City Council’s Progressive Caucus Continues its Aim to Shrink NYPD Budget
By Yehudit Garmaise
Major crimes in NYC surged by 22% last year, but the City Council’s powerful Progressive Caucus continues to try to “defund the NYPD.”
As the NY City Council analyzes the $103 billion budget proposal that Mayor Eric Adams proposed a month ago, the Progressive Caucus finds the mayor’s $5 billion allocation for the NYPD to be too high.
Heading into budget negotiations, several City Council progressives say they aim to reduce police funding.
While a widespread desire for stronger public safety for the most part reduced Democrats’ enthusiasm to shrink police budgets, the Progressive Caucus recently rewrote the caucus’s bylaws to “reduce the size and scope of the NYPD and the Department of Correction,” Gothamist reported.
The controversial “clarification” of the mission of the Progressive Caucus caused 15 members to leave the group, which now includes 20 members: down from 35.
“[Progressive Caucus members are] calling for removing members of their own caucus if they don't sign a pledge to defund the police,” Mayor Eric Adams said last week. “That is not who we are as Democrats.
“And I'm going to continue to stand and state that we're pro-public safety, and we're pro-proper policing.”
Adams is supported by councilmembers, such as Rafael Salamanca, Jr., who, in a tweet, “challenged far left Dems, representing the wealthiest communities in NYC,” to come to the city’s poorer neighborhoods and try to persuade them that “defunding the police is a positive thing to ensure their safety.”
“The more police we can have, the better,” said Yitzchak on 13th Avenue.
One Gothamist reader wrote, “More cops really do reduce crime.”
The reader pointed out that while New York assigns 50 cops per 100,000 residents, in cities across Europe, where crime is lower, 330 police officers are assigned to patrol every 100,000 residents.
The reader also pointed out, “If you lower the budget, you end up with fewer cops working longer hours,” which is billed as overtime and ends up costing taxpayers even more: with weaker public safety.
While continued police brutality nationwide has influenced the public to call for funding to strengthen police training, Progressive Caucus members disagree and instead want to use public funds for social services and youth employment programs that members say address the root causes of crime.
“There's no evidence that increased training reduces violence against civilians,” said Queens Councilmember Tiffany Cabán, a member of the Progressive Caucus.
Mayor Adams, a former NYPD captain, however, said last week that a minority of “woke” Democrats in the City Council have “hijacked the term ‘progressive,’” in ways that can harm public safety.