Nearly $1 Billion Is Shifted From Police in Budget That Pleases No One

Jun 30, 2020 · 63 comments
Frank (New York)
Mr. Deblasio, you are the worst mayor in New York City history.
Garth (NYC)
A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. Looks like NYC will be adding quite a few more conservatives (until of course they and their taxes flee the city).
Deborah (NYC)
Is this not ridiculous? This only shows that Deblasio is 100 percent supportive of his wife, whom he idealizes. This is what she has spoken of wanting.
Defund Chirlane McCray’s $1b Thrive NYC project. That’s completely ineffective. Re-fund the police. Safety is a fundamental right of all citizens.
Mel (NYC)
DeBlasio To City: Drop Dead. Literally.
Sam C. (NY)
This is an insane move, I fear for the future of the City. Are we now going to return to the crime ridden 1970's ??? Sad. Please bring back Mayor Bloomberg to run the city !!!
KathyS (NY)
Defunding the Police in NYC is insane. Restricting the NYPD from doing their jobs is insane. So $$ get reallocated to yet more social programs which have only been effective in making politicians more powerful and richer and making the people more dependent on government. So Social Workers are going to be called in for domestic disputes? How many Social Workers are going to want to enter a domestic dispute situation without a police backup? How many Social Workers are going to want to remove a child from an abusive home without a police escort? What happens when the next shooter decides to visit a school? What happens to subway safety? Already crime in NYC has shot up because NYPD has received no support from but instead has been vilified by DeBlasio. I remember Times Square in the 70s, I remember the subway system of the 70s. We are heading straight back to the 70s. DeBlasio hates NYC - that's the only conclusion.
Churros (Chi)
Absurd. Redirect $$$ from other places like military equipment, OT, etc. and put into training. All the teacher's kids are failing? Solution: defund the teachers! So yeah, absurd on so many levels.
Gary (NYC)
@Churros How about, the political system is corrupt and failing, defund the politicians. Hmmmm, not so absurd.
Mel (NYC)
Complete insanity. Please explain how having an underfunded police force is good for Black lives. The inmates are now running the asylum.
Gary (NYC)
I'm fine with reducing the police budget assuming it comes with a reduction in their responsibilities, so dealing with the homeless and school safety should go back to the city. I think the city should spend funds assessing police as I'm pretty confident continued service breeds contempt (think of soldiers in combat, they become immune to violence and view the enemy as inhuman) for a portion of the department. That said, I think most police do a good job and behave well within department rules but their union has to stop defending the bad ones. Lastly, take a look at the murder statistics in Chicago. The Sun-Times has a link that track homicides and the total through June 30 is 320. Does anyone really want a return to the 70's?
Wiserthanyou (Nunya)
I sure hope people have made peace with Jesus, because he is getting ready to return. If you don’t believe me you better do some research and then take a long hard look at what’s going on around us. I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life at this point. I would pray and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior while you still can.
Andy Deckman (Manhattan)
This is what policy making by twitter mob looks like
When are the mayor and city council giving up their protection detail as part of cutting the NYPD budget?
Felicia (Oregon)
"Where Police Reform Has Worked" published by the New York Times on June 5, 2020: In several big cities, however, things have changed. Police departments have adopted new policies, and, while problems remain, the number of shootings and deaths have fallen significantly. It’s happened in Los Angeles, where fatal police shootings have declined in each of the last four years, down to 12 last year. It’s happened in San Francisco. And it’s happened in Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia and Phoenix, Samuel Sinyangwe, a data scientist and activist, writes for FiveThirtyEight. “Many of these reforms were initiated in response to protests and public outcry over high-profile deaths,” he adds. The changes often revolve around training officers to de-escalate situations and reduce the amount of force they use. Tougher measures to get rid of violent officers also seem to help. Hiring more police officers sometimes helps as well, research shows. “Overstressed, overtired officers working too many shifts generate more complaints of excessive force.”
Lola (New York City)
It's police overtime that has to be reduced. It has long been understood among cops that everyone would get five hours of overtime each week. And in the last year of service, a retiring cop gets as much overtime as he/she wants since pensions are calculated on their highest earnings.
Sherri Rosen (New York, NY)
Where are the millions of dollars DeBlasio gave to his wife for her pet project which has accomplished nothing? There are numerous crimes being committed everyday in this city and who is going to arrest the criminals? Yesterday another elderly woman was knocked down and beaten and her bag was taken by a low life who walked away casually with her bag. This is becoming a weekly occurrence. We need police and we need to reinstate the bail laws because the way they are now, a criminal gets arrested at breakfast and is out by lunchtime.
ray (new york city)
There are 8 million people in NYC. A small mob of a few hundred people should not be allowed to dictate public policy. 60 shootings in NYC last week. And most of the new officers who would have been hired are POC. Their opportunity to earn a middle class salary is being denied. A loud and vocal minority should not be allowed to blackmail the city with subtle threats of rioting if they don't get their way
Samuel (Brooklyn)
The argument that rising crime necessitates more police is false, as was shown when the NYPD "slowed down" after the firing of the murderous cop Daniel Pantaleo. Low level arrests declined, as did crime. Similar amounts of actual misdemeanors were present, but the charges for resisting arrest and other bunk charges largely disappeared. This should show people that there are enough cops on the street to handle actual problems, and that cops being lazy and collecting paychecks is actually better for communities of color (although it is absolutely criminal for the entire tax base). If police as deterrent is a myth we must then look at the actual cause of criminality. If crime is the coronavirus then cops are hydroxychloroquine; an ill suited treatment for a symptom. The disease itself seems to be the inability of people in difficult economic situations trying to survive. Defunding the police and redistributing the money towards services that help lower income communities is a very sensible way to do this. We must start seeing better access to resources like health services, food, housing, and education as crime fighting. If we don't we're fighting equality.
Garth (NYC)
@Samuel when crime is out of control due to police being weakened I have no doubt you will find other facts to manipulate to support your opinion
Mike Cos (NYC)
Remember, NYC thrives when two conditions are met: cops provide safety and garbage gets picked up. Everything else is secondary. DeBlasio and the city council are ruining the city.
Tom Carney (Manhattan Beach California)
Police are needed to deal with crimes that have taken place. Crime prevention is not a police matter. Crime prevention is a social services matter. Crimes are caused. Dealing with the causes of crime is not a police matter it is a social matter. There are two kinds of crime, People Crime and Organized Crime. The vast majority of people crime is caused by poverty, poor to no schools, lack of decent paying work inadequate income and decent safe places to live and be. No community programs. Fixing these conditions is not a police function. In fact police presence frequently creates crime in these environments. We need police for real crime. Real Crime is perpetrated out of sheer greed and anti human concepts regarding human value. In one year three doctors stole 500 times as much money from the government by filling false claims for operations that never happened than all the fraud cases for the year. The amount of money STOLEN through the criminal actions of tax fraud and market manipulation is mind boggling And then we have what is called WHITE COLLAR CRIME. Notice that is not Black collar Crime. It is dignified crime. These criminals wear suits and live in nice white neighborhoods. The current President is a master criminal in this area. Why has he and many like him been able to perpetrate crime on levels that really damage the Nation for all these years. How many of them have been captured or are in jail? Lets have some real police to do the real policing work.
Gabe Monheim (New York)
On “The Chris Salcedo Show” (Newsmax TV), Rafael Mangual (Manhattan Institute’s Legal Policy Director, author of “The Limits of Police Reform,” WSJ, June 11th) revealed how the Democrat narrative hides the reality revealed by policing statistics. The belief that “the police as an institution suffers from a serious violence problem . . . is patently false. . . In 2018, for example, there were 3,043 firearms discharges by police,” but since the U.S. has “about 700,000 fulltime police officers, making more than 10 million arrests a year and having 70+-million public contacts, you see that deadly force only arises in about 0.003% of all police arrests.” That’s not a typo: that’s zero point zero zero three percent. “That does not evidence a violence problem,” Mangual argued, “that does not evidence an institution out of control or bent on the oppression of a specific minority group. . . . In 1971, the NYPD fired their firearms more than 800 times, they wounded 220 people and killed 93; by 2016, those numbers were down to the low seventies [firearms discharged], and about 22 wounded and nine killed.” None of this enormous progress is “at all reflected in the current debate.”
Walker (Houston, TX)
Thankfully, New York City's recent crime and violence statistics have...(checks notes)... ...umm...oh no...
Dave BX (Goshen NY)
My family and my job reside in the Bronx. Shootings are rampant with almost no coverage in the NY Times. Those Black and brown lives matter as well. You have to resort to the NY Post to see media coverage of those lives lost. Sad.
Garth (NYC)
@Dave BX sorry to hear. It is those victims I feel so sorry for. They have been deserted by NY Times and other media
Paulie (Surrounded By Right Wing morons)
NYC hasn’t had a decent mayor since LaGuardia.
Zenster (Manhattan)
"Mr. Johnson, who is running for mayor next year, said during a virtual news conference that he felt like he was caught between the demands of conflicting groups, constricted from doing what he had set out to do" Translation: Cory Johnson does not know which group to pander to on this issue
Dave (New Jersey)
Fun City will be returning, IMO.
alan brown (manhattan)
The cuts are a sham but if they were real and 911 response times lengthened and crime continues to increase hundreds of thousands of affluent New Yorkers will increase the exodus. from NYC. The NYC of the 70s which was crime ridden and almost bankrupt will return and more people will leave. One good thing: Diblasio leaves January 1.
KB (Bronx)
“Some people are never happy,” Mr. de Blasio said. That is all I need to know to understand how out of touch de Blasio is.
Dave Fried (nyc)
The fact that these feckless politicians let themselves be swayed by noisy protesters instead of what New Yorkers really want is truly scary. There is not one demographic that supports this, including the Black residents of this city. These protesters aren't even old enough to remember the good old days when we last had a Democratic mayor and we had 2,000 murders a year in NYC. Shameful indeed.
Pat (Bflo)
Don’t be shocked if many of the people who left during the pandemic don’t come back
Alice (NYC)
Smoke & mirrors! de Blasio continues to demonstrate his total incompetence. Surprised DJT hasn’t offered him a job. Transferring school safety back to DOE will not change policing policies. The NYPD needs an attitude adjustment. Will budget cuts improve community relations? Eric Garner was put in a chokehold on suspicion of selling loosies & then he died. deBlasio was silent on the matter. Budget cuts aren’t the issue.
TobyFinn (The Flatiron)
DeFunding the Police is a Political move by the Progressives who don’t live in the Neighborhoods that are being affected already by the reduction in Policing. Murders and Shooting are significantly higher already and disrespect and disobedience of the Officers is condoned. The NYT doesn’t even cover these neighborhoods (Note there is no more METRO section)and today referred to a NYPOST interview of a Mother whose teenager son was shot and killed Saturday night in the Bronx. Tell me what Social Service Agencies that are going to replace the NYPD have track records of Success? The Mayor and the City Council have put good people at risk and rewarded the Gangbanger, Thugs and Anti Government Protesters.
Dan M (NYC)
Several days ago Brandon Hendricks a young man who was a star athlete and a recent High School graduate, was shot and killed in NYC in another act of senseless violence. Get ready, the gun violence that many of us lived through in the 80s is coming back thanks to dumb politicians and ignorant progressives. When gun violence rises the victims will be inner city black teenagers, not the white graphic artists who are pulling down statues. The ones who pretend that they care about black lives.
delores (queens)
@Dan M you had me till the "graphic artists who are pulling down statues" comment. It is clueless. Graphic artists have only one interest: their own careers. Mainly because the intensity and competitiveness of their field. You picked the most myopic, and least politically conscious demographic on the planet!
Bill (Lombard)
No more nypd security details for the mayor and city council. This city is going down the toilet. If the investment houses leave which the city makes all the money on the transactions. The last one who leaves after that please turn off the light.
MetroNYPhysician (NJ)
Mayor deBlasio and Corey Johnson have just ruined New York City. It took decades to reduce crime and get guns off the street. They have now undone all of that progress. Under no circumstances should have the NYPD budget been slashed. If anything, increase their budget to put more police on the street, improve training and invest in new technology. Perhaps Mayor deBlasio and every NYC politician that currently has a police detail would like to give it up. Perhaps everyone should know more about Corey Johnson's background. He is not a native New Yorker. He is a college drop out. He has a past which I will refrain from detailing at this time. Politicians must have a spine. They cannot always give into every demands. They need to be smart and do the right thing. Mayor deBlasio and Corey Johnson did not do the right thing by slashing the NYPD budget. The men of the NYPD are truly the finest. I suggest that every politician that believes the right thing to do was slash the NYPD budget spend 24 hours on patrol in the South Bronx, Harlem, or Brooklyn. They should also watch the 1981 movie Fort Apache, The Bronx. Forty years later, we are reliving that movie. Shame on deBlasio, Johnson and the remaining members of the City Council. Lastly, shame on AOC.
Jane (New York)
@MetroNYPhysician If the police concentrate on fighting actual crime and arresting criminals, rather than storming into peaceful protests, pepper-spraying innocent citizens in the face, shoving them off bicycles, smacking them with batons, and handcuffing anyone they can get their hands on, they should be able to manage just fine with a reduced budget.
Nicole Regan (Brooklyn)
Truly the finest? Are you talking about the same officers who have beaten, arrested, and pepper sprayed peaceful protestors with no provication?
Michael Blazin (DALLAS, TX)
This situation reminds me of plot lines on The Wire, HBO series from midd 2000s. Delayed academy class, shifting security resources back and forth with school system, setting up social services first zones, mayoral candidates’ campaign issues and ratcheting down on overtime make that series still timely 15 years later. Spoiler: all the efforts end with the City slowly slipping under the water with the best people leaving think at least we tried.
Peggysml (NewYork)
He has expanded the NYC City budget dramatically since taking office according to today's Time's,revenues are falling dramatically and now the two have met, not a good outcome. The best thing that could happen to him is happening, he cannot run again for Mayor but he is leaving us in a terrible mess. I want to see youth programs and schools fully funded as well as sanitation pick up and all things that most of us just take for granted and maybe his cutting the Police Budget to take care of other things will help but in reality it is the minority communities because of the high crime rate that need the police the most.
delores (queens)
The billion needs to shift to a Quality of Life division. . Police are reluctant to go after hyper loud motorcycles. Bikers use our neighborhood parkway as their midnight entertainment center. . Our neighborhood is suffering from a teen's race car. It has no muffler, and is souped up to blast. The noise goes all the way through our house, starting at 6AM throughout the day until midnight. The police refuse to knock on his door, or to make an effort to be around to ticket him. To their credit, they are obviously overwhelmed with life/death situations, which naturally have priority. So use the billion to develop a branch that deals exclusively with issues the police just can't cover.
Ann (Brooklyn)
@delores I'm afraid noise complaints will have to take a back seat. What Quality of Life can we talk about when the city is going to have record unemployment for months to come, many school children are not even getting proper child care, never mind an education, and crime is rising? If there's any extra money freed up by the budget cuts (I doubt it, it's still a net negative) it should go to the real priorities.
delores (queens)
@Ann if that is the case, there will be a middle class flight out. At this point, the city is barely livable.
delores (queens)
HERE is where the Mayor would save money for the city (certainly not skipping tree trimming - this would make the city vulnerable to lawsuits when people are killed by falling branches!): 1. Homeowner tax inequity. Presently, working class homeowners pay high taxes, yet wealthy pay next to none. Example: Our Mayor. DeBlasio's home is valued far above ours. Yet he pays far lower homeowner taxes than we do. Rich leaches had a good run. Time to end it. Uniform equalization of homeowner taxes. 2. Suspend totally free college tuition. Let students cough up a little something. 3. Millionaires live in housing projects meant for the poor. Is it asking too much to raise their rent?
Tony Longo (Brooklyn)
Budgeting is the actual core of government - the allocation of public resources is a zero-sum exercise. That this deadly serious decision making, at a point of economic crisis, should be influenced by fever-hot politics is a disastrous sign about what the next City administration is going to do to NYC. As for the Speaker, you can see he is already being tainted by his involvement in the practical exercise of government. He may already be unelectable. The cannibalism of this City's politics just gets fiercer. And by the way, most of this pain would be mitigated if our dear Governor had backed the City's request to borrow, moderately and judiciously, against operating expenses - a request roundly denounced by representatives of the corporate establishment, including your Editorial Board.
Paul G (Portland Oregon)
Is police violence accounted for separately in that crime increase? How about violence that is directly attributable to actions taken against peaceful protesters? The evidence showing police violence and police-caused violence is quite overwhelming.
Greg Pitts (Boston)
It’s only “overwhelming “ when someone is there, takes a video and then posts or sells it. How many non-violent encounters occur every day without the drama? We don’t know, because they lack the drama.
Physician (West Coast)
Being operated by the Department of Education rather than the PD could be more than smoke and mirrors: he who has the gold makes the rules, right? If those officers really do report to education, get hired by education, see themselves as educators first and police second, aren’t seeking promotion and pensions and identity through “policing” but through “schooling” and if the schools get to make all the decisions about their roles: that seems like real progress? And maybe officers who don’t want to see themselves this way will go back to the PD early in the transition years, allowing the culture really to change?
kwoo (NY)
@Physician School Safety Agents are not police officers and have no role in the PD outside of school security. They were once part of the BOE, Giuliani merged them into the PD some 20 years ago when he merged traffic agents, Transit and Housing Police into PD and EMS into FDNY. They'll perform the same role they do now, just wearing a different patch. If a school safety agent is unhappy with the return to the BOE, their only recourse would be to resign. It is smoke and mirrors.
Matt Carey (Albany, N.Y.)
Let New York City reap the consequences of "defunding" the police. New York City as well as Seattle and Portland can be the examples of what happens to once vibrant cities when law and order isn't enforced. Chicago has been that example for a while now but no one pays attention. Maybe after suffering through a "summer of love", people will finally wake up.
Matt Carey (Albany, N.Y.)
@RS If you think that social and mental health workers are going to respond to emergencies in lieu of the police you're dreaming. I work for a law enforcement agency in Upstate N.Y. Anytime CPS or Mental Health responds to these emergencies they won't even get out of the car until the police get there'd make sure that the residence is safe for them. Do you really think that these workers are going to respond in person to someone making suicidal threats by themselves? There will always be a need for the police to respond in person to these kind of emergencies.
Mike Cos (NYC)
Do any of these protesters live in NYC? The NYPD has to deal with some of the worst elements on a daily basis. And social workers are going to enter apartments without an escort? The city can’t get teaching right, they spend $50k per homeless person per year and that’s a disaster, the mayors mental health initiative costs billions with no results, etc. But somehow the city will compensate by redirecting funds to some other yet to be created service. You really think that will be successful? Wait until your main tax base moves out because of crime, then it will get real.
Steve (The Middle)
@RS You are mischaracterizing Camden’s ‘defunding’. They disbanded the city PD, it was corrupt, insolvent and unyielding as a union. The state imposed a county managed PD. Changes have occurred, policies are different, the community engaged; but, in no way do they reflect your belief in ‘defunding’. You want a new, separate bureaucracy, preferably federally funded, to address all and sundry social issues you can imagine. That’s not at all the story of Camden. Perhaps you should do some research. There is not an army of Intersectional Social Justice Warriors swarming to the first signs of discord. Still just the cops, the community and the same issues.
Lucinda Edmunds (Vienna Austria)
In Goldberg's article yesterday: "To open safely, schools are going to need much more money to buy protective equipment like gloves and masks, retrofit buildings and hire more teachers and nurses." In today's article about the NYC budget: "The rest of the city’s work force, including teachers — but excepting those in health and safety roles such as firefighters and paramedics — will remain in a hiring freeze for the next year." Am I missing something here?
Anthony (Queens)
Not even close to good enough from our top two city elected officials. No meaningful cuts to PD, but embarrassingly cruel cuts to social programs and schools. The speaker and mayor are now an impediment to progress in this city. I've never been part of the social democrat movement, but I see young, smart politicians in that movement who would do what they said they'd do and not capitulate because the math was hard.
Wayne (New York, NY)
@Anthony I agree with you, not so much the side he chooses (since I suspect there's still a decent percentage of electorates in NYC who want the NYPD intact) but the deceitfulness of his statements. I really wonder how and why he's so comfortable with watching his approval ratings plummet among basically anyone.
SANTANA (Brooklyn, NY)
What a disappointment that for all the "I hear you"s politicians keep saying, they are completely out of touch with the current movement for smarter governance. These decisions cannot be made under pressure of time, but must be well thought out with discussions including stakeholders in the communities that will be affected. Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets, but with some less conventional thinking we can be smarter about how we run government programs to lift up our communities.
Bambam (Your moms house)
How are you going to reduce overtime pay when you’re decreasing officers and new hires (to extent there would have been)? Either you have to significantly reduce those overtime jobs (which doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen. Not to the significant amount necessary. Or add fresh bodies that wouldn’t be over their work week time to do those jobs without it being ot and that doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen either.) This is such a short sighted plan. And that’s what’s wrong with these democratic areas. The decisions are just lip service with no actual plan. Which is why Minnesota council members had to pay over $60k 3 weeks for private security for 3 council members. Stop with this lip service. Take time research develop a good plan then implement it. Nothing is going to get solved by these short sighted overnight decision these politicians keep making.
nom (LAX)
Monitoring of illegal vendors can be accomplished by getting people from the revenue department out of their cubicles and out on the streets. Next, send in the social workers to assist the homeless. Finally, school safety can be achieved by school administrators allowing those who are not registered inside. Far too long have cops been used as social workers, revenue regulators and school administrators. It was very convenient for the professionals who should be doing the work to put it on law enforcements backs. Relieving the cops of the added stress is a good start. Let's continue it in other areas.
Bret (Rochester,ny)
I agree completely. Illegal vendors should be fined, not hauled off to jail for trying to make a living. This is one area that police should never have been enforcing.