Unfortunately, the $1 Billion that NYC City Council pulled from the annual budget was really only budgetary tricks — pulling money from the $6 Million NYPD budget into the Department of Education for school safety officers — which completely misses the point of decreasing police in areas where it is not appropriate. Also unsettling is the fact that arts education was cut by $19 Million but still the police budget still has $12 Million in “special expenses” that is not transparent in the budget. So yes, this work continues i holding these elected officials accountable.
But to set the record straight. “Defunding the NYPD” is not abolishing the police — it is transforming the police into an agency where public safety can be its number one priority. Officers who are not trained and ill-equipt to handle non-police oriented situations, such as answering calls for mental health patients, homelessness, etc., should not be handling those situations. And this makes perfect sense. When I speak to people in my district, not one person argues that these kinds of changes aren’t reasonable, necessary and actually less burdensome on the NYPD.
One of the most crucial arguments that I heard about reallocating police resources towards communities of color is the clear and unarguable fact that the police are so well-funded. When you compare the NYPD funding — which is the world’s 7th largest army — and compare that to our doctors and nurse wearing garbage bags and no PPE for protection, it is a GLARING lack of priorities and political will on the part of our elected officials like Mayor DeBlasio and Speaker Corey Johnson.
What is the answer? Entirely new leadership with the right priorities. That is the answer. So what does that mean? #VoteThemOut #VoteOutTheirStaffToo