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New York City Council Passes Budget with $1 Billion in Cuts to NYPD

New York Police officers in Times Square in 2013. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

The New York City Council voted to pass an $88 billion budget just after midnight on Wednesday morning, in which funding for the NYPD was cut by roughly $1 billion.

Much of the NYPD budget cuts, at $349.5‬ million, were achieved by transferring certain police services to the authority of other agencies. Those include school safety officers, who are stationed at the city’s public schools and whose work will now fall under the purview of the city education department.

In addition, the police will see $352 million cut from overtime salaries and will cancel the hiring of 1,163 officers. The cuts were criticized by council members who said they did not go far enough, as well as elected officials who did not want the NYPD budget cut in the first place.

“My concern with this budget is not just about the $1 billion cut, but more about the NYPD’s culture,” said Councilman Donovan Richards (D., Queens), chairman of the Committee on Public Safety that oversees the police department. “A $1 billion budget cut can’t address the racism that runs rampant in the NYPD.”

Commissioner Dermot Shea said that the City Council bowed to “mob rule” in cutting the police budge. Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D., Brooklyn) also spoke out against the NYPD cuts.

“Black folks want to be safe like everyone else, we just want to be respected,” Miller said. “We can’t allow folks from outside our community to lecture us about black lives and what we need in our communities.”

The city faces a roughly $9 billion budget shortfall because of business closures stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Bill de Blasio has insisted that cuts to the NYPD will not be detrimental to public safety, even as shootings have risen in the city since the beginning of 2020.

The mayor had two goals for this budget: maintain safety and invest in youth and our hardest-hit communities — all while facing the toughest fiscal situation the city has seen in decades,” de Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein told the New York Times. “We believe we presented a plan that accomplishes that mission and look forward to working with the Council to pass a budget that helps this city rebuild stronger

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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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