Council to push mayor to fund 1,000 more cops in budget

Mayor Bill de Blasio commended the 884 graduates of 2014's NYPD class for answering a
Mayor Bill de Blasio commended the 884 graduates of 2014’s NYPD class for answering a “noble calling” and making a “heroic choice.” Photo Credit: AP / Evan Vucci

The City Council will push Mayor de Blasio to add 1,000 more cops on the streets in its budget response this week.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the NYPD’s head count has been steadily declining for the last 14 years and the high cost of overtime is also hurting the force. As a result, the Council will call for the 1,000 more officers and reduce overtime budget by $50 million Tuesday.

“The Council’s plan to increase head count while also including cost control measures is fiscally responsible and will go a long way toward ensuring public safety and better community relations,” she said in a statement released Sunday.

The mayor’s office didn’t return messages for comment, however he said he has been listening to contentions made by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton for an increase in numbers.

The head count that the police is allow to reach with its two annual academy classes went from 40,710 in 2001 to 35,437 in 2014, according to the Council. As a result, the NYPD had to rely on precinct staff for unplanned events and pay more in overtime.

Commissioner Bill Brattontold the City Council that overtime costs could reach $672 million in the 2015 fiscal year. The total cost to hire 1,000 officers in two classes combined in fiscal year 2016 would be $68.7 million growing to $95.1 million in Fiscal 2017, according to the proposal.

“These two priorities are important to the overall operations, budget efficiency, new initiatives, community policing and many of the programs currently in progress to keep crime low in our City and focus on building partnerships in our communities,” Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, who chairs the Council’s public safety committee, said in a statement.