De Blasio commits to shifting unspecified amount of police funding to social services

Masked New York City police officer stands at barricade.
Masked New York City police officer stands at barricade.
Anna Kristiana Dave / Shutterstock
Mayor Bill de Blasio conceded to calls to cut the NYPD’s budget further and redirect funding to social services.

De Blasio commits to shifting unspecified amount of police funding to social services

Nonprofits have joined calls to redirect some of the NYPD's funding to boost youth initiatives and other community services.
June 8, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday committed to cutting the New York City Police Department’s budget and redirecting those funds to youth and social services as protests against systemic racism and police brutality continue and calls to defund the police have increased.

While he didn’t specify how much would be cut and how much would be reappropriated to social services but pledged to work out the details with the City Council by July 1, the day of the city budget’s deadline. 

“I’m not going to go into detail because it is subject to negotiation and we want to figure out what makes sense,” de Blasio said. At least 20 City Council members have voiced support for some form of additional cuts to the police department’s budget. 

The NYPD’s $6 billion budget faces about $23.8 million in cuts – amounting to less than 1% of its budget – in the mayor’s proposed budget from April. Meanwhile, the city has already canceled the Summer Youth Employment Program to save $124 million in part because of the fiscal crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the chagrin of many youth services providers. More than $50 million in cuts have also been proposed by slashing other summer youth programs this year. 

Close to 200 nonprofits recently signed on to a call to defund the NYPD as a measure to pull back on proposed cuts to social services. 

“As the human services sector is being impacted by budget cuts and as our vulnerable children and families are struggling, it is unjust that the NYPD can maintain its level of funding and not be required to change its harmful policing practices,” the letter reads. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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