The San Francisco Police Department is warning the city could see a loss of 300 officers by the end of December, resulting in the department being short over 800 officers heading into 2023.
An SFPD union representative responded to the news Friday, warning the department staffing shortage is already at a "crisis" level.
"We're already in a crisis. We're not considering it. We're already here," San Francisco Police Officers Association's Lt. Tracy McCray said on "Fox & Friends First."
McCray outlined numerous reasons for the staffing shortage, largely pointing to the treatment of law enforcement.
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"You see what they continue to ask us to do, policing a homeless population that is continuing to grow no matter how much money is being thrown at it. You have a profession that's been demonized, the officers dehumanized, and then people just want to demolish it altogether. So who's going to be watching the stores, watching the crimes being committed, trying to solve the crimes to be being committed on the street? And then you top it off by, we don't have enough officers as it is, so we're already in that crisis."
According to data from the San Francisco Police Department, the city had 1,911 officers in 2020. The number dropped to 1,830 in 2021 and currently sits at 1,651 for 2022. McCray said that number is continuing to drop as the month goes on.
"I'll update your numbers, because I just got a stat the other day on the 12th, and we were at 1,645. We had a whopping 28 recruits in the academy, which two days ago, three days ago, we lost another two, three people," McCray told host Todd Piro. "So that number is even down."
Staffing shortages are a trend seen across the nation following anti-police rhetoric and soft-on-crime policies, which have made officers' jobs more difficult and prompted fewer people to join the force.
"The devastation that officers feel, they don't want to go through that anymore," McCray said. "They don't want to work at a big city. They want to go somewhere else. So they just want to get out of the profession altogether."
Eleven major U.S. cities are experiencing severe law enforcement staffing issues heading into 2023, National Police Association spokesperson Ret. Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith told Fox News Digital.
"I think this could be a generational problem," Brantner Smith said regarding how long she expects the shortages to last. "This could go on for years. Even if, let's say, I could flip a magic switch tomorrow, and everyone loved the police and every kid in America wanted to be a cop … it takes nine months to a year from the date of hire for a person to become a police officer. So, there's one problem. Even if we could fix this tomorrow, it'll be a year before any of those staffing issues are addressed."
McCray said showing appreciation and respect to law enforcement is the first step in curbing the trend.
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"We are not social workers. We do not have the cure-all for every ill that society presents itself to. So how about starting off with this -- treating us with respect," she said.
Fox News' Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.