NYC Mayor Blames City’s Migrant Crisis for Proposed Budget Cuts to Policing, Schools

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New York City mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday that he will be freezing police hiring, as well as instituting budget cuts to multiple other city services, in response to the rising costs of the city’s ongoing migrant crisis, Emma G. Fitzsimmons reports for the New York Times. The budget cuts would bring the number of Police Department officers below 30,000 for the first time since the 1980s. Police union president Patrick Hendry said that the police hiring freeze, involving the postponement of five classes of new officers, would make New Yorkers less safe.

The cuts would also eliminate a new class of 250 school safety agents, a fact which Adams said would require more volunteering from parents and parent groups. Adams said that the cost of the migrant crisis was growing and expected to cost nearly $11 billion over two years and that next year’s budget had a major $7 billion gap. In addition to the cuts to policing, the proposed budget cuts would also slash the Education Department budget by $1 billion over two years, close libraries on Sunday, and delay the rollout of composting in the Bronx and Staten Island. The New York City Council is likely to fight the mayor’s cuts by negotiating the budget for the next fiscal year, which is due in June and requires their approval. 

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