New York Daily News

January 13, 2003

Police aren't on firing line yet

By MICHELE McPHEE and LISA L. COLANGELO
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Even if the budget Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly presents to City Hall today calls for the first NYPD layoffs in three decades, that doesn't mean cop firings are a done deal, sources said yesterday.

"Nothing is written in stone yet," a high-ranking police official told the Daily News.

Kelly, who has to trim an additional $94 million from next year's NYPD budget, has refused to rule out layoffs. Mayor Bloomberg said Friday that layoffs could be avoided if the Police Department could do "more with less."

Budget-cutting plans from all city departments are due at City Hall today. The city needs to close a $3 billion gap in the budget that starts July 1.

Fighting for their jobs

Police union officials and some lawmakers said yesterday the city will be less safe if Kelly hands pink slips to 1,000 cops and scraps plans to hire 500 others.

"We are not going to be able to continue to drive down crime and defend our city against terrorism when there are so few police officers," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said.

"Talk of layoffs is scary and irresponsible at a time in our city of economic downturn," said City Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens), a former police officer, as he stood at City Hall yesterday with Councilman James Davis (D-Brooklyn), another ex-cop.