NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City is set to hire nearly 1,300 new police officers as part of its yearly budget agreement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said late Monday.
The mayor said 1,297 total new officers will be hired as part of the $78.5 billion budget. A total of $170 million will be directed toward hiring the officers.
They will be focused on two new efforts – a new counterterrorism effort focused on critical response, and what de Blasio called a “pioneering” neighborhood policing strategy.
The plan honors a proposal put forth by the City Council over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initial objections.
The new hires will join a force of about 34,500 uniformed officers.
Additionally, the budget authorizes the hiring of more than 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, the mayor said.
“These are targeted investments that we know that will make a huge difference in the future of our city,” de Blasio said.
According to an earlier report in The Wall Street Journal, de Blasio agreed to the expansion, which he’d previously opposed, in exchange for concessions such the caps on overtime pay for officers.
Councilmembers told CBS2 Political Marcia Kramer that more officers were needed.
“I do think that many of our commands do need the extra support by an increase in the workforce,” said Bronx City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson (D-16th).
“We don’t have enough police officers. We desperately need more police officers,” added Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-32nd), “and the only way we’re going to keep New York City the safest big city in America is if we put more cops on the street.”
The city has seen an uptick in shootings in recent months. The addition of new cops would allow the NYPD to boost the force in certain neighborhoods.
“We very much focus on where crime is occurring, when it’s occurring, who’s doing it,” police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
Bratton also pointed to terrorism. Recent arrests of suspects believed to be inspired by ISIS illustrate the dangers.
“We talked about the idea of permanently creating a cadre of officers in our counterterrorism unit that would focus on that new emerging threat,” the commissioner said.