January 17, 2003

Mayor: Cops Cuts May Not Be Necessary

By Graham Rayman Staff Writer

Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested Thursday that the latest 3 percent cut to the Police Department’s budget may not require layoffs.

It was the closest the mayor has come to saying that no police officers will be laid off during this round of cuts. The police, fire, correction and education departments each have been asked to reduce their budgets by3 percent, while all other city agencies are preparing to shrink their budgets by 6 percent.

“We have a severe budget problem as everyone knows and we have to close the budget gap,” Bloomberg said Thursday. “My hope is with the 3 percent that we’ve asked the Police Department to cut, just with attrition and good management we can avoid layoffs coming out of that particular peg.”

Bloomberg said that over the long term, higher pay will be tied to labor concessions. “If we are going to pay municipal work force more, we can only do that out of productivity enhancements,” he said.