Mayor Bill de Blasio defended on Tuesday the approval of a new November NYPD cadet class, stating that the city needs to keep the number of officers in the city “stable” after experiencing a high number of retirements.
The 900-person incoming class will be the first new set of officers to join the force in months after a cadet class was canceled in April due to the pandemic a July was canceled as part of the department’s $1 billion reduction approved by the City Council in response to protesters calling for police reform after the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told reporters last Friday that the new class would bring the force’s headcount closer to the level of the city budget at 35,100.
“Before the new class starts, the NYPD uniform headcount will be approximately 34,200. The new class will be 900 recruits, bringing the uniform head count closer to the level expected in the Adopted Budget,” Shea said in his Oct. 23 statement. “Due to budget cuts as well as attrition, this is lower than the approximately 36,900 uniform members of service at this point last year. With the new class, the NYPD will be able to ensure public safety as the city continues to face a pandemic-driven perfect storm. In this difficult financial time, the Department is grateful for the Mayor‘s leadership.”
On Oct. 26, de Blasio assured reporters that the city was capable of financing the forthcoming influx of officers but did elaborate on how exactly how it would be done.
“We have not had a normal situation, we’ve had very high numbers of retirements. We are accounting for that and adjusting that number accordingly,” de Blasio said. “The police force will still be substantially smaller than it was a year ago.”