A proposal introduced by New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson and seven other City Council leaders would knock $1 billion off the NYPD’s $6 billion budget.
“We believe that we can and should work to get to $1 billion in cuts to New York City’s police spending in the Fiscal 2021 budget, an unprecedented reduction that would not only limit the scope of the NYPD, but also show our commitment towards moving away from the failed policing policies of the past,” said Johnson (D) late Friday, according to the Daily News.
The giant cut would largely affect police functions such as school safety and homeless outreach, along with reducing the size of the force by nearly 10% from 36,000 to 33,000 via a hiring freeze and not replacing officers who retire. Overtime pay would also be limited.
In a Friday joint statement with the chairs of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and other lawmakers, Johnson’s office said: “We believe that we can and should work to get to $1 billion in cuts to New York City’s police spending in the Fiscal 2021 budget, an unprecedented reduction that would not only limit the scope of the NYPD, but also show our commitment towards moving away from the failed policing policies of the past.”
BREAKING: NYC Council Speaker Johnson & others in council leadership announce suport for unprecedented proposal to cut $1 billion from NYPD’s $6 billion budget.
Identified areas include reducing 36,000 officer headcount through attrition, cutting OT, shifting responsibilities. pic.twitter.com/Mm6UDqWi5v
— Pervaiz Shallwani (@Pervaizistan) June 13, 2020
On Thursday and Friday, the Council’s Budget Negotiating Team presented the $1 billion cut to members, who are grappling with a massive shortfall in tax revenue due to COVID-19. Mayor de Blasio, who is opposed to the $1 billion cut, revised his $89.3 billion executive budget in April – making cuts to the Department of Education as well as a popular summer youth employment program.
“Before the briefing, members didn’t know if we could cut a billion. The speaker has shown there’s a billion dollars to cut. Now the question is whether Council members have the courage of their convictions,” an anonymous source told the Daily News.
A second anonymous Coincil source said the legislature is still pondering what to do with the $1 billion which would be freed up by the NYPD cuts – while a third anonymous source said the proposal isn’t a ‘done deal,’ but “the first step in thinking about” transforming the NYPD.