“NYPD faces first major budget cut in decades amid ‘perfect storm’ of factors”
“You have the reality that the city is facing a multibillion-dollar deficit, you have the widespread protests, and you have overall crime being down,” former City Councilman and budget negotiator David Greenfield told The Post. “I think that it’s really a perfect storm.”
A council source said the belt-tightening at One Police Plaza is unavoidable.
“I think there’s inevitability to the fact that they’re going to cut the NYPD budget,” the source said. “The fear is it might be significant for the first time in a long time.”
Staten Island Councilman Steven Matteo, the body’s Republican minority leader, agreed the NYPD would not be spared.
“Given the dire economic circumstances, we have to look everywhere for savings,” he said, while urging the council to keep an “adequately-funded police force.”
On Thursday City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who is running to replace Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2021, joined the movement to ‘Defund the NYPD’ by calling for the shift of $1.1 billion over the next four years away from the NYPD and “toward vulnerable communities most impacted by police violence and structural racism.”
The NYPD has a $6 billion annual budget.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) and Finance Committee Chair Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) have asked the NYPD for a list of proposed cuts equaling 5 to 7 percent of the agency’s budget by Monday after brass offered to eliminate just under 1 percent.
“Given the current economic times, we are looking at the NYPD budget and at possible ways to cut its budget,” Johnson said.
“We are in a bad situation, but it is not equitable to propose a 32 percent cut to the Dept. of Youth and Community Development and less than a 1 percent cut to the NYPD,” Johnson, another leading mayoral candidate, said.
The third top mayoral contender, former NYPD cop and current Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, also supports the cuts.
“We can identify and pare back bloat in the department without jeopardizing public safety,” Adams told The Post.
“Crime has dropped substantially in recent years, thanks in part to reforms we adopted while I served in the department,” he said.
Meanwhile, Councilman Donavan Richards (D-Queens), chair of the public safety committee, is going through the NYPD budget line-by-line to identify savings.
“We’re looking at this with a microscope,” Richards said. He’s zeroed in on “excessive overtime,” canceling this year’s NY Police Academy class, and shifting programs on homelessness, mental health and youth services to other agencies.
“I think this year there’s certainly a greater possibility the political will is there,” to slash NYPD spending, Richards said.
Pat Lynch, head of the city’s largest police union, accused elected officials of politicizing the fiscal process.
“The council members pushing NYPD cuts should be honest: this is about their cop-hating agenda, not the city’s bottom line. Any right-thinking council member, whose constituents are rightfully concerned about their safety night after night of looting and riots, would be looking for cuts elsewhere. They need to hold the line,” Lynch said.
None of the last 18 budget deals struck between former Mayor Michael Bloomberg or Mayor de Blasio with city lawmakers have ever cut the NYPD budget, a review of records shows.
During his City Hall press briefing Wednesday de Blasio said he opposed the cuts.
“For folks who say defund the police, I would say that is not the way forward,” he insisted.
Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) said the decision is not de Blasio’s to make.
“The mayor cannot declare the budget of New York City by fiat,” Lancman said.
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