Politics & Policy

De Blasio to Transfer Some NYPD Funding to Youth Programs and Social Services

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks to the media during a press conference in the Queens borough of New York, N.Y., April 10, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

New York will redirect some portion of the NYPD budget to other initiatives in the wake of massive George Floyd demonstrations, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday.

The mayor did not indicate how much of the NYPD’s funding would be cut. The department operated on a budget of $6 billion in 2019.

“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead. But I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people,” de Blasio said at a press conference.

The mayor said that the city administration would adopt proposals by New York’s task force on racial inclusion and equity, of which his wife Chirlane McCray is a co-chairwoman, including diverting funding to social and youth services, developing community liaisons to the police force, and moving enforcement for street vending to a civilian agency.

“People from the community, civilians deeply steeped in their communities with the ability to bring the concerns of the community to the highest levels of the NYPD, to bring back answers including the status on disciplinary cases and changes in policing that needs to be done to allow better policing, fairer policing,” de Blasio said.

“The vendor and administrative enforcement will be moved out of the NYPD, so that code violations will not require an officer whose presence could escalate an encounter,” McCray told reporters.

City comptroller Scott Stringer has voiced support for reducing the police budget by $1 billion over four years to enact “structural change and transformational reform in the police department.” However, the Detectives’ Endowment Association, a city police union, lamented the lack of support given to police officers.

“Our work to keep people safe – at any cost – is being drowned out by calls to defund police departments and arrest officers based on a few seconds of video on social media,” union head Paul DiGiacomo said in a statment. “There is ZERO BACKING for the men and women in blue by our elected officials. Their decisions are based on appeasing the loudest anti-police protesters instead of fact.”

New York has seen widespread demonstrations and rioting after the death of George Floyd, an African American resident of Minneapolis killed during his arrest by four police officers.

Last weekend, the NYPD’s counterterrorism chief said that organized “anarchist groups” had coordinated the looting of upscale Manhattan neighborhoods. Rioters have also vandalized businesses in poorer neighborhoods, including in the Bronx. Businesses were scheduled to partially reopen on June 8.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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