NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Union leaders and elected officials stood elbow-to-elbow in front of City Hall Friday, calling on the city to get police officers out from behind desks shuffling paper and back onto the street fighting crime.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, advocates said there are far too many officers who are stuck working desk jobs.

“There are approximately 731 full duty uniform officers that perform civilian functions in administrative and patrol commands – 731,” said Public Advocate Letitia James.

She said desk jobs should fall to civilians.

“Civilianization also saves money, because on average, civilian employees make less than their uniformed counterparts,” James said.

She added that the difference is not pocket change.

“Recent estimates by the Council indicate that the city could save up to $35 million per year,” James said.

James added, “The time is now.”

The group said 500 of the uniformed officers should be reassigned.

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