BROOKLYN, NY — Today, Council Member Farah N. Louis (D-Brooklyn) issued the following statement calling for cuts to the NYPD’s budget as the city faces a $9 billion budget shortfall due to resources exhausted in the fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NYPD, which has a $6 billion budget, was largely spared in contrast to the proposed cuts to city agencies such as the Department of Education, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Department of Homeless Services; the Department of Housing Preservation and Development; the Department of Youth and Community Development. Our city’s budget is going to be balanced by jeopardizing the education, health, and livelihoods of our most vulnerable communities. That is not an option, given the uncertainty of the level of support that our city must be prepared to provide thousands of families and small business owners in the aftermath of a global health crisis.
STATEMENT BY COUNCIL MEMBER LOUIS
“As the City of New York, once the epicenter of the pandemic, begins to recover from the health and economic toll, New Yorkers will need assurance that housing, mental health, and housing assistance is readily available.
“After touting historic lows in crime and other so-called progress in community-police relations, the NYPD’s response to peaceful protesters in the days following nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice have been abhorrent. There is no way to justify a significant reduction to health and social services as well as the elimination of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), while our city is overrun by officers who are ill-equipped to address those immediate needs or patrolling our streets without endangering Black and brown lives. We need more community programming and counselors, not additional cops.
“With the City Council working to adopt a budget by the June 30th deadline, we have to shift our focus and priorities to ensure that we pass a fair and inclusive budget that will help and not harm New Yorkers,” said Council Member Farah N. Louis, a member of the Council committees on Youth Services; Education; and Finance.