‘Budget Tricks’: $1 Billion Cut To NYPD May Not Happen This Year

Steve Burns
July 04, 2020 - 11:39 am
NYPD Officers

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The city budget is coming under scrutiny once again, as new budget documents show the promised $1 billion cut to the NYPD may not be happening this year after all.

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While some advocates and lawmakers were skeptical that it even counted as a cut, the biggest chunk that was set to be removed from the NYPD budget was over $300 million for school safety agents.

The money was expected to be transferred to the Department of Education, Mayor Bill de Blasio said this week.

“In the first year of the transition, there will be a growing leadership function played by school leadership,” de Blasio said. “Officers will be trained by the DOE.”

But the new budget documents, first reported by Politico, showed the money is still included in the NYPD budget—apparently negating the promise of a $1 billion cut to the police department.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement that he will hold the mayor to his commitment that the money will be moved this fiscal year.

“We have a commitment from the de Blasio Administration that school safety would be moved out of the NYPD budget this fiscal year, and we will hold the mayor to his word,” Johnson’s statement reads in part.

The mayor’s office said in a statement that the school safety transfer was always said to be a multi-year process.

“This transition will involve a paradigm shift that welcomes (safety agents) with newly defined roles and training into school communities, and continues our de-escalation, implicit bias, and restorative justice work,” the statement from the mayor’s office reads in part.

Andrea Colon, of Communities United for Police Reform, told WCBS 880 she feels cheated.

“It’s false. It’s budget tricks, funny math,” Colon said.

She said advocates wanted officers out of schools altogether.

“Young people across the city have made it very clear that police do not make schools safer, they actually make them feel unsafe,” Colon said.