June 4, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The New York City Comptroller is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to slash more than $1 billion from the NYPD budget over four years — as the city faces a looming fiscal crisis and many are calling for police reform.
Comptroller Scott Stringer penned a letter to de Blasio today requesting he cut $1.1 billion from the NYPD budget over the next four years.
Stringer said the city must act to fight systemic racism within law enforcement, beginning with the budget.
“Breaking down structural racism in New York City will require long-term, lasting change — and that must include reducing the NYPD’s budget,” he said in a statement.
He made the request as New York City is facing a whopping $9 billion deficit due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus. De Blasio has proposed cutting the NYPD’s current $5.9 billion budget by just 0.31 percent, Stringer said.
He said some of the money taken from the department should be redistributed to underserved communities most impacted by police brutality and ravaged by COVID-19. It would also help the city to stave off cuts to other essential services amid the deficit.
Stringer said his plan involves cutting the NYPD budget by 5 percent each year, or about $265 million, beginning July 1. The savings could be achieved through modest cuts to the number of cops and cutting overtime and other expenses such as equipment and technology.
Stringer has been calling for all city agencies to cut their budgets by 4 percent as a means to help the city manage the deficit.
The comptroller said the city should suspend hiring new police classes in the next fiscal year and cut uniformed overtime by five percent.
The move would reduce the number of officers through attrition by 3 percent — bringing the expected headcount down to 35,000 officers by the end of next fiscal year. The number of officers on the street averaged about 35,000 between 2011 and 2016 when crime declined to historic levels, Stringer said.
A group of more than 200 current and former mayoral staffers have also called on the mayor to slash the NYPD budget. They wrote an open letter calling for de Blasio to cut the budget by $1 billion in fiscal year 2021 alone.