Mayor de Blasio hinted at how he might approach potential budget cuts to the NYPD on Monday after the city was racked with 28 shootings over three days.
De Blasio said the recent uptick in shootings, including 18 on Saturday, is “particularly troubling.”
As calls to cut the NYPD’s budget by $1 billion intensify, de Blasio said that “Job One” will remain ensuring the safety of New Yorkers.
When asked how an uptick in shootings this year would affect his approach to the NYPD in the city’s spending plan — which is due at the end of the month — de Blasio alluded to two priorities: reforming the department and maintaining public safety.
“Job One is always to keep people safe, and we can do that while creating reform and creating a better NYPD and a fairer NYPD and a different relationship between NYPD and community,” he said.
To stem the tide of gun violence the city is seeing, de Blasio said the NYPD will be directing more officers to the hardest-hit neighborhoods and will be increasing car and foot patrols in those areas.
The city will also deploy community-based Cure Violence groups to mediate between rival gangs to prevent retaliatory shootings.
“We are not going to allow gun violence to continue to grow in this city. We’re not going to go back to the days when there was so much violence pervading our communities,” he said.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson is among those calling for the NYPD budget to be cut significantly. Last week, he warned that the City Council would pass its own budget independent of the mayor’s if de Blasio goes ahead with plans to cut social safety net services.
“We are not putting up with the budget that was given to us by this mayor,” he said during a City Council meeting last Thursday. “We need to cut the NYPD and invest that money back into communities in a meaningful way.”
De Blasio declined Monday to comment on what the possible implications of such a move would be, but said he assumed the administration and Council would find common ground in the days ahead.
“Our budget teams are constantly speaking with each other. I think there’s been real progress, but I think there’s a lot to work through,” he said. “History says that we always managed to find common ground with the City Council. And that’s what I’ll assume here.”
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