Funding will be restored for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to add another police academy class of 600 new recruits set to join the ranks in April. This class of recruits will graduate in October and will join the three additional police classes scheduled to graduate this year. Additionally, Mayor Adams announced that funding will be restored to return a fifth firefighter at 20 Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) engine companies and maintain 190 firefighters on payroll who are not expected to be able to return to full-duty status.
The funding restorations build on successful efforts by the Adams administration to drive down overall crime, with murders down 12 percent and shootings down 25 percent in 2023. They also follow targeted and effective steps taken by the Adams administration in the face of a $7 billion budget gap in Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 due to federal COVID-19 stimulus funding drying up, expenses from labor contracts this administration inherited after being unresolved for years, , and the growing costs of the asylum seeker crisis — steps that have included helping put migrants on the path to self-sufficiency and reducing per-diem costs for migrants. The restorations will be reflected in the FY25 Preliminary Budget, which will be presented next Tuesday, at the City Charter deadline.
“Public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity, and so everything we do is to ensure New York City remains the safest big city in America,” said Mayor Adams. “I am proud to announce that we are not only adding hundreds of additional NYPD officers to our police force this year but also bolstering the Fire Department’s ranks. Today’s measured and reasonable restorations to the NYPD and FDNY are due, in large part, to this administration’s ability to make the right financial decisions for our city and implement creative policies as we continue to see an influx of asylum seekers. But we are not out of the woods and have fiscal challenges in the year ahead, and that’s why we still need help from our federal and state partners to offset the costs of COVID-19 funding sunsetting and the continuous influx of asylum seekers. Our administration will continue to make the right fiscal decisions for our city, while keeping New Yorkers safe.”
“Mayor Adams has made public safety this administration’s top priority, and I am proud that, through the use of sound fiscal management and innovative ideas, we have identified solutions to sure up our ranks at both the NYPD and the FDNY,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. “While our commitment to keeping New Yorkers safe is unwavering, New York City cannot continue to shoulder the burden of this massive humanitarian crisis on its own without significant financial aid from our state and federal partners.”
“The restoration of the April police academy recruit class is great news for the NYPD and all New Yorkers,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “There is no better investment in public safety than that of an NYPD officer — and these 600 additional recruits will help bolster our efforts to drive down crime even further in 2024.”
“We are grateful to the mayor for reinstating the fifth firefighter, providing us additional resources as we tackle emerging challenges like lithium-ion batteries,” said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “We know controlling costs is crucial during these tough fiscal times. The department will continue to take every measure necessary to ensure we are spending taxpayer dollars wisely while fulfilling our mission of protecting life and property.”
In August 2023, Mayor Adams laid out projections estimating the cost of the asylum seeker crisis to grow to more than $12 billion over three fiscal years — between FY23 and FY25 — if circumstances did not change. From April 2022 through December 2023, the city has already spent an estimated $3.5 billion on shelter and services for over 168,500 individuals who came through the city’s intake center during that timeframe. With sunsetting COVID-19 stimulus funding, slowing tax revenue growth, expenses from labor contracts this administration inherited after being unresolved for years, and a lack of significant state or federal government action on the asylum seeker crisis, Mayor Adams took action — announcing a 5 percent Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) on city-funded spending for all city agencies with plans for additional rounds of PEGs in the Preliminary and Executive Budgets. And, through strong fiscal management that included implementing measures to reduce household per-diem costs and helping put migrants on the path to self-sufficiency, the city is projected to achieve a 20 percent reduction in city-funded spending on the migrant crisis by the end of FY24, which will be detailed in the FY25 Preliminary Budget.
As a result of the administration’s policies, nearly 60 percent of the asylum seekers who came through the city’s intake center have left the city’s care and taken the next steps in their journeys. Through the Asylum Application Help Center and the city’s satellite sites, the city has helped submit more than 25,000 work authorizations, temporary protected status, and asylum applications, moving asylum seekers that much closer to being able to legally work and be self-sufficient.
Photo credit: Eric Adams.
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