NEW YORK - After weeks of protests, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday he has submitted a proposal to the City Council that would cut $1 billion from the NYPD as the deadline for a city budget deal nears.
The $1 billion figure is one that had been pushed for by the City Council, which continues to negotiate with the mayor on a budget deal that’s due Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.
Where exactly that $1 billion would come from, the mayor isn't saying yet. He did say in his daily briefly Monday that a separate pot of $500 million in NYPD capital funds would be transferred to youth recreation centers and public housing to address disparities.
The mayor also alluded to the possibility of school safety officers being moved out of the NYPD's oversight. And he emphasized his commitment to maintain public safety while at the same time achieving reform. The city has seen a recent spike in shootings.
As recently as Friday, de Blasio would not commit to the $1 billion mark, although he did say he wanted some cuts to the police department's budget.
The mayor says the city will have to tighten its belt even further as the economic downturn continues. Last week, the mayor warned as many as 22,000 municipal employees could be laid off or furloughed to make up for the steep drop in revenue, estimated at $9 billion in revenue, at a minimum.
With that $9 billion in revenue wiped away by the pandemic and businesses shut down, the mayor is warning that further cuts are needed before the city submits its budget proposal Tuesday.
He says stimulus money from either the federal or state government is not coming anytime soon, and the city's workforce may face major cutbacks as a result.
The mayor says the city must live within its means without forgetting to help the most vulnerable.
"We're going to persevere. We're going to move forward, but it's not going to be with a vision of 'let's endlessly cut everything,' because we know what that means. It will hurt human beings if we have to keep cutting and cutting. It will hurt families, it will hurt the workforce, the people we depend on. Their families depend on them. Austerity is never the way to go," de Blasio said.
The new budget is due Wednesday at 12 a.m.
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