New York Daily News

April 24, 2014


Nix new cops, I want raises 

Top cop Bill Bratton shot down the City Council’s proposal Wednesday to hire 1,000 officers, saying any new spending at the NYPD should be used to give cops raises instead.

Mayor de Blasio also rejected the proposed hiring spree — his first major policy disagreement with his hand-picked City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito (D-Manhattan).

“I believe that we can get the job done with the resources and the personnel we have now,” de Blasio said.

The Council’s push to increase the 34,600-member force is at the center of its proposal to add $257 million in spending to the $73 billion city budget de Blasio proposed in February.

In arguing for more cops, Mark-Viverito said the NYPD has been reduced by thousands of officers over the years, and that the mayor’s “Vision Zero” crackdown on dangerous driving will require significant manpower.

“We can’t continue to overstretch our police force,” she said.

Bratton’s rebuttal that raises should be a higher priority put him in a position of standing up for his cops.

“The city’s in a very significant budget situation. To be quite frank with you, the issue of pay raises for my personnel, I’m more supportive of that at the moment than I am additional officers,” Bratton said at a City Hall news conference. “We need a lot of money to address that issue.”

Cops — like all of the city’s nearly 300,000 unionized employees — have been working without a contract for more than four years.

Bratton said the department has been able to successfully use overtime to make up for loss of manpower.

De Blasio argued that theCouncil's proposal — which would cost $94.3 million in the new budget year — would unnecessarily add to the chronic imbalance of the city’s budget.

"With the force we have right now, we're doing a great job," he said, while adding that "We're in a structural deficit."

De Blasio was friendlier toward — but still not fully sold on — the other big ticket item in the Council's proposal: giving free school lunches to all students regardless of family income.