New budget makes way for more cops

The budget agreement for Fiscal Year 2016 will make room for more than 1,000 new NYPD officers and 80 more school crossing guards, announced officials on Monday, June 22.

“This budget is a reflection of the responsible, progressive, and honest process we’ve built over the last year and a half,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “We’re strengthening the NYPD’s ranks, devoting new officers to counter-terror work and neighborhood policing, while securing vital fiscal reforms in overtime and civilianization.”

The mayor’s office attributed the increase in headcount to a charge led by the City Council which, after limiting overtime spending and civilianizing an additional 415 jobs, secured $170 million to hire 1,297 additional officers and return 415 more to their beats.

“I am happy that the mayor has heard our calls,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “This is a crucial step in ensuring New York City remains the safest big city in America and with additional officers on the street, we can improve on that statistic even further. Additionally, in light of recent gun violence and ISIS related arrests in Staten Island and Queens last week, it’s evident we need our police department to be as strong as it can be and this budget addresses that.”

The new cops, he said, mean that, “Officers will no longer be pulled from our local precincts to cover rallies or demonstrations, thereby adding to our local precinct numbers.”

“This is a budget that works for all New Yorkers and I look forward to the positive results of this surge in our police force.”

According to Gentile, about 300 of the new officers will be assigned to counterterrorism.

The addition was also lauded by Borough President Eric Adams, a 22-year veteran of the NYPD.

“The foundation of our city and its future is built on a robust commitment to public safety; as a 22-year veteran of the NYPD, I know it is the basic building block for everything we hope to achieve as New Yorkers,” he said.

“Tonight, we witnessed a budget agreement that values public safety,” Adams went on, adding that, with an increase in blue shirts on the horizon, he hopes the city will consider his proposal to hire from the ranks of current school safety agents, traffic enforcement agents and Health and Hospitals Corporation police officers – all of whom are already affiliated with the NYPD. “It is great to see both sides of City Hall value the advancement of community-police relations with an investment that I believe will result in a safer and more united city.”

Another former cop also applauded the funding. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I applaud the efforts of the mayor and the City Council on their agreement to fund an increase in the number of police officers for our city,” said State Senator Marty Golden, a retired New York City police officer. “There is no doubt in my mind that this is the right decision that will help to keep us all safe and keep crime down.”

The Fiscal Year 2016 budget will also fund the fight against human trafficking, provide free meals to tens of thousands of students, expand access to critical city services for veterans, seniors, immigrants and youth, establish a citywide bail fund to save the city millions of dollars in incarceration costs, and more.

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