The mayor ran for office as a police reformer but has been hesitant to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s funding.
But after weeks of protests, including a sit-in demonstration in front of City Hall, public pressure has had an impact. Now, de Blasio says he believes cuts can be made without sacrificing safety.
“When I first heard the proposal and looked at all the details, it was – How are we going to keep the city safe? How are we going to maintain out patrol strength with NYPD? And of course, how are we going to get the maximum investment in youth initiatives and other things that would redistribute resources to the communities that have been hit the hardest?” he said Monday night.
The City Council and protesters want to shift how the city fights crime by focusing on prevention over punishment. They have been pushing to make the $1 billion cut from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget and reinvest that money in community services.
Sources say the department will:
- Reduce the size of the police force from 36,000 to 34,000 through attrition
- Cancel the July police class of 1,100
- Move homeless outreach out of the NYPD
- Reduce the capital budget to provide funds for NYCHA and youth recreation centers
- Move school safety to the Department of Education in stages
The cuts come as shootings are up 129% this month compared to the same time last year. There were 63 shooting incidents citywide last week, compared to 26 that week the year before.
While almost every agency’s budget will be cut because the mayor decreased spending by $8 billion, he did agree to approximately $750 million in the Council’s discretionary spending for nonprofits that provide safety net services, like food pantries, domestic violence programs and cultural programs.
However, the Department of Education’s nearly $30 billion budget could be in for a $800 million cut.
“Everybody’s going to have to bear the pain of this budget,” Councilman Daniel Dromm told CBS2.
Sources tell CBS2 the DOE cuts will come from various departments within the agency, like professional development. At this point, there are no planned teacher layoffs.
Still, the education cuts didn’t sit well with advocates who say it will affect the future of minority students.
“It is insulting for the mayor and the Speaker Corey Johnson to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ in their tweets and to write it on the streets and to not write it in their budget,” one protester said.