Overtime for NYPD cops will be cut to help pay for the city’s migrant crisis — even as police battle to rein in crime that is still higher than before the pandemic.
Mayor Eric Adams’ budget director, Jacques Jiha, has told the city’s four uniformed agencies — police, fire, sanitation and corrections — to come up with plans to slash their OT costs.
“The mayor will … issue a directive to implement an overtime reduction initiative for our city’s four uniformed agencies (NYPD, FDNY, DOC/DSNY),” Jiha said in a memo sent to city agencies Saturday “These agencies must submit a plan to reduce year-to-year OT spending.”
The uniformed agencies must submit issue monthly reports to City Hall “to track overtime spending and their progress in meeting the reduction target,” the memo said.
The order comes as Adams has warned that the recent flood of tens of thousands of asylum seekers into the Big Apple will “destroy” it, including by crippling it financially.
He has said the migrant influx could cost the city $12 billion in the next three years and that Big Apple agencies will have to immediately come up with cuts of 5% — and possibly a total of 15% by spring — although Jia said the more draconian figure would still “only cover two-thirds of our projected asylum costs.”
Patrick Hendry, head of the city’s largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association, on Sunday blasted the notion of cutting even overtime costs for his members.
“It is going to be impossible for the NYPD to significantly reduce overtime unless it fixes its staffing crisis,” Hendry said. “We are still thousands of cops short, and we’re struggling to drive crime back to pre-2020 levels without adequate personnel.
“If City Hall wants to save money without jeopardizing public safety, it needs to invest in keeping experienced cops on the job.”
A political strategist added that Adams, who will seek re-election in 2025, is “taking a big gamble” by messing with the manpower of the NYPD.
“If you cut overtime, you have fewer cops on the street. That equal less police protection,” said consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who has worked with police unions.
But Adams, a retired transit cop, also won election to City Hall on a pledge of restoring public safety.
The war on overtime is just one piece of an extensive plan Adams and his budget director laid out to trim spending in response to the skyrocketing costs the city has shelled out to care for the unrelenting influx of asylum seekers.
The scalpel includes a hiring freeze — except for public health and safety and “revenue producers” — but even critical positions can only be filled to replace a vacancy, not add jobs.
The departments have been told they are not to include layoffs in their proposed cuts — at least for now — but even a City Hall insider told the Post that pink slips are inevitable, given the deep cuts contemplated.
The plan also calls for a freeze on out-of-town travel except to Albany and Washington, DC, and a ban on purchasing new equipment and future and new consulting contracts.
Services for migrants will not be spared, either, the memo said, without providing specifics.
“We are also reducing services being provided to asylum seekers and closely monitoring these services to ensure they are being delivered in the cost efficient and cost effective manner possible,” Jia wrote.
The budget director said the reductions are necessary if President Biden and Congress and Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature fail to step up with financial assistance. He said Albany’s assistance thus far covers only one-sixth of the city’s costs to care for migrants.
He called the current assistance provided by Washington and Albany “grossly inadequate.
“The city is experiencing a humanitarian crisis we did not cause,” Jiha said.