New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his proposal to slash $1 billion from the New York Police Department's annual $6 billion budget. The plan is in line with the cuts requested by city council officials.
"My office presented to City Council a plan that would achieve the billion in savings for the NYPD and shift resources to young people, to communities in a way that would help address a lot of the underlying issues that we know are the cause of so many problems in our society," he said.
Calling it the "toughest budget" his administration has had to compose, de Blasio said the challenge offered an opportunity to enact "unprecedented change."
"We're in a whole different situation in fact than New York City has ever faced in our history — a health care crisis, an economic crisis, a disparity crisis, a budget crisis all wrapped into one and on a massive, massive scale," he said. "We've gotta focus on those basics health, safety, food, shelter."
The mayor did not offer many specifics in the announcement, but said that it was "important to show that we are going to make changes."
The announcement did not go over well with the Police Benevolent Association, which is the largest union for members of the NYPD. Patrick Lynch, president of the union, said the new budget meant only one thing: fewer cops on the street.
"Shootings more than doubled again last week. Even right now, the NYPD doesn't have enough manpower to shift cops to one neighborhood without making another neighborhood less safe," Lynch said in an emailed statement. "We will say it again: the Mayor and the City Council have surrendered the city to lawlessness. Things won't improve until New Yorkers hold them responsible."
🔦 The NYPD employs nearly 36,000 uniformed officers and almost 20,000 civilian employees.