With shootings up some 19 percent so far this year and a last-minute change in policy, Mayor Bill de Blasio said late Monday that he intends to add nearly 1,300 new police officers as part of his $78.5 billion budget.
In earlier budget plans, the mayor said he did not plan to add more cops to the NYPD, though the City Council called for 1,000 new cops, and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in May he’d like 450 new officers on the force for counterterrorism.
The new officers will cost $170 million, and with corresponding reforms, that is expected to save the city $70 million.
“We’re strengthening the NYPD’s ranks, devoting new officers to counterterror work and neighborhood policing, while securing vital fiscal reforms in overtime and civilianization,” de Blasio said in a statement after the budget was finalized late Monday.
Of the new officers, 300 will be assigned to counterterrorism, and the remaining will go to community policing.
Communities United for Police Reform spokesperson Monifa Bandele called the move “politics at its worst” and “not in the best interest of the safety or long-term needs of our communities” in a statement.
“It's disappointing and perplexing that the city budget will increase the NYPD headcount when systemic problems with police accountability and culture that allow New Yorkers to be abused and killed have yet to be fixed — and while major needs in our communities are under-resourced … Our communities are still being hurt by discriminatory and abusive policing, and the mayor and council need to take steps to address this in a meaningful way.”
A protest against the new officers is planned for 6 p.m. near City Hall on Tuesday, organized by the Coalition to End Broken Windows.