NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Changes are coming to the NYPD, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday, as part of a reform plan that the mayor calls a “transformative movement.”
For more than a week, protesters have marched throughout the five boroughs, fighting for justice and equality.
Ongoing frustration boiled over after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
“People did not protest for the sake of protest. They protest to achieve change, and now we must deliver that change,” de Blasio said.
Watch: Mayor Bill de Blasio Gives Daily Briefing
Sunday, de Blasio announced a series of police reforms, including a shift in funding from the NYPD to youth and social services, moving the enforcement for street vending out of the NYPD to a civilian agency, and adding community ambassadors to the NYPD to serve as liaisons between officers and New Yorkers.
“People from the community, civilians deeply steeped in their communities with the ability to bring the concerns of the community to the highest levels of the NYPD, to bring back answers including the status on disciplinary cases and changes in policing that needs to be done to allow better policing, fairer policing,” de Blasio said.
“We must use this moment to transform our pain, to be stronger, and take action,” McCray said.
Regarding vendor enforcement, McCray said, “The vendor and administrative enforcement will be moved out of the NYPD, so that code violations will not require an officer whose presence could escalate an encounter. We are moving forward. We are not waiting for anything or anyone. No one – I say no one – wants to go back to the way things were before.”
WEB EXTRA: See The Mayor’s Presentation Slides (.pdf)
The mayor did not say how much funding the city would cut from the NYPD’s $6 billion annual budget to give to social services, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reports.
“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead. But I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people,” de Blasio said.
The mayor said that any decision about funding must also ensure the safety of New Yorkers.
Earlier this week, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for changes to the NYPD budget.
“Given the scale of the financial crisis we face and the urgent need for the city to transform our criminal justice system, we know the budget will include meaningful cuts to the NYPD budget. I am working with my colleagues to determine how we can reduce the budget and reallocate those dollars to instead invest in our communities. But this is not just about budget cuts. We also need structural change and transformational reform in the police department, while investing in communities as much as possible during this unprecedented budget crunch,” he said.
CBS2 is still waiting for the police department to respond to our request for comment.
The Police Benevolent Association said it had nothing to say about the mayor’s police reform pledge, which also calls to repeal 50-A, the law that keeps police officers’ personnel records confidential.
“Let’s make 50-A as we knew it a thing of the past, so we can have transparency in the disciplinary process to give the public confidence,” de Blasio said.
In recent days, there have been cases of alleged police misconduct, which brought more attention to the issue.
Detectives Union President Paul DiGiacomo released a statement saying:
“Our work to keep people safe – at any cost – is being drowned out by calls to defund police departments and arrest officers based on a few seconds of video on social media. There is ZERO BACKING for the men and women in blue by our elected officials. Their decisions are based on appeasing the loudest anti-police protesters instead of fact.”
“Police unions have held back progress in New York City and New York State, period,” de Blasio said.
The mayor calls these reforms “a beginning.”
“I want it to be abundantly clear to all New Yorkers. These are first steps to what will be 18 months of making intense change in this city. The work of this task force is crucial,” de Blasio said. “This is a transformative moment.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced the “Say Their Name” police reform agenda, which would make police disciplinary actions transparent and would ban police chokeholds.
“Even if you agree, OK the reforms are right, and even if the police said, ‘I understand the reforms, I can live with them,’ you still have a lot of emotion that is going to have to be worked through,” the governor said.
Legislation may be immediate, but cultural change will take time.