NYC female cops deal with sexism in NYPD and are leaving

New York’s female Finest have plenty of reasons to be blue — and they are showing their displeasure by leaving the job in disturbing numbers, union data obtained by the Post reveal.

Attrition figures show 33% more women NYPD officers retired or resigned in 2022 (521) compared to 2021 (392), and the number of exits was 72% higher than in 2020 (303).

This year’s numbers were not available.

The NYPD’s 6,807 women account for 20% of the 33,971-member force.

They say they are not only dealing with the anti-cop rhetoric and poor pay like their male colleagues, but also battle pressure and perceptions within the department about measuring up to the men.

“Definitely, morale is low,” said one female officer patrolling outside Rockefeller Center on Friday.

NYPD brass focuses on “what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong instead of making sure we’re OK,” she said. “Instead of making sure we’re taken care of, the higher ups just care about how they’re perceived.”

“Women, for the most, are still shunted to the background,” claims Cathy Johansen, an upstate cop for over two decades.
Michael Falco

She added: “We [women] are scrutinized more than men. Because there’s less of us — a lower percentage — male cops look at us like we can’t do the job. It’s a male-dominated department. . . . That’s the reality of it. That’s what we gotta go through.” 

Female cops believe they have to go the extra mile to prove they belong, according to one high-ranking female officer.

“There’s always the sense we have to do more and work harder,” she said, but added she’s hopeful things are changing.

NYPD on patrol
Women make up 20% of the NYPD force.

“There’s been a conscious effort to have more women in leadership positions,” she said. “I like how [Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell] conducts herself. It’s a huge deal when the department is led by somebody who is like you.”

However, Professor Jillian Snider of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a 13-year veteran of the NYPD who retired in 2019, told The Post that Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Phil Banks are hurting morale by “failing to give [Sewell] a reputable seat at the table,” thus undermining her authority.

“They haven’t given her enough of a platform to execute her own decision-making capabilities,” Snider said. Sewell’s appointment “was a groundbreaking moment for women in the NYPD and it’s discouraging that she’s not able to fulfill the role for which she was appointed.”

Police patrol the subway
Attrition figures show a 72% spike in women NYPD police officers who retired, vested or resigned from 2020 (303) compared to 2022 (521), police union data show.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

One example was earlier this month when the NYPD scrapped the timed 1.5 mile run for academy recruits — against Sewell’s wishes.

“I think what former [NYPD training] Chief Juanita Holmes did to Sewell was disrespectful. She circumvented the office of the police commissioner and went right to the mayor. We make up a small percentage of officers and we’re supposed to stick together,” Snider said.

“Women, for the most, are still shunted to the background, playing minor roles in the department, relegated to more mundane responsibilities,” claimed Cathy Johansen, an upstate cop for over two decades and president of New York Women in Law Enforcement, whose members include the NYPD.

Academy training
Earlier this month the NYPD announced it had scrapped the time 1.5-mile run for academy recruits.
YouTube NYPD

“And there is still the background noise if they are promoted — is it because they are the most qualified, or are they fulfilling some unspoken need to show the world the department is gender neutral? It’s a shadow that is always trailing you.”

Female attrition in the NYPD is probably not as bad as it could be, she theorized.

“Some of these women can’t just up and leave,” she said. “Not everybody can just flee to Florida. You have family obligations, you have responsibilities.

“So the double whammy of being a woman in a male-oriented profession and all the stressors that go with that … now you have the public either ignoring you or outright taunting you and then you don’t get the backing of your administration. You are getting hit by all sides. These women are going through a lot.”