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The law enforcement community is facing an all-new yet sadly predicable challenge in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers: a severe shortfall in qualified new applicants.

According to FOP President Rick Snyder, applications for police jobs declined more than 63% in 2019 – well before the Floyd incident and subsequent calls by far-left activists for the defunding of police departments nationwide.

“It’s a very stark warning that is a direct result of how officers have been getting treated for quite some time now,” Snyder told WIBC’s Hammer and Nigel Show Friday. “And in Indianapolis, we’re facing a dilemma in which four out of every 10 police officers is eligible to retire and walk out the door today.”

It’s a challenge that Snyder acknowledged is horrifically exasperated by anti-law enforcement sentiment across the nation.

“How do we keep solid, well-trained women and men with fortitude and passion on the job? God knows we don’t pay them nearly enough, so at a bare minimum, you have to treat them well,” said Snyder. “And they have to know that they have the support of their residents and definitely their elected leaders who they are representing and serving on the behalf of.”

He continued: “There is a very big dilemma going on in the hearts of our officers and the families of our officers. As I told you guys before, these families loan those officers out to the community every single night without knowing whether or not they’re going to come home again. And what we’ve been through of late with the tragic loss of officer Breann Leath, the challenges that we’ve faced with deadly use of force encounters, COVID-19, and then the riots, our officers are left wondering where the support is.”

FOP President Snyder also addressed rumors of an internal review regarding Mayor Hogsett’s handling of the riots as it relates to IMPD.

“Mayor Hogsett quickly announced that he was going to launch a review of the actions of our law enforcement officers in two nights of back-to-back violent riots throughout our city,” Snyder explained. “Now remember, we lost 112 businesses that were destroyed, four people were shot, two people were killed, officers were being fired upon, and it was an absolute warzone. Our officers were on the radio screaming for help, they didn’t have enough backup assistance.”

He continued: “And remember, the question was how was it that our officers were able to secure a building before being ordered to leave that building, which ultimately led to their destruction. It’s because we did not have enough officers working downtown. There were officers who were begging and pleading to come in and help with this, but they were denied for whatever reason. We had hundreds of officers working on duty [that night] that could have responded to secure the downtown area.”

Snyder stated unequivocally that the local law enforcement community and commanding officers were not the reason for the failures that occurred during the riots in downtown Indianapolis.

“Law enforcement was the solution. The problem was that our political forces hamstrung the solution that we had at our disposal.”

Click the link below to hear Hammer and Nigel’s full interview with FOP President Rick Snyder.

Photo: WISH-TV