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Gov. Hochul & Mayor Adams' Misguided Budget Priorities Undermine Public Safety and Well-being

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images and Scott Heins/Getty Images.


Gov. Hochul & Mayor Adams' Misguided Budget Priorities Undermine Public Safety and Well-being

In response to Mayor Eric Adams’ November financial plan and reporting that Governor Hochul will seek additional state funding for the NYPD, the Justice Committee released the following statement from Executive Director Loyda Colon:

“Governor Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams have shown yet again, when it comes to policing, they are lockstep in draining New York’s resources by overfunding policing and defunding essential services needed most by New Yorkers. In response to Mayor Eric Adams' proposed budget, Hochul quickly vowed fiscal support to hold off NYC’s alleged budget cuts to police while seemingly ignoring the proposed cuts to libraries, housing, CUNY, pre-K, food programs, sanitation, and healthcare. This alarming trend of NYPD budget exceptionalism, where the NYPD's coffers are filled while vital services are starved, is a recipe for disaster and does not keep New Yorkers safe.

A deeper look into Mayor Adams' November financial plan reveals a disturbing reality: the NYPD's expense budget will increase by close to $135 million this year, a staggering 2.3% rise. And while a reduction in NYPD personnel would be welcomed to enable the city to direct resources elsewhere, there is no hiring freeze written into the financial plan for this fiscal year. On the other hand, the Department of Education, Housing, and Sanitation face the axe while the NYPD's bloated budget continues to grow. This is a devastating recipe for increased poverty and instability in our neighborhoods that the administration will later use to justify more increases in spending on criminalization and policing.

If New York City is seeking savings, we have only to look to NYPD frivolous spending, which has recently included $390 million on encrypting channels previously open to the public and media, $770,000 on robot dogs, and the $100 million the City is on track to payout in NYPD misconduct lawsuits this year and divert those resources to services and infrastructure our communities need. Investing in health and mental health care, education, affordable housing, and other social services is the path to long-term community safety and well-being. Mayor Adams is giving us the opposite, and Governor Hochul is following the same dangerous path.

Enough is enough. This cycle must end, and true investments in New Yorker’s well-being must be made. We demand that Mayor Adams reverse course and prioritize the needs of our communities over the NYPD's wasteful spending and ever-expanding empire. We call on Mayor Adams to end NYPD budget exceptionalism by requiring a 7% cut in the NYPD's bloated budget for FY24 and redirecting those savings to housing, health and mental health care, education, and non-police anti-violence programs and other essential services that are proven to increase community health and safety.”


About the Justice Committee:

Since the 1980s, the Justice Committee (JC) has been dedicated to building a movement against police violence and systemic racism in New York City. The heart of our work is organizing and uplifting the leadership of families who have lost loved ones to the police and survivors of police violence. We empower our community to deter police violence, hold law enforcement accountable, and build people-led community safety through grassroots organizing campaigns, community empowerment, political education, our CopWatch program, and by developing safety mechanisms and projects that decrease reliance on police. By building solidarity with other anti-racist, immigrant and people of color-led organizations, the Justice Committee seeks to contribute to a broad-based movement for racial, social, and economic justice.

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