New York City will get 1,297 new police officers to help the city combat terrorism and expand its neighborhood policing program, mayor Bill deBlasio announced on Monday.
The number, agreed to by De Blasio and the members of the New York City council, exceeds the 1,000 new officers that the council and police commissioner Bill Bratton previously requested. The additions to the city’s police force were negotiated as part the 2016 budget. The budget will go into effect after the city council approves it on 1 July.
“We’re strengthening the NYPD’s ranks, devoting new officers to counter-terror work and neighborhood policing, while securing vital fiscal reforms in overtime and civilianization,” De said in a statement.
According to the mayor’s office, reducing the overtime costs of New York City’s police force will generate $70m after all the new hires begin. The savings will help the city offset the cost of the new hires, which has been estimated at $170m.
The 1,297 new hires will bring the size of the department to almost 35,800 by July of next year. Roughly 300 of these will be in the counter-terrorism unit. Another 400 jobs will be dedicated to administrative positions currently being filled by uniformed officers, who will now return to street patrol.
“Hiring 1,000 new police officers is a drop in the bucket since we have lost nearly 7,000 since since 2001,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Associationpresident Pat Lynch. “Understaffing not only empowers criminals, but it leads management to make bad policy decisions like quotas for police activities in an effort to compensate for the shortage.”
Both De Blasio and Melissa Mark-Viverito, the speaker of the New York City council, emphasized the city’s focus on neighborhood policing.
“By expanding community policing and bringing the police and communities they serve closer together, we can continue to bridge the divide while also making the city safer,” said Mark-Viverito.