Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council agreed on a budget for the new fiscal year yesterday. with one major inclusion to hire 1,300 new police officers.
“The 1,300 additional NYPD officers that will be hired next year will ensure there are more police officers on the street, especially in parts of our city struggling with violent crime.” said Public Advocate Letitia James.
The hiring of additional police officers was a priority set by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Bronx members of the NYC Council, and by Commissioner Bill Bratton. It is hoped that these additional police officers will assume a role that the beat police officer had provided in the past. Beat officers were physically out in the communities that they were assigned which allowed both the officer and community members the ability to recognize a familiar face while even being able to engage with each other on a more social level.
The NYPD and our communities need to trust each other, however, that mutual trust has been lacking. The priority should be having police officers assigned to the community in which they live.
Early in budget negotiations Speaker Mark-Viverito said, “Effective community policing needs more resources, not less, and so we need to make sure that we are doing that. We want to continue to maintain our streets safe and our communities also request that. It is a priority for us that we provide more officers on the ground to do effective community policing [and] at the same time we continue to demand reforms”
In an exclusive statement to The Bronx Chronicle, Councilman Jimmy Vacca stated, “It was over a year ago that I became the first Council Member to propose that we beef up our police force. We are down over 6,000 cops from where we were in 2001. I am pleased the Mayor and the Council have now come together on this important public safety issue”
Councilman Andy King expressed his excitement in being able to bring back summer youth programs within his district. “As a member of the Education and Youth Services Committee, I am passionate about fighting for our young people and my colleagues in government have shared my pleas to expand Summer Youth Employment, giving a positive, empowering experience for our youth hungry for opportunity.” He went on to say that community spaces will now be open six days a week throughout the city.
“While we still have to ink this deal, rest assured that the FY16 budget was a win for the 12th District and all New Yorkers.” noted Councilman King.
Chair of the Committee on Public Safety Vanessa L. Gibson said, “By funding critical projects that serve the best interests of all New Yorkers, we have crafted a comprehensive plan that addresses many of our top priorities including the safety of our communities and services for our seniors and our youth,”. She went on to say that her office delegated $4.3 million to eliminate waitlists for the Department of Aging’s homecare program along with $2 million that is to be used to combat elder abuse.
Along with money for issues dealing with the elderly, $17.9 million will be allocated for a program that provides breakfast in the classroom for 530 elementary schools, $12 million to increase the number of seats in our Summer Youth Employment program, $21 million for a new year-long youth employment program, and $39 million to keep all citywide libraries open six days a week. Funding is also secured for 80 more school crossing guards.