Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he’s come up with a plan to cut or transfer $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget and would not guarantee the department’s headcount won’t shrink — even as shootings surge across the city.
“I’m excited to say we have a plan that can achieve real reform, that can achieve real redistribution — while at the same time ensure that we keep our city safe, while we make sure that our officers are on patrol around where we need them around this city,” de Blasio said during his daily City Hall press briefing.
“We can do this, we can strike the balance, we can keep this city safe,” he later added.
However, Hizzoner would not guarantee that the NYPD’s police force would remain at its current level of roughly 36,000 officers.
De Blasio and the City Council must reach an $87 billion budget deal by Tuesday that would cut expected spending by an estimated $8 billion overall.
The plan to slash the NYPD budget comes as gun violence has surged across the Big Apple.
The violence continued across the city over the weekend as eleven people were shot in less than 12 hours Saturday night into Sunday night, including in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and Manhattan.
“We have found a plan that will keep this city safe, that will achieve the billion dollars in savings,” de Blasio told reporters Monday, noting that “budget negotiations are continuing.”
When pressed, de Blasio said that the cuts were partially linked back to the city’s $9 billion budget deficit, but added that the weeks of mass protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis also pushed him to swing the budget ax.
“The NYPD is being treated clearly in a specific manner,” he said in response to questions.
“A number of agencies have been cut quite a bit, but we’re dealing with a specific reality with the NYPD, unquestionably,” Hizzoner added. “That is because it’s important to show that we’re going to make changes in this city.”
Separately, de Blasio also said his plan would move at least half-billion dollars from the NYPD’s construction and major projects budget to help fund building improvements at youth centers and public housing.
The mayor commented on the recent surge of gun violence in the Big Apple, saying, “You know, I am very concerned about the uptick in shootings. We have to make sure we can handle that.”
“I am convinced we have struck that balance,” he said.
New York City activists — fueled by the killing of Floyd in Minneapolis — have been demanding a $1 billion cut to the NYPD coffers.
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