As calls to “defund the police” continue to rise across his city and the nation, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signaled this week that he is receptive to the idea of significantly cutting the budget for law enforcement.
Despite protests that have turned violent and destructive in recent weeks, de Blasio confirmed on Monday that he is prepared to cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department’s annual budget, as reported by Breitbart.
The city council, which also favors slashing NYPD budgets, was preparing to vote on the city’s overall annual budget when the mayor made his announcement.
“A plan that can achieve real reform”
According to Politico, he had initially been resistant to the demands of activists who want to defund or disband police agencies. Reports began to leak out of his office early this week, however, indicating that his opinion had shifted.
“I am excited to say that we have a plan that can achieve real reform, that can achieve real redistribution, and at the same time ensure that we keep our city safe,” de Blasio told reporters, according to Breitbart.
The cuts reportedly involve transferring school safety agents, canceling classes for new recruits, and ending a variety of NYPD-related programs. Full details of the proposed cuts were not immediately available.
“Everything was with an eye to safety, so we will be able to ensure the patrol strength we need,” de Blasio said, as Breitbart reported. “We will be able to ensure that school safety can do its job. The school safety issue would be addressed over several years.”
Alluding to his initial skepticism of the position, he concluded that a “lot of painstaking work occurred to figure out the right way to do things.”
“A lot of painstaking work occurred”
While his current stance is seen by many on the right as too extreme, some demanding the NYPD be defunded believe it does not go far enough.
Anthonine Pierre of the activist group Communities United for Police Reform decried the mayor’s proposal as little more than “funny math and budget tricks” that would have no real impact on policing in New York City.
Meanwhile, local news outlets report that the city has seen a notable surge in gun violence and other violent crimes over the past few weeks, which have left a total of dozens injured or killed.
All things considered, it might not seem to be the best time to cut $1 billion out of the city’s law enforcement budget. That is apparently not stopping its mayor from trying, though.