Contact: Kristine Mikkelsen

Advocates Demand Budget Justice, Not More Policing at Public Safety Budget Hearing

Today, advocates from across the city delivered testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety urging them prioritize real community safety solutions and demanding a decrease to the NYPD’s over bloated $11.9 billion budget.

“The mayor is proposing a FY25 budget that continues to cut services and jobs that New Yorkers rely on, undermining efforts to produce real public safety in our city. Meanwhile, the mayor continues to give the NYPD preferential treatment in the budget,  leaving their funding virtually untouched. Over the past several weeks, we have seen hundreds of NYPD officers respond in hyper-militarized fashion to peaceful protests on university campuses, we’ve seen the NYPD attack council members and journalists on social media, and we’ve seen alarming footage of Win Rozario being killed by officers in his home.  But the mayor’s executive budget continues to  reward the NYPD in the budget, rather than address these harmful actions. The NYPD Public Relations department has grown from a staff of 36 to a staff of 86, more than doubling in a two year period. The mayor is also proposing an increase to the budget of the NYPD Strategic Response Group by $10 million dollars in FY25, and sustained funding for cops in schools and police response to mental health crises while cutting funding for education and mental health services. We must realign our budget with our values, safe communities require deep investments in city agencies and programs that support New Yorkers and the city should be prioritizing funding for these programs in the FY25 Budget,” said Ileana Mendez-Peñate, Program Director with Communities United for Police Reform. 

"The NYPD’s brutality towards Pro-Palestine protesters has shown that community safety is not a priority. The Strategic Response Group is an accessory of the NYPD used to suppress the Arab and Muslim communities in the name of "counterterrorism", cracking down on Pro-Palestine protesters. We demand that the SRG is disbanded,  and we demand that NYPD's bloated budget is reinvested into community led programs and safety initiatives,” said Maryam Kahldi, Coalition Organizer with Arab American Association of New York

“We had to fight all year against cuts to our education, all while the city continues to spend over $400 million on school police. It does not make sense to me how we can continue to spend all that money for school police and in the same breath say we don’t have enough money for social workers, counselors and restorative justice coordinators. The safest schools have the most resources, not the most school cops,” said Yowris, Youth Leader with Make the Road NY

“Instead of continuing to spend tens of millions of dollars on abusive units like the Strategic Response Group, the Council must heed the calls of New Yorkers impacted by police violence who have demanded meaningful reductions to the NYPD’s budget and investments in their communities,” said Isabelle Leyva, senior organizer at the New York Civil Liberties Union. The New York City Council must provide the leadership our city needs to reduce the size, scope and power of the NYPD. This must include disbanding the outsized and militarized Strategic Response Group,” said Isabelle Leyva, Senior Organizers with NYCLU.

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.

Topics: NYC Budget Justice