NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said his department needs more officers and more overtime to stem the rise in high profile crimes taking place in New York City.
Shea, at a city council hearing regarding the proposed budget on Tuesday, said overtime spending had hit its lowest levels in 15 years, and urged against funding cuts.
“Overtime is a critical tool in maintaining public safety because it affords us additional deployment in neighborhoods with increasing levels of shootings and other violence, including in our transit system and housing developments,” Shea said.
Violent crime has risen throughout New York City, with 416 shootings recorded from Jan. 1 through May 2 2021, up from 227 shootings in the same period in 2020.
The NYPD’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year is $5.44 billion, or 5.5% of the $98.56 billion proposed city budget, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the NYPD, there are currently 35,030 uniformed members and 15,646 civilians employed by the department.
The current fiscal year’s budget allocates roughly $271 million in overtime, according to a police budget analyst at the city’s Independent Budget Office. The NYPD already exceeded that amount this year. The city spent $837.5 million won NYPD overtime last year.
Shea said overtime was necessary for the many public events that will return to New York City as restrictions ease, such as parades and performances.
“As we see these events return, the need for additional police officers will mean additional expenditures,” he said, calling for more overtime pay.
Last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for reducing the police budget by $1 billion due to both pandemic economic pressures and public sentiment in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a police officer. The funding has since been restored with funds from the federal stimulus package.