After nearly a month of civil unrest, the city of New York has slashed nearly $1 billion from the New York Police Department's (NYPD) budget. With a usual budget of $6 billion, the reduction will undoubtedly have an inverse impact on the organization's ability to function and perform enforcement duties. The decision to defund the NYPD comes as the city seeks to stem soaring shooting and homicide rates.
Established in 1845, the NYPD has grown into the largest and most powerful police force in the United States. Responsible for a wide variety of traffic enforcement, counterterrorism, investigative, and emergency response missions, the department is responsible for the protection of nearly 8.5 million citizens.
The City Council's budget will reallocate $354 million from the NYPD's allowance to other agencies, cut another $484 million in funding, and reduce overtime spending by $352 million.
The budget also cancels the hiring of 1,160 officers the city has planned to employee in July.
Finally, the NYPD will no longer participate in school safety programs, hire crossing guards, or provide homeless outreach services.
The move come as the city seeks to stem a drastic increase in shootings and homicides. According to the NYPD, 178 homicides have occurred throughout the boroughs in 2020, a nearly 20% increase from the same time last year. Furthermore, there has been 528 shootings, a nearly threefold increase from the same time last year.
Exactly how much the city's budget cuts will impact crime statistics remains to be seen. The Intelligence Ledger assesses with a high degree of probability, however, that reductions will not help, but rather, exacerbate an already dangerous situation.