New York City Mayor Eric Adams suggested a slight decrease in police funding with his first budget proposal despite a rash of violent crimes during his first six weeks on the job.
Adams, who campaigned with a tough-on-crime approach, proposed a $98.5 billion spending plan that cuts funding to most city agencies.
The plan would trim the NYPD budget by nearly $30 million, to about $5.41 billion, the New York Post reported.
Adams insisted the proposed 0.6% cut kept police funding "basically flat."
"There may be a slight decrease in the next few months, but it's basically going to be flat," Adams said, the Post reported.
"I'm not going to do anything that's going to get in the way of keeping New Yorkers safe."
With violent crime a major concern — two police officers were shot and killed in Harlem on Jan. 21 — the mayor said he could improve public safety by moving officers from desks to the streets.
"We're going to redeploy our manpower, we're going to make sure that everyone who is supposed to be on the streets doing their job is doing their job, and then we will make the analysis if we have to put more money into it," Adams said at a news conference, The New York Times reported.
"Every man and woman must be on deck with the mission of the police department," he said, the Post reported.
"I'm not going to taxpayers and saying Let's spend more of your money when I'm not doing a good job in the agency with what they gave us already."
Adams called for a gradual reduction in a municipal work force — through attrition and unfilled vacancies — that had risen to a historic high under his predecessor, former Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The mayor also required most city agencies to cut spending by 3%, and proposed adding roughly $1 billion to the city’s reserve funds, the Times reported.
Adams shielded several agencies, including the Correction Department and Health Department, from making the 3% budget cuts, the Times reported. Correction is facing a crisis at the Rikers jail complex, and Health is overseeing the pandemic response.
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