Lawmakers: Commissioner Kelly won’t explain where money in NYPD budget increase is going
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the NYPD’s budget will increase by millions of dollars for the fiscal year of 2013 — but some lawmakers claim he won’t explain why.
Kelly presented a proposed budget for the counterterrorism and intelligence divisions of the police department at a City Council budget oversight hearing today. The proposed increase would bring the counterterrorism division’s budget from $29.5 million in fiscal year 2012 to $47.4 million for fiscal year 2013, according to numbers given by Park Slope Councilman Brad Lander. Kelly also submitted a proposed increase for the intelligence division, which Lander said would be a $15 million increase from fiscal year 2009, bringing the budget to $60 million.
Lander lashed out over what he said was Kelly’s lack of transparency and failure to explain the figures when asked at the hearing.
“Commissioner Kelly asks us to trust him that NYPD officers are following the law, but he either could not or would not tell us what the NYPD is spending our money on,” said Lander.
“This is at a time when resources for patrol officers, after-school programs, and summer jobs have all been decreased dramatically,” Lander added about the proposed budget increase. “We need to know what the increase is paying for.”
Queens Councilman Peter Vallone, chair of the Council’s Public Safety committee, also said Kelly’s testimony was not clear.
“Federal funding is complicated to explain, but the answer given by the NYPD was clearly not sufficient and we will seek clarity,” Vallone said.
Lander also blasted Kelly’s claim that the funding for NYPD operations in 11 cities overseas is covered with $1 million from the NYC Police Foundation.
“The staff, travel, lodging, and expenses for this operation seem certainly higher than $1 million. Are these expenses being paid for with city funds?” Lander asked.
When asked whether city funds are indeed used for the NYPD’s overseas operations, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne responded, “The salaries of officers overseas are paid through the regular city/NYPD budget; their travel and other expenses overseas are paid by the NYC Police Foundation.”
He did not, however, comment on how the proposed additional $32 million would be spent for counterterrorism and intelligence.
“Unfortunately, we simply do not currently have the transparency, accountability, or trust needed to have confidence that the NYPD is following the law or spending our money wisely,” Lander said.