New York 1 News

January 13, 2003

Pared NYPD Budget, With Possible Layoffs, Delivered To City Hall

   

The NYPD’s revised budget was delivered to Mayor Michael Bloomberg Monday, and it could contain as many as 1,500 layoffs.

The plans were handed over to City Hall today, although details are not yet available.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said cutting the department’s budget by 3 percent, or $94 million, as demanded by the mayor, would be “very difficult” without making the first layoffs at the NYPD since the 1970s fiscal crisis.

At a City Hall news conference Sunday, City Councilmen Hiram Monserrate and James Davis, both of whom used to be police officers, said the city must find ways to save money without sacrificing safety.

"It is our belief that the talk of layoffs is scary and irresponsible,” said Monserrate, a Democrat from Queens. “At a time in our city of economic downturn, we cannot lose out guard and allow our city to be less safe."

The Police Department’s budget has already shrunk by $2.5 billion in several rouds of citywide cuts since January. Still facing a steep deficit, the mayor has asked all city agencies, by Monday, to find another 6 percent in cuts to their budgets for the next fiscal year, which begins in July. The Police, Fire and Education departments only have to slash 3 percent.

"Here in the City of New York, we are already having a problem with recruitment in the Police Department,” said Councilman Davis, a Brooklyn Democrat. “So already you are spending millions of dollars as far as recruitment is concerned, and now you are going to lay individuals off. It's not common sense."

Any job cuts in Commissioner Kelly’s report are only recommendations that will not necessarily become part of the final budget. The mayor has said layoffs could be avoided with productivity gains or with more federal funding under the Homeland Security Act.

Bloomberg will submit his preliminary budget for the 2004 fiscal year to the City Council in early February.