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De Blasio Announces Funding Cuts and Reforms to NYPD

_Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability at City Hall on Sunday, June 7, 2020. (Michael Appleton_Mayoral Photography Office)

June 8, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to slash funding to the NYPD and implement a series of reforms within the department.

The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis cop last month coupled with a series of recent NYPD beatings at protests has led to calls to defund the agency and make changes.

The mayor said at a press briefing Sunday that a portion of the NYPD budget would be diverted to youth and social services for communities of color. De Blasio, however, was short on specifics–such as the dollar amount that would be allocated.

“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead, but I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people,” de Blasio said.

Queens council members Jimmy Van Bramer, Danny Dromm and Costa Constantinides are among those members who have called for the city to cut the NYPD’s budget.

Defund the police sign at a rally in Manhattan on Sunday, June 7 (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Last week, Comptroller Scott Stringer penned a letter to de Blasio requesting he cut $1.1 billion from the NYPD budget over the next four years. 

The mayor outlined a number of police reforms Sunday that he said would help create a fairer city.

He said that the NYPD would no longer oversee street vendors and that a civilian agency would instead be in charge of monitoring their licenses. Cops, he said, could then focus on more serious crime instead of administrative infractions.

The NYPD will also be hiring community ambassadors, who will be tasked with keeping residents up to date on disciplinary cases and changes in police tactics. The ambassadors would also work with the highest levels of NYPD in order to voice resident concerns.

The mayor said the ambassadors would help build a deeper relationship between police and the community.

Additionally, de Blasio announced his support for the 50-A reform bill introduced in Albany that would make police officer disciplinary records public.

Critics have argued that the current law lacks transparency by preventing the public from learning about police misconduct and disciplinary actions.

“The current 50-A law is broken and stands in the way of improving trust between police and community,” de Blasio said.

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