Bill de Blasio Will Move Funding From Police to Youth Initiatives in New NYPD Reforms
Bill de Blasio has announced several reforms to the NYPD, including reallocating money to youth services and hiring intermediaries between communities and cops.
Image via Getty/Andrew Burton
As protests continue throughout New York City and the rest of the world, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced some reforms for the New York Police Department.
The mayor’s task force on racial inclusion advocated for the improvements. One of the reforms includes the city reallocating funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services, WLNY reports.
This is the first time de Blasio has pledged to cut the police’s funding. According to The New York Times, the NYPD has an annual budget of $6 billion, which is over six percent of de Blasio’s expected $90 billion budget. He told the publication that the details would be ironed out before the City Council’s July 1 budget deadline.
“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, per WLNY. He added that funding decisions must guarantee New Yorkers’ safety.
De Blasio also backs amending the 50-A law, which concerns disciplinary records of police officers. “Let’s make 50-A as we knew it a thing of the past, so we can have transparency in the disciplinary process to give the public confidence,” de Blasio said.
He wants to street vendor enforcement to be taken away from the police. “A civilian agency should handle that,” the mayor said.
“The vendor and administrative enforcement will be moved out of the NYPD, so that code violations will not require an officer whose presence could escalate an encounter,” Chirlane McCray, co-chair of the racial inclusion task force said. “We are moving forward. We are not waiting for anything or anyone. No one—I say no one—wants to go back to the way things were before.”
Instead, “community ambassadors” will be enlisted as liaisons between the community and the police, de Blasio said. He continued, “People from the community, civilians deeply steeped in their communities with the ability to bring the concerns of the community to the highest levels of the NYPD, to bring back answers including the status on disciplinary cases and changes in policing that needs to be done to allow better policing, fairer policing.”
He called the reforms “a beginning.” He added, “I want it to be abundantly clear to all New Yorkers. These are first steps to what will be 18 months of making intense change in this city. The work of this task force is crucial. This is a transformative moment.”
De Blasio’s reform announcements arrived on Sunday, the same day he ended New York City’s curfew a day earlier than planned, which was the first the city has seen since World War II.
On Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also moved to quell racism by requesting that state lawmakers pass the “Amy Cooper” 911 false accusation bill, which will make it a hate crime to call 911 and report a false accusation due to race, gender, or religion. The bill was reintroduced after a white woman, Amy Cooper, called the police on a black man, Christian Cooper after he asked her to put her dog on a leash in Central Park.
Just a few days ago, news surfaced that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council are planning to cut $100-$150 million from the LAPD budget and reinvest the money into black communities.