NYPD estimated to blow new overtime cap by $400M: budget watchdog

It’s just a paper cut!

Gotham’s top budget watchdog projected Tuesday that the New York Police Department will blow its new overtime cap by $400 million, effectively undoing the biggest proposed spending cut the department faced in the city’s new budget.

“The budget adopted last month assumes that overtime spending by the NYPD will fall to $268 million in 2021,” the Independent Budget Office wrote in its analysis of the deal struck by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in June, much of it triggered by the Black Lives Matter movement to reduce police funding.

“IBO estimates that police spending on overtime will be $400 million more than budgeted,” the report reveals.

That would mean that overall NYPD overtime spending would still reach at least $668 million in the 2021 budget. That’s down just slightly from the $736 million paid out during the 2019 budget.

Figures for the 2020 budget, which just concluded on June 30, were not immediately available.

The IBO’s report will likely re-inflame the contentious dispute over this year’s budget that ended with a hard-fought deal that purportedly cut or transferred $835 million in direct spending from the NYPD’s budget in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and the nationwide marches that resulted from it.

It’s the second major component of the package to come under scrutiny from the press and government oversight groups. All told, $659 million of the cuts and transfers have now been called into question.

Activists who hit the streets of the Big Apple following the Floyd killing were demanding cuts of at least $1 billion and a major reduction or restructuring of the NYPD’s workforce — and found allies among liberal lawmakers on the Council, including Speaker Corey Johnson.

However, they ran into intense opposition from Mayor de Blasio and many black and Latino lawmakers from traditionally working-class neighborhoods that are still scarred by the memories of New York City’s epic battles with crime during the 1970s and 1980s.

The resulting deal promised to slash overtime by $352 million, shift $307 million in spending to the Education Department to pay for school safety agents and save another $55 million by canceling one cadet class, which would shrink the NYPD’s 36,000-strong headcount by 1,163.

It also proposed shifting crossing guards to another undetermined agency, transferring another $42 million off the NYPD’s ledger.

Activists said the cuts largely amounted to gimmicks and budget tricks, pointing out that NYPD had promised for years to reign in overtime to no avail.

Those criticisms exploded after City Hall admitted that the school safety agents would remain on the NYPD’s books for at least another year, which infuriated lawmakers and protestors.

“We will hold the mayor to his word,” said a spokeswoman for Johnson, after word of the school safety transfer revelations broke. “The administration’s response raises serious alarm bells about their commitment to this time frame. This is unacceptable.”

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