by Emma Colton
| June 07, 2020
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will shift funding from the police department to youth services.
De Blasio unveiled a few reforms to the New York Police Department on Sunday at the urging of a task force on racial inclusion, of which his wife is co-chairwoman.
“We will be moving funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services,” the mayor said at a press conference.
“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead. But I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people,” he added. “I also will affirm we will only do it in a way that is certain to continue the city will be safe.”
Other reforms include changing a law on disciplinary records for police officers, hiring “community ambassadors” who will act as liaisons between the police force and civilians, and having a civilian agency deal with street vendor enforcement.
The NYPD’s budget was nearly $6 billion in 2019. It is unclear how much money will be redirected, but Comptroller Scott Stringer has called for $1.1 billion to be cut from the NYPD budget over four years.
“Breaking down structural racism in New York City will require long-term, lasting change — and that must include reducing the NYPD’s budget. If our budget is a reflection of our values, it is unconscionable that services for Black and Brown New Yorkers are on the chopping block while the NYPD’s budget remains almost entirely untouched,” Stringer said in a letter to de Blasio last week.
“This is a bold and achievable roadmap to immediately cut millions and instead invest those critical dollars in underserved communities and the programs that will uplift those New Yorkers who need it most,” he added.
De Blasio has faced backlash for his handling of protests that have turned violent and plagued the city following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd, while he was in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day. Officers have been repeatedly attacked during the riots, including one who was struck by a hit-and-run driver, one who was beaten in the Bronx, and one who was “nearly killed” when a brick was thrown at him.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has called for de Blasio to resign for his handling of the demonstrations.
“This action did not have to happen if we had a vaguely competent mayor. This should have been stopped five days ago. I mean, couldn’t they have stopped some of that? We have watched now over and over again people looting, throwing Molotov cocktails, burning cars, and now putting our police in prison, in hospitals, and virtually no major arrests are made,” the former mayor of New York City said.
“The mayor should step down. He’s incompetent,” he added.