Contact: Hilary Lyons 646-653-2871

New Policy Report, “Path To A Safe, Healthy And Just Recovery: Cut NYPD’s Budget & Invest In Communities” Provides Budget Demands To Create A Thriving NYC

Budget NYPD Report Cover

New York, NY – Today, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), the lead organization of the historic #NYCBudgetJustice campaign, released a policy report, Path to a Safe, Healthy, and Just Recovery: Cut NYPD’s Budget & Invest in Communities, calling for a reduction in the NYPD’s budget, scope, and size, and reallocation of funds to non-police health and safety strategies in New York City’s FY22 budget. Last year, Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson pedaled a $1 billion lie—that the NYPD’s budget would be cut by $1 billion in FY21—but that never happened, and CPR’s report details the extent of these fake cuts, as well as communities’ demands for the FY22 budget. You can read the report, released ahead of the June 30th budget deadline, here.

New Yorkers, like millions across the country, took to the streets in the spring and summer of 2020 in defense of Black lives and against police violence. As made evident by last year’s mass protests and reinforced in a recent poll of Democratic voters, New Yorkers do not want more failed policing and voters “do not believe that putting more armed NYPD officers on the street would be as effective as other public safety strategies for reducing crime.” CPR’s report details community demands for the FY22 budget that will ensure a just transition out of the pandemic by cutting the NYPD’s budget and making critical investments that can immediately improve the health and safety of New Yorkers, with non-police strategies.

Last year, Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson lied to New Yorkers, saying they would cut at least $1 billion from the NYPD’s expense budget so that close to $2B could be redirected to critical community needs, but they never did and as a result our communities still lack the resources and investments necessary to prevent violence and thrive,” said Kesi Foster (he/him), spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform. “New Yorkers didn’t take to the streets in historic numbers for a few fake reforms and increases to the NYPD budget, which is what the proposed FY22 budget includes right now. With the influx of federal funding, we have an opportunity to divest from failed policing strategies and invest in community driven health & safety strategies, to make sure all New Yorkers are able to transition out of this pandemic. If the City Council squanders this, they will be failing New Yorkers for years to come. If we want a safe, healthy, and just recovery for all, the City Council needs to cut the NYPD’s budget, reject the 200 new NYPD positions and fake reform initiatives being proposed, and redirect monies to non-police safety solutions, like community-based anti-violence efforts.”

Report findings include:

  •  NYPD annual expense budget has grown by $1.2 billion (with total direct NYPD spending close to $40 billion) since Mayor de Blasio took office.
    • This does not include spending on NYPD-related settlements and litigation, NYPD expenses in other agency budgets, Councilmember discretionary appropriations to the NYPD and related programs, capital costs, or expenses paid directly by the NYC Police Foundation. “Sometimes referred to as the NYPD’s slush fund, the Police Foundation spent almost $12 million on NYPD projects in 2019”. (p. 3)
  • From 2014 -2020, NYC spent more on the NYPD than the combined budgets of the Departments of health and mental health, youth & community development, housing preservation & development, transportation, parks & recreation, libraries and aging. (p. 7)
  • NYPD has overspent the adopted budget every year during Mayor de Blasio’s tenure, without consequence. “During de Blasio’s tenure, the NYPD has exceeded its adopted budget by an average of $324 million per year. In FY20 alone, NYPD spending exceeded its adopted agency budget by close to half a billion dollars.” (p.8)
  • NYPD regularly hires and maintains more officers than projected and budgeted. “Between FY15 and FY19 the NYPD actual annual headcount for uniformed officers was on average 338 more than the budgeted headcount, peaking in FY 2018 when the NYPD actual uniformed headcount was 565 larger than what was budgeted.” (p.9)
  • NYPD bloated budget and role expansion “which increases their budget, size and scope – is unnecessary and undermines building strong community-based infrastructure and programs”(p. 11) and diverts budget dollars that could go towards non-police, core safety infrastructure necessary for communities to be healthy and safe.
  • After lying about a $1 billion cut to the NYPD in FY21, the proposed FY22 executive budget reveals a plan to continue to prioritize policing and criminalization, and proposes to increase the NYPD budget by hundreds of millions of dollars. “The cost of that $1B lie is that New Yorkers are less safe than we could beInstead of major investments in community-based safety solutions, the Mayor and City Council chose to protect the NYPD and invest in the same abusive policing tactics that have historically failed to end or address violence. As a result, like the rest of the country that has faced economic and social devastation, New York City has seen continued violence that police are unable to prevent or address.” (p.12) 
  • The NYPD has spent over $39 million to keep officers who have killed a dozen New Yorkers on payroll under de Blasio. This includes officers who killed and/or helped cover-up killings of Delrawn Small, Ramarley Graham, Kawaski Trawick, Antonio Williams, Eric Garner, and more. (p.25)  

Read Path to a Safe, Healthy, and Just Recovery: Cut NYPD’s Budget & Invest in Communities for more analysis of:   

  • NYPD expansion under de Blasio
  • The $1 billion lie—fake cuts and budget tricks that Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD and the City Council used to mislead New Yorkers into thinking the NYPD’s FY21 budget was cut by $1 billion.
  • The proposed FY22 executive budget’s expansion of the NYPD budget, and major budget gaps related to the health and safety of New Yorkers.
  • A path to cutting the NYPD and demands of the #NYCBudgetJustice campaign.

The FY22 demands of the #NYCBudgetJustice campaign are for Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson and the New York City Council to ensure a safe and just transition from the pandemic:

1.     Follow through on last year’s promise to:

a.     Cut at least $1 billion from the NYPD FY22 expense budget. This includes removing NYPD from all social service-related roles; eliminating the Strategic Response Group, VICE and other abusive units; and canceling plans for 200 new NYPD positions.

b.     Redirect all savings to non-police health and safety solutions.

2.     Deny and cancel all new policing-related initiatives and staffing (incl new positions and consulting contracts for fake “police reform”, that do nothing to reduce police violence or increase safety) – and block increases in the NYPD FY22 expense budget.

3.     Require NYPD transparency in the budget by including updating transparency-related terms and conditions in the adopted FY22 budget to require the NYPD to report on NYC Police Foundation monies used for NYPD programs.

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