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Official: NYC to Hire Almost 1,300 New Cops

Monday, 22 Jun 2015 09:43 PM

New York City is set to hire nearly 1,300 new police officers as part of its yearly budget agreement, honoring a proposal put forth by the City Council over Mayor Bill de Blasio's initial objections, a city official told The Associated Press on Monday.

About 300 officers will be assigned to counterterrorism, according to the official who has direct knowledge of the budget process and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been officially announced.

The deal was expected to be made public — sealed with a handshake — by de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at City Hall late Monday.

The new hires will join a force of about 35,000 uniformed officers. Additionally, the budget authorizes the hiring of 400 administrative aides to take over desk jobs currently filled by police officers. Those officers will then be freed up to be deployed on the street for increased community policing, the official said. Cuts to police overtime will offset some of the costs of the new hires, according to the official.

A year ago, de Blasio flatly denied Mark-Viverito's call to hire 1,000 new officers, pointing to record low crime rates and suggesting that the resources would be better used elsewhere to fulfill the mayor's vision of a liberal, activist government that would better the lives of the less fortunate.

For much of the past year, City Hall stuck to that script. But Police Commissioner William Bratton began intermittently advocating for the new hires, Mark-Viverito continued to push the plan as a way to improve outreach in neighborhoods often suspicious of police, and pockets of the city suffered a surge in shooting and homicides in recent weeks.

Though overall crime is down 6.7 percent from this time a year ago, shootings and murders are up. Murders have risen from 138 to 154, an 11 percent jump, through June 21, while shootings have gone up from 488 to 515.

The official said 1,297 total new officers will be hired. The official was not authorized to speak publicly until the deal is officially announced and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Many observers expected that a compromise would be reached and the city would hire fewer than 1,000 officers.

The issue of policing has always been a delicate one for de Blasio.

He was elected on a campaign to improve relations between police and minorities, largely by curbing the overuse of stop and frisk, a tactic that allowed police to stop anyone deemed suspicious. Its critics, however, said it discriminated against black and Latino men.

With his push to reform the NYPD as a backdrop, de Blasio then faced an open revolt from the rank-and-file police union in the wake of the Eric Garner chokehold death. Though an uneasy truce took hold, the de Blasio team has been particularly way of a rise in crime, knowing it could undermine the Democratic mayor's agenda.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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New York City is set to hire nearly 1,300 new police officers as part of its yearly budget agreement, honoring a proposal put forth by the City Council over Mayor Bill de Blasio's initial objections, a city official told The Associated Press on Monday.
nyc, new york, police, hire
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2015-43-22
Monday, 22 Jun 2015 09:43 PM
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