Mayor Adams’ first spending proposal for this budget cycle keeps NYPD funding flat — even though the department is one of just two city government agencies that still haven’t met their mandated savings targets, the Daily News has learned.
Under the preliminary fiscal year 2024 budget rolled out by Adams on Thursday, the NYPD is earmarked $5.16 billion. Staffing wise, the department is allotted 35,030 uniformed officers and 14,482 civilian employees under Adams’ preliminary plan.
Nearly to the dollar, that’s the same funding and staffing levels the NYPD has been allocated for this fiscal year — a stark contrast to a variety of other agencies, including the Department of Education and the city library systems, which saw spending reductions in the 2024 plan, budget documents show.
Nonetheless, an Adams administration official said the NYPD had as of this week only achieved 44% of the cost-cutting that the mayor ordered at all municipal agencies last year.
The official noted the NYPD still has until July 1 — the final day of the 2023 fiscal year — to achieve the remainder of its required savings.
“We will continue working with (the NYPD) to achieve their savings targets while continuing to prioritize public safety,” the official said.
The official said all other city agencies have met their savings targets, except for the Department of Sanitation, which has also only secured 44% of its obligation to date.
Unlike the NYPD, though, the Department of Sanitation got a spending shave in Adams’ new plan, seeing its budget drop to $1.5 billion from the $1.9 billion allotted for this fiscal year.
Last year, Adams ordered the government-wide belt tightening — which ranged between 3% to 6% in spending reductions, depending on the agency — with the motivation that the city must stock up on savings in order to hedge against budget deficits that are projected to grow as large as $6.5 billion in coming years. The spending reductions, carried out via a so-called Program to Eliminate the Gap, or PEG, were not allowed to be based on layoffs.
In November, Adams’ office said the PEG had already produced $2.5 billion in savings over the next few years.
When it comes to policing, though, Adams has made clear he views the importance of savings differently.
Asked at a press conference Thursday about his 2024 plan keeping NYPD funding flat while it reduces spending at other agencies, Adams said he cannot “trade off public safety.”
“We’re going to use whatever dollar I need to keep this city safe,” he told reporters, adding that some key crime statistics continue to trend in the right direction under his leadership, including shootings and homicides.
Queens Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán, a progressive Democrat who sits on the body’s Public Safety Committee, said allowing the NYPD to skirt savings targets without budget repercussions sends a bad message.
“It’s unacceptable that the NYPD as an agency continues to be the exception to the rule,” Cabán told The News on Friday. “It undercuts the whole point by allowing this.”
Cabán also noted that the NYPD’s spending each year tends to top what it’s allocated due its massive overtime budget, which is on track to top $800 million this fiscal year, almost double of what it was budgeted.
The release of Adams’ 2024 plan kickstarted a months-long process of negotiations with the Council, and the budget is expected to undergo several revisions before being finalized. The deadline for the Council to adopt the budget is July 1.