Comptroller Stringer to Mayor de Blasio: Cut $1.1 Billion in NYPD Spending Over Four Years and Reinvest in Vulnerable Communities and Vital Services

Comptroller Stringer to Mayor de Blasio:  Cut $1.1 Billion in NYPD Spending Over Four Years and Reinvest in Vulnerable Communities and Vital Services

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio calling on the City to cut $1.1 billion from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) over the next four fiscal years, shifting both responsibilities and dollars away from the NYPD and toward vulnerable communities most impacted by police violence and structural racism. Building on his prior calls for all agencies to identify savings of at least 4 percent, Comptroller Stringer unveiled a specific proposal to implement a 5 percent cut to the NYPD’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Executive Budget by reducing uniformed headcount through attrition, cutting overtime, and trimming Other Than Personnel Services (OTPS) — saving approximately $265 million annually. By doing so, the City could free up that funding to support critical frontline services, rebuild communities ravaged by COVID-19 and systemic community disinvestment, and dramatically reduce police interactions that too often end in unnecessary criminal legal system involvement. Comptroller Stringer’s call comes at a time when the mayor is proposing a mere 0.31 percent cut to the NYPD’s $5.9 billion budget, despite deep cuts already implemented by City Hall to vital services — including a total elimination of the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

Comptroller Stringer’s letter outlines strategies  to shift responsibilities away from the Police Department — and its armed officers — and toward social workers, counselors, community-based violence interrupters, and other trained professionals better equipped to handle calls related to individuals in mental health crisis, homelessness, and other non-criminal activities, as many other cities across the nation already do.

“The brutal, senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmed Aubrey are the most recent reminders of the longstanding need for racial justice and reform in policing. We must call out racism in all its ugly forms to break this painful cycle. But it is not enough to condemn racism in words: our fight for justice must be backed up with accountability and concrete action,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “Breaking down structural racism in New York City will require long-term, lasting change — and that must include reducing the NYPD’s budget. If our budget is a reflection of our values, it is unconscionable that services for Black and Brown New Yorkers are on the chopping block while the NYPD’s budget remains almost entirely untouched.  This is a bold and achievable roadmap to immediately cut millions and instead invest those critical dollars in underserved communities and the programs that will uplift those New Yorkers who need it most.”

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