Gambardella, a resident of Staten Island, posted a picture of himself wearing a "Let's Go Brandon" t-shirt inside 1 Police Plaza in Manhattan, giving the statue the finger following his retirement from the department.
"I'm officially retired today! From this sorry excuse of a s*** job. Thank God. I'm free at last!" wrote Gambardella on his Facebook account. "I loved everyone I worked with and 'some' of the people I've worked for. But this job is no one's friend. Time to live free. I'll see you all out there!" (Related: Union sues NYC to block termination of UNVAXXED detectives, citing rising crime rates.)
Gambardella, who ended his career as a detective sergeant with the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn, said he really enjoyed his job when he first started out as a beat cop in 2002. In 2006, while working in the 68th Precinct in Brooklyn, he was even named Officer of the Year.
"I was a true believer," said Gambardella in an interview with the New York Post. He explained that, as a person coming from a police family, he really enjoyed his early years in the NYPD. "I wasn't a bag of s***. I worked on some intricate details. I gave a lot of my blood, sweat and tears. But no more."
But things took a turn for the worse when, as Gambardella explained, the city increasingly embraced liberal soft-on-crime policies and the NYPD started interfering with every aspect of his life.
"It's the worst f****** job in the world," said Gambardella. "They own you. They're not your friends. All that talk about the 'big blue family.' They don't care. If I die tomorrow, they wouldn't give a s***. If I needed something, it ain't gonna happen. I'm better off just saying a prayer."
Gambardella added that he was disgusted by the increased hostility toward police, calls to defund the NYPD and crackdowns on what cops are and are not allowed to do.
"Crime is soaring and cops are leaving in droves," said Gambardella. "Anybody can see that. All this liberalism is obviously a failure. But this is what they wanted. It's a stupid experiment and it's the people who will pay in the end."
In its "Letters to the Editor" for July 6, the New York Post received letters from several people responding to Gambardella's actions. Many were supportive of Gambardella and thanked him for his service in the NYPD, but felt that disrespecting a statue dedicated to fallen officers was a bit too much.
"The photo of Det. Sgt. Gambardella flipping the bird at 1 Police Plaza, at the statue of a police officer standing in front of a wall honoring the memory of members killed in the line of duty, was the height of disrespect and dishonor," wrote Lawrence Natale from Howell, New Jersey. "This retired malcontent should offer an apology to the families of those officers who made the supreme sacrifice."
"Wow, Gambardella: With such classy behavior, it's hard to imagine how our citizens are not best served seeing this arrogant, crude person off the job," wrote A.J. Via from Patchogue, New York.
Other readers of the New York Post were a lot more sympathetic, pointing out the many problems facing the NYPD today.
"The NYPD is hemorrhaging officers at an alarming rate, and the reasons for this stampede out the door have all been stated," wrote Thomas Urban of Wantagh, New York. "New York City needs the NYPD, and the NYPD needs the commitment of this city to restore its morale and to attract and retain the talent it's losing in unprecedented numbers."
"When you demoralize the police department, you demoralize the city. The only people who care about the city are the same ones the city hangs out to dry," wrote Storm Destro of Bayonne, New Jersey. "Gambardella did the right thing. He did his 20. Now, he should live a pleasant retirement away from the criminals and politicians."
Learn more about anti-police sentiment all over America at AntiPolice.news.
Watch this clip from Fox News as a former top police official from Boston pleads with New York City to stop letting politics interfere with policing and focus on public safety.