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Sources: Council Will Call for 1,000 Additional Police Officers in Budget Response

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TWC News: Sources: Council Will Call for 1,000 Additional Police Officers in Budget Response
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The City Council will get its say in the city budget on Wednesday, releasing its first budget response under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and on the top of their list is getting more police officers on the street. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

The City Council is set to make police one of its top budget priorities

In its first budget response of the Melissa Mark-Viverito era, sources told NY1 that the Council will call for an additional 1,000 police officers.

The price tag, budget experts say, could be about $125 million.

"You can afford that many more cops if you do less of something else, and it's those tradeoffs that define how the city spends its money and how much money it chooses to bring in in taxes," said Ronnie Lowenstein of the Independent Budget Office.

The Council is set to release its budget response on Wednesday, and sources told NY1 that the NYPD proposal is at the top of the legislature's budget demands.

The proposal came as a surprise to some advocates.

"It's kind of surprising to ask for such a large investment in police when there doesn't seem to be any kind of spike in crime or other showing of need for it," said Carol Kellermann of the Citizens Budget Commission.

The proposal seems to be a sharp turn from where the Council and top NYPD brass were a year ago, fighting over additional oversight of the NYPD.

A source close to the speaker's office told NY1 that increasing the city's police force is one of her top priorities, making sure police officers are back on the beat. In the past 10 years, there has been a steady drop in uniformed officers.

When asked about the headcount earlier this month, Police Commissioner William Bratton said it was overtime that made up the difference.

"I don't know the police chief in America that would not tell you that they'd like more cops. I'd always like more cops," Bratton said on April 8. "But you work with what you have."

Mayor Bill de Blasio was not quick to endorse the idea of more officers.

"I think this department is doing an extraordinary job with the resources it has," the mayor said on April 8.

On top of the police proposal, the Council is also set to propose free lunches for all public schoolchildren, at the cost of $24 million.

Sources said it also wants to expand library service to six days a week at all public libraries.

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