Mayor Eric Adams is freezing NYPD police officer hiring for the foreseeable future — including canceling several forthcoming academy classes — as part of budget cuts he blames on billions of dollars being spent to house, feed and care for foreign migrants.
The NYPD’s headcount, currently about 33,000, would decline to about 29,000, by 2025 the lowest it’s been since the 1990s, an administration official said Thursday in a briefing about cuts to the city budget, which is about $110.5 billion.
The headcount has steadily declined. Several years ago, there were 36,000 cops on the force. About a third of the city’s cops live on Long Island, the NYPD has said.
The 5% cuts are just the beginning, Adams has said, and warned that there could be a total of 15% in cuts overall. In a statement, Adams again pleaded for more state and federal money to pay “skyrocketing costs associated with care” for the migrants.
“These tough but necessary decisions were made to protect the city’s fiscal future while continuing to deliver vital government services,” the statement said. “However, New York City should not carry this burden on its own. The federal and state government must play their part in delivering long-overdue support, funding, and resources.”
The head of the rank-and-file police officer labor union, Patrick Hendry, criticized the cuts: “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.”
In a statement, City Council speaker Adrienne Adams and finance chairman Justin Brannan said the cuts were the wrong way to go. “The Administration’s approach of reducing budgets of all agencies broadly through additional cuts and a hiring freeze, along with inflicting cuts on our libraries, CUNY, and cultural institutions, is too blunt and not the prudent or sole choice,” the statement said.