason for the morale and recruiting bust is that Biden et al. have imposed their woke policies on the rank and file, as well as their diversity, equity, and inclusion criteria for both recruitment and promotion. Thus, the most highly qualified military personnel are leaving, and at the same time, the most qualified recruits are not showing up.
Biden keeps fiddling while Rome burns.
Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) recently echoed a summary of the problem Republican leaders have been yelling from the mountaintop for three years: "America's military morale and readiness have declined to some of the lowest levels since World War II. Frankly, this should come as no surprise. ... Our military is in the middle of an undeniable crisis in recruitment, retention, and morale."
Hold onto the words "crisis in recruitment, retention, and morale" for a minute.
There is another group of uniformed Americans, men and women who also take oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution, whose service is critical to the safety and security of our nation. They risk their lives every day in the service of our country — in their respective states and communities. I am referring to our nation's law enforcement officers (LEOs).
Being a police academy graduate early in my career and having served as a uniformed officer for three years while completing my undergraduate degree, my association with LEOs and local, state, and federal agencies has continued across the decades. My connection with and advocacy for our brothers and sisters on that Blue Line, standing in harm's way, has never wavered, nor will it.
At times, advocating for good cops has required the condemnation of bad cops, standing firm against injustice, including the shooting of a 35-year-old 14-year Air Force veteran, Ashli Babbitt, a white, five-foot two-inch, 110-pound woman from California. Babbitt was, by any objective account, unjustifiably shot and killed by an inept black USCP officer, Lt. Michael Byrd, and that case has been swept under the rug because it occurred during the J6 protests.
The fact is that the vast majority of LEOs are good cops. Last week, I devoted a Profile of Valor to one of them, Detroit Officer Amanda Hudgens, whose heroic actions to save her partner are typical of those across our nation daily — mostly officers placing their lives in danger to protect citizens, many of whom have been encouraged to despise those officers. One of her observations about that deadly day was this: "I'm a police officer. ... I'm used to the hate."
That hatred has grown exponentially since Biden was elected, and the result for LEOs and police agencies, as Rep. Garcia observed regarding our military, is to endure a historic "crisis in recruitment, retention, and morale."
The most tragic evidence of that hatred is the number of officers killed in the line of duty each week. The Patriot Post honors those LEOs in our "End of Watch" tribute images, which we also promote on our social media platforms.
The murder of LEOs has increased significantly since the summer of 2020, when Biden and his race-hustling cadres politicized the death of Minneapolis street thug George Floyd, a 46-year-old career criminal and perennial drug offender with a violent history. Endeavoring to enflame their now-defunct so-called "Black Lives Matter" radicals and their antifa movement of self-styled "anti-fascist" fascists ahead of the 2020 election — in the middle of the ChiCom Virus pandemic — they succeeded in turning Floyd into a victim, fomenting riots nationwide under the "I can't breathe" mantra.
That "summer of rage" surge of violence across our nation resulted in dozens of civilian murders, billions in damage to private and public properties, and a significant increase in assaults and murders of police officers. That record violence has spilled over into the years that followed and has yet to subside.
For the record, if Democrats really believed that Black lives mattered, they would be focused on their failed social policies resulting in the grossly disproportionate record of daily Black-on-Black murders and violence.
But the race-hustlers have been emboldened since Biden's election. As I have noted before, Booker T. Washington, an exceptional educator, author, and orator, declared a century ago, "There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public." He wrote those prophetic words in My Larger Education in 1911.
In the current context, after a lifetime of observing how leftists manipulate Black constituents, the late Walter E. Williams concluded, "The true plight of black people has little or nothing to do with the police or what has been called 'systemic racism.'" He added, "We need to look at the responsibilities of those running our big cities."
A 2023 Police Executive Research Forum survey found a decline in sworn officers and hiring that couldn't keep pace with losses. The biggest factor in LEO retention is the surge in officer resignations and retirements. That, combined with the dramatic decline of those who want to become police officers, is undermining the safety and security of cities and suburbs nationwide.
The recruitment problem was highlighted in a recent headline: "Highest U.S. rookie police salary is in San Francisco at $112,000 — but not even a six-figure sum is enough to entice Gen Z into becoming cops." Read that again — they can't find entry-level recruits at a starting salary of $112,000.
In a recent Department of Justice forum about the Demo-induced recruiting crisis, Attorney General Merrick Garland declared: "Law enforcement officers across the country are facing unprecedented challenges at a time when they are already being stretched thin. Policing is a noble profession, and we are committed to doing everything we can to support local police departments as they work to serve their communities, build public trust, and keep people safe."
Uh, they are "facing unprecedented challenges" as a direct result of Biden's race-hustling, cop-hating rhetoric, but never fear, Joe and Merrick are "committed to doing everything we can to support local police departments."
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta added, "We recognize that this moment calls for deep reflection and big ideas."
This is deep state bureaucratic groupthink garbage. The crisis has been fabricated by Biden, Garland, and Gupta. The Democrat Party, both nationally and in the states and big urban centers, has devolved into a pro-criminal syndicate.
Regarding the Biden/Garland "police reform" narrative based on the fallacious presumption that police are the problem because the justice system is saturated with "systemic racism," former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy observed at the onset of this debacle: "The racism narrative is driving the nation to ruin. ... The object of the game is patent. Using the hocus-pocus of 'disparate impact' theory, Democrats will argue that the disproportionately high percentage of black males in forcible police incidents is conclusive evidence of racism. Such factors as disproportionately high incidence of criminal behavior, and the race (often black) of the responding police officers will be ignored (the individual's race makes no difference, you see, if the institution is racist — indeed, incorrigibly so)."
Back to the military recruiting crisis, according to retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, former director of the Center for National Defense: "Much of the emphasis of wokeness today is on promoting the idea that America is fatally flawed by systemic racism and white privilege. Our fighting men and women are required to sit through indoctrination programs, often with roots in the Marxist tenets of critical race theory, either by Pentagon diktat or through carelessness by senior leaders who delegate their command responsibilities to private Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion instructors."
The same is true for our brothers and sisters in Blue, and more of the same will not solve the problem.
Bottom line: Both the military and law enforcement recruiting, retention, and morale crises are the direct result of Joe Biden's denigration of military and law enforcement service. And the bloody consequences are on his hands and those of anyone who supports him.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.