OPINION: Budget Cut Or Bad Idea?
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
When times are tough, finances tend to be tough as well. That's true for a family, a single person, a corporation, and even small business. Needless to say, it's something we all go through in one way or another.
That said, the New York Police Department has been rocked with a harsh budget cut that was implemented early July 2020. At the start of the month, NYC mayor, de Blasio, along with his city council cut $1.5 BILLION dollars from the New York Police Department. The financial cut came in response to pressure to "defund the police" in wake of George Floyd's tragic killing in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.
Some of the details of the cut are as follows:
The July Police Academy class was canceled;
Overtime has been reduced by $352 million;
And plans for a new 116th Precinct station house in Queens have been scrapped.
Some of the other impacts of the $1.5 billion dollar cut will include in trimming the size of the police force by 1,163 cops. However, Mayor de Blasio insisted this cut would not decrease public safety despite a recent surge in shootings. And technically, $382 million will be cut from the budget, $354 million worth of costs will be shifted around and the city will be looking at other ways to shave down the department's spending.
On the issue, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea noted the cuts to be concerning and warned they would impact the department's ability to keep New Yorkers safe in some way, shape and form.
So how has this budget cut played out in the grand scheme of things? Well, between Monday, June 29, and Sunday, July 5, the city saw 74 shooting incidents with 101 victims. That’s compared to 26 shootings with 33 victims during that same time in 2019. Additionally, 18 people were murdered in the city during that same time frame as above — six more than during the same period last year.
Although it is easy to tie the two together, I am semi skeptical that the decision to remove $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget had an impact on the shootings in NY recently. To me (and this is only MY opinion) it seems slightly too soon for that dramatic of an impact. But honestly, who really knows if the two are linked AND if the budget cut was a bad idea yet. We probably won't start to see the repercussions from the cut until a little while from now.
Either way, if you are for Police budget cuts or not, it is extremely important to be educated on the issue and know what it truly means to "defund the police" and "cut police department budgets." Let's all hope and pray (to the spiritual power of your liking) that the violence in NYC starts to settle down and life cross-country begins to have some normalcy relatively soon.
Meredith E. Milton is an Opinion Contributor for The National Times.