As new NYPD commissioner, Caban faces recruitment struggles, sagging morale, and crime fears

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, July 17, 2023
NYC Police commissioner Caban faces series of challenges in new role
In his new role, Caban faces the challenge of becoming the first Latino in this job, as well as recruitment and morale issues. NJ Burkett reports.

THE BRONX (WABC) -- Newly appointed NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban's appointment as the first Latino police commissioner is a milestone for the department and for New York, but he faces some steep challenges.

A long time complaint among rank-and-file officers has been long shifts and no days off.

"They're having a hard time getting days-off. And I understand that if you have a family and you've got to work your one day off that you have-that you're able to spend with them-but it's canceled and you have to come in because of the shortages in the job right now," retired NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.

The long hours and lack of time off likely is due to the department's recruitment struggles and because the department saw officers leave in droves during the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of officers who quit the force has been rising steadily since 2019, according to the Police Pension Fund, and nearly doubled between 2020 and 2021 with 465 officers quitting in 2020 and 888 quitting in 2021. Through October 2022, 1,426 officers had quit - four times as many compared to 2015.

MORE: NYPD officers quitting in record numbers, data shows

More than 1,400 NYPD officers have quit their jobs this year, according to the NYPD's Police Benevolent Association. Kristin Thorne interviewed PBA President Pat Lynch.

Beyond the department, Caban will be tasked with addressing public perception of high crime, despite major crime trending lower.

According to a recent poll from Siena College, most New Yorkers fear they will soon be victims of violent crime.

One in five New Yorkers admitted to buying a gun for protection, and three in five feared they would be victims of a crime.

"Where is it trending lower at? Tell (Mayor Eric) Adams he needs to be in the streets with us. The crime is high," Bronx resident Mark Gregory said.

Extra Time: New poll raises eyebrows about perception of NYC crime

In this edition of 'Eyewitness News Extra Time,' we reveal the results of a new poll that surveyed New Yorkers and their concerns about crime in the city.

Caban is likely to take a more aggressive approach to crime control, with a particular focus on quality-of-life offenses. The challenge will is balancing toughness with restraint.

Eyewitness News is tracking crime and safety across New York City and in your neighborhood


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