60 Grassroots, Advocacy and Legal Organizations Denounce the Mayor’s Bloated Spending on NYPD and Call for Investments in Community Services and Programs in the FY25 Budget

Today, 60 organizations delivered a joint letter to Speaker Adrienne Adams and the City Council urging them to prioritize real health and safety for New Yorkers in the FY25 Adopted budget by investing in community services and programs New Yorkers need and to stop the continued expansion of resources for the NYPD. 

Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed FY25 budget includes prioritizing funding for the NYPD’s 86-person public relations department, 400 additional school cops, NYPD Mental Health Co-response teams and increased funding for notoriously abusive units, like the Strategic Response Group (SRG), and a $225M+ capital project for a mega-training facility in Queens, similar to heavily criticized Cop City projects in other cities. At the same time, the mayor continues to make significant budget cuts to core community programs and critical services for young people, supportive housing, mental health, aging, education, libraries, and more.

The letter, organized by Communities United for Police Reform and members of the NYC Budget Justice Coalition, reads: “We cannot continue to write a blank check to the country’s largest police department that is escalating harm and violence towards New Yorkers and refusing to be held accountable for its actions. A safe NYC requires deep and sustained investments in creating strong, healthy and safe communities, not cutting and stagnating important programs and community infrastructure while letting the NYPD expand its budget year after year….The NYPD needs to be held accountable for their record of violence, misinformation, overspending, and their refusal to fire officers who unjustly kill, brutalize, and violate the rights of New Yorkers.”

 The letter includes the following list of demands:

  • Cut the NYPD’s press/communications budget by at least 50%
  • Remove NYPD from mental health response by cutting NYPD’s Mental Health Co-Response team division and invest in teams comprised of mental health professionals and peers
  • Freeze hiring of school police and cut funding for remaining vacant school positions, including canceling 400 new school cop positions.
  • Disband the NYPD Strategic Response Group (SRG) 
  • Block attempts to add 1,200 additional officers in FY25 
  • Stop the creation of Cop City by rejecting Mayor Adams’ plan to spend $225M+on a mega police training facility in Queens.

Click here to read the full letter. 

Quotes from signees: 

“The mayor’s proposed $11B+ budget for the NYPD and $225M+ plan for a Cop City project in Queens is dangerous for all New Yorkers,” stated CPR Spokesperson Donavon Taveras, Community Safety Coordinator with Justice Committee. “Our communities, which remain devastatingly underfunded, are outraged that Mayor Adams continues to stuff taxpayer dollars into the pockets of the same hyper-militarized NYPD that criminalizes us, brutally attacks pro-Palestine and racial justice protestors and street vendors, uses its PR machine to spread misinformation and attack community-led demands for police transparency, progressive elected officials, and journalists, and repeatedly fails to hold officers accountable for killing New Yorkers like Kawaski Trawick, Allan Feliz, Delrawn Small, Antonio Williams and Win Rozario. The City Council must take action in this FY25 budget process to put an end to NYPD budget impunity, stop rewarding NYPD violence and abuse with more funding, and instead invest resources to critical services and non-police safety solutions that New Yorkers are demanding and that actually make our city safer.”

​​"As queer and trans people of color, we know too well the violence that comes at the hands of the NYPD and all of its arms, compounded with the disinvestment of our communities and services. It is this lived experience that pushes us to fight for a budget that puts money in the services we know bring more safety to our communities and fight back against the police state Major Adams is trying to build." – Xelba Gutiérrez, Campaign Manager at the Audre Lorde Project

 “In order to fund an already inflated police department, Adams is keen on depriving New Yorkers of our public services, our libraries, our mental health professionals, and even access to affordable housing. After a year of increased police misconduct and police killings, we believe that we must divest in spending on policing and invest in our community resources to ensure a safer, more equitable New York.”--  Ixele Akinmowo-Simon, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement 

“Investing billions of dollars into the NYPD will not keep our communities safe,” said Susan Hadley, VOCAL-NY Civil Rights Union leader. “If our communities are going to thrive we need money for low income housing, we need to fund schools, we need access to after school programs, we need mental health services now more than ever. I’ve had a personal experience with the NYPD where I had to call for a family member who was having a mental health crisis. My daughter jumped in front of the officers so they wouldn’t shoot. People are losing their sanity on a daily basis. We need to invest in what communities need, not the police.” 

"Mayor Adams loves to say his priority is keeping the city safe, but then he is happy to cut funding to the very social supports and programs, including our public schools, that our communities depend on. We need leaders who are willing to prioritize the urgent needs of New York’s families and children, not the NYPD. Many essential public education programs, including 3-k, mental health services and restorative justice programs, are still threatened by budget cuts. Students need school counselors, not police officers, to support their emotional and mental well-being. The NYC Council must pass a budget that invests in programs that support students and communities, not one that continues to criminalize them." – Zakiyah Shaakir-Ansari, Co-Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.

“We know that real public safety comes from real investments in our communities – not from criminalizing mental health and homelessness," said Community Voices Heard Executive Director Juanita O. Lewis. The City budget is a moral document. We call on the Mayor and City Council Speaker to stop overfunding the police, and instead expand programs and services that ensure New Yorkers thrive.” 

“Public schools should support all youth to not only achieve academically but also to learn to be leaders and to take care of themselves and each other. Unfortunately, Mayor Adams’ austere vision for public schools invests in militarized police while divesting from students’ future and healing, at a time when youth desperately need holistic support and positive outlets to stay engaged in school,” said Andrea Ortiz, Membership and Campaign Director of Dignity in Schools Campaign - NY.  “We call on the New York City Council to fight for a full restoration of restorative justice and the Mental Health Continuum and to move money away from policing to ensure all public school youth can thrive.” 

"As executive director of Families for Freedom, I am deeply concerned about the allocation of funds within the NYPD's budget. We urge for a transparent and equitable distribution of resources to ensure the safety and well-being of all communities," stated Janay Cauthen, Executive Director of Families for Freedom

We are still facing an HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the mayor's cuts to essential HIV programs put lives at risk and undermine our decades of progress. Instead, Mayor Adams prioritizes increasing funding for the police despite their history of victimizing communities of color. This decision not only jeopardizes public health but also exacerbates existing inequalities, making it clear where the mayor's priorities lie,” stated Anthony Feliciano, VP for Community Mobilization at Housing Works.  

"The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club is proud to stand with Communities United for Police Reform in calling for major revisions to the proposed budget. We cannot continue to spend recklessly on over-policing that targets Black, Brown and other marginalized people while ignoring the deep needs of our city in areas like public education, health care, housing and library services. The proposed budget represents Republican values, not the values of the Democratic Party.” – Allen Roskoff, President, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club

"Budgets are moral documents, reflecting the values of a society. In New York, the latest numbers show that more than 1.5 million New Yorkers - including nearly 420,000 children - in the city are poor, while more than 3 million more are living just above the poverty line. For these 4.6 million people, ensuring adequate public resources for housing and food are more important than allocating hundreds of millions of dollars for policing." - Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Director, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice

“Immigrant and low-income New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet as Mayor Adams continues to advance austerity budgeting for critical social services, while at the same time aggressively expanding the already-bloated NYPD budget. It is long past time to invest in programs that truly protect and serve our communities. We are calling for budget justice in the upcoming City budget through investments in legal services, childcare, language access and education to ensure that everyone who calls New York home can thrive here,” said Murad Awawdeh, President & CEO, New York Immigration Coalition.

Professor Alex Vitale of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College points out that “the mayor is pursuing misguided priorities when he puts capital dollars into a police training facility when CUNY community colleges are crumbling. There is a growing body of evidence that police training does nothing to reduce abusive policing and may make it work, while CUNY consistently succeeds in bringing poor and working-class New Yorkers into the middle class; something that creates real community safety and well-being.”

About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.