New York City leadership released its first tangible budget cut proposal for the NYPD late Friday, announcing their intention to reduce the budget by $1 billion.
Demonstrators have been calling for community leaders and politicians to defund and reallocate funding from police departments following the death of George Floyd. Many New York City leaders, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, have already vocalized support of reducing the city's already stressed budget due to the coronavirus pandemic.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo and other committee chairs released a joint statement in favor of cuts to the police budget.
"We have identified savings that would cut over $1 billion dollars, including reducing uniform headcount through attrition, cutting overtime, shift responsibilities away from the NYPD, finding efficiencies and savings in OTPS spending, and lowering associated fringe expenses," they said.
The group said the $1 billion reduction is an ambitious goal but believes it is the right move to remedy failed policing policies of the past.
"As we do this, we must prioritize the most impacted communities and hear their demands and needs across al areas during this budget process. This should be a deliberative and good faith decision of the best path forward for New York City," the statement continued.
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch shared disappointment in the council's intention, declaring every new victim would be the council's responsibility.
"For decades, every time a city agency failed at its task, the city's answer was to take the job away and give it to the NYPD. If the City Council wants to give responsibilities back to those failing agencies, that's their choice," Lynch said. "They won't be able to throw cops under the bus anymore."
Mayor Bill de Blasio previously announced his support of cutting part of the department's budget and reallocate the funding to youth and social health services. He did not, however, support idea of cutting $1 billion from the budget.
The council's joint statement included support from members Robert Cornegy, Daneek Miller, Adrienne Adams, Daniel Dromm, Vanessa Gibson and Donovan Richards.