The NYPD’s force will be reduced to just 29,000 cops by the end of fiscal year 2025 — the lowest level since the mid-90s — amid a slew of city-wide budget cuts revealed by Mayor Eric Adams Thursday as the Big Apple grapples with its multi-billion-dollar migrant crisis.
Under City Hall’s newly unveiled updated 2024 financial plan, the next five police academy classes will be axed — essentially decimating an already strained department as roughly 4,500 officers are expected to leave their ranks within the next 18 months.
Firefighters are also in the firing line with FDNY members who are on “long-term light duties” — meaning they’ve been injured on the job or are out sick — being forced into early retirement or fired under the plan.
“The defund the police crowd’s woke dream has come true. We were fed a line of BS that the wave of migrants would be a benefit to the city. Now we are defunding the police to pay for their beds,” Council Republican Minority Leader, Joe Borelli, raged.
President of the FDNY’s union Andrew Ansbro, too, slammed the sweeping budget reductions, arguing the Adams administration “should have taken a different approach with the life-saving agencies like the FDNY and NYPD, which could really affect safety in New York City.”
“Our job being dangerous, we have lot of members who getting physical injured … now they are being pushed out the door to early retirement when they have a lot to offer. They are cutting back on people who really help the safety of FDNY and residents of New York City,” he added.
In total, the NYPD’s budget of $5.6 billion will cut by $132 million next fiscal year with the axing of new academy classes over the next year and a half clawing back roughly $42 million.
Hizzoner’s push to shrink the department comes despite the centerpiece of his 2021 mayoral campaign being the need to bolster public safety. The NYPD’s staffing levels last fell below 29,000 back in 1993, according to city records.
“This is truly a disaster for every New Yorker who cares about safe streets. Cops are already stretched to our breaking point, and these cuts will return us to staffing levels we haven’t seen since the crime epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s. We cannot go back there,” Police Benevolent Association president, Patrick Hendry, told The Post.
The FDNY’s budget, meanwhile, will be slashed by $74 million, City Hall’s plan shows. It not clear exactly how many on light duty will be let go, but there are normally between 800 and 1,000 on such duty at a time.
In addition to the NYPD and FDNY’s staffing cuts, the Department of Education will eliminate $547 million from its 2024 fiscal budget — with most savings coming from getting rid of jobs that have yet to be filled, as well as reducing after school program seats by just over 3,500.
The Sanitation Department, whose budget cuts will total $32 million next fiscal year, will see its lot cleaning unit completely disbanded and a reduction in litter basket services near parks, greenways and bridges.
Adams is also reducing the number of street garbage cans in the outer boroughs so high-traffic areas in Manhattan don’t suffer a reduction in pick ups.
Meanwhile, a total of 34 popular cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History, will have reduced funding with the city’s Cultural Institutions Group having its budget axed by $5.83 million.
And migrant costs are set to be slashed by 20%, in part, by reducing staffing and services, though the exact details weren’t immediately clear.
Under the budget plan, savings will also come from hiring freezes being implemented at the Law Department, DOE, FDNY and Sanitation civilian employees, the Department of Aging, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, and the Parks Department.
Despite the glaring cuts, Hizzoner — whose office only took a $8,000 hit for travel allowance this year — still hailed his plan and claimed it would have “minimal disruption” to city-wide services.
“To balance the budget as the law requires, every city agency dug into their own budget to find savings, with minimal disruption to services,” Adams said in a statement.
“And while we pulled it off this time, make no mistake: Migrant costs are going up, tax revenue growth is slowing, and COVID stimulus funding is drying up.”
The City Council approved the 2024 budget back in June but it failed to account for the rising costs of the migrant crisis. The changes to this fiscal year’s budget, which ends June 30, 2024, will go to the council next week for approval.
The 2024 fiscal year budget will total $110.5 billion, Adams said — $3.4 billion more than the current budget.
Still, the Citizens Budget Commission watchdog group warned the Big Apple still faces billions of dollars in gaps in subsequent years — despite the spending reductions to balance this year’s budget. The group estimates the fiscal year 2025 gap will widen to $7.1 billion, up from the previously estimated $5.1 billion.
The fresh cuts are in response to Adams forcing all city departments to find an initial 5% to slash from their budgets in a bid to combat the ever-growing costs of the migrant crisis, which he has estimated to set the city back $12 billion over the next three fiscal years.
Hizzoner has already warned an additional two cuts, totaling 10%, might be on the cards too as the crisis escalates.
But the city’s Public Advocate, Jumanne Williams, was among those to rail against the Adams administration’s plan on Thursday, arguing the crisis isn’t solely to blame and that revenue raising options should be considered before widespread cuts to services.
“These cuts aren’t abstract, and do real harm to our systems of government and New Yorkers relying on those services. While there is a clear and urgent need for additional funding and resources from the state and federal government, the mayor should come to the table with a scalpel instead of cuts across the board,” he said.
“He should also reconsider the administration’s annual opposition to supporting common sense revenue raising options that ensure the city can continue to uphold its fiscal responsibility and moral responsibility at the same time.”
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, too, ripped the administration for suggesting the migrant crisis was to blame for budget shortfalls.
“City Hall should stop suggesting that asylum seekers are the reason for imposing severe cuts when they are only contributing to a portion of these budget gaps, much of which already existed,” Lander said.