“Defund” The NYPD: What It Means And Where Democratic Mayoral Candidates Stand On It


On the peak of the protests sparked by the homicide of George Floyd by the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin final 12 months, native New York Metropolis activists took goal on the police division funds, arguing town could be safer by redirecting NYPD funding into investments in schooling, psychological well being companies, housing and meals assist. They famous that the NYPD’s funds ballooned to about $11 billion {dollars} this previous fiscal 12 months, a 30% improve over the past decade, although that hasn’t translated to a gradual lower in violent crime.

The slogan “defund the police” grew to become the rallying cry, and a few activists even camped within the public plaza outdoors of the mayor’s workplace demanding extra drastic cuts to the NYPD’s funds. And now the candidates working for de Blasio’s seat are dealing with the query: would you defund the police?

A number of mayoral candidates initially embraced the terminology “defund the police,” famous the NY Occasions, however then backed away in more moderen months as their campaigns heated up. Different candidates have tried a tightrope stroll between centrist constituencies and the extra progressive flank of the Democratic Occasion. And only one candidate within the race nonetheless brazenly makes use of the phrase “defund” to explain her candidacy and platform, although a number of others have pledged funds cuts utilizing phrases like reallocating, redirecting, or reinvesting, as a substitute of the now polarizing phrase “defund.”

Learn extra: The place Do Mayoral Candidates Stand On The Future Of Policing?

Policing and public security have been entrance and heart within the mayoral race, with a continued rise in shootings and murders, in addition to an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes. Current polling discovered crime and violence have been on the high of voters’ minds, proper after dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. On the similar time, extra police killings throughout the nation have fueled activists’ resolve to press for extra radical police reform.

The Democratic contenders for mayor typically fall into three buckets: those that don’t wish to lower the NYPD funds, candidates who do wish to lower the funds however haven’t stated by how a lot, and candidates who’ve made particular financial commitments to lowering the police division’s footprint. Right here’s the place they stand:

Candidates Who Don’t Need To Lower NYPD Funding

Eric Adams

Whereas Adams has stated he desires to divert $500 million in current NYPD spending to totally fund town’s disaster administration system that coordinates between neighborhood teams, violence interrupters and hospitals, the candidate has not stated he desires to scale back the division’s funds general. Requested about his place on lowering the NYPD’s funds at a latest discussion board, Adams stated, “We’ve an over-proliferation of weapons in our metropolis. We’ve an actual gang disaster.” He’s centered his marketing campaign in latest weeks across the surge in gun violence, calling for extra spot searches for trafficked weapons and for town to carry again the anti-crime job power that disbanded final 12 months.

Aaron Foldenauer

Foldenauer doesn’t specify on his web site if he would push to lower the police funds, and didn’t return a request for remark for him to make clear his place.

Kathryn Garcia

Garcia doesn’t wish to lower the police division’s funds. She desires so as to add psychological well being first responders and improve funding for CURE violence teams.

Andrew Yang

Yang doesn’t wish to lower the NYPD’s funds. He says he desires to reorganize the division and improve funding for psychological well being response. When requested at a latest press convention about his place on defunding the NYPD, the candidate stated, “There are lots of methods we might help tackle these points over time and I’m excited to get began.”

Candidates Who Have Made Particular Financial Commitments To Reduce The NYPD’s Funds

Artwork Chang

Chang requires an preliminary $1.3 billion greenback reduce to the NYPD’s funds by lowering the variety of uniformed officers and civilian staff, halting the following cadet class and capital expenditures, and lowering will increase in fringe advantages. He would make investments within the Civilian Criticism Overview board and improve staffing on cellular response groups skilled to de-escalate psychological well being crises.

Shaun Donovan

By a spokesperson, Donovan pledged to redirect $1 billion from the NYPD over 4 years. Donovan says the funds could be put in the direction of public security, job coaching, violence interruption and restorative justice efforts.

Dianne Morales

Morales plans to slash the NYPD’s annual funds by $3 billion with a purpose to fund a “Neighborhood First Responders Division” which might reply to psychological well being, homelessness and drug use points. She says she would take away police from faculties, visitors enforcement and homeless outreach and make investments extra in remedy violence teams. “I’m the one candidate on this race that’s referred to as for defunding and that’s what I imply,” she stated at a police reform discussion board Thursday night time.

Scott Stringer

Stringer has promised a $275 million reduce to the police funds annually in his first time period for a complete of $1.1 billion greenback discount in spending, although he’s distanced himself from calls to defund the police — and the precise pledge to chop the funds is included in paperwork on town comptroller website, not his marketing campaign web site. To scale back the police funds, he would disband the Strategic Response Group and the Vice Squad, take away police from visitors enforcement, cut back the police fleet, take 911 calls away from the NYPD and cap the extra time funds. Stringer says he would use the funds to pay for violence interruption packages, youth jobs, internships amongst different initiatives.

Jocelyn Taylor

Taylor helps lowering the police funds by $1 billion and utilizing these funds for schooling, homeless companies, psychological well being companies, packages for the aged and neighborhood based mostly teams, and direct support to important staff and undocumented New Yorkers.

Maya Wiley

Wiley says she would redirect $1 billion from the NYPD’s funds to fund initiatives like neighborhood care facilities, which would offer childcare, elder care, job coaching, occasions and different companies. She guarantees to develop remedy violence packages and fund employment alternatives in neighborhoods hardest hit by gun violence. Whereas Wiley often feedback on her dedication to scale back the police funds by $1 billion, the pledge isn’t explicitly spelled out on her marketing campaign web site.

Police Budget and Murders in New York City graph

Candidates Who Assist Some Divestment From Police However Haven’t Stated How A lot

Ray McGuire

McGuire talks about reallocation of funding from the NYPD, although he’s repeatedly declined to set a selected greenback quantity. He says he would take goal on the progress in administrative and communication prices, which symbolize the most important progress within the police funds. He stated he would audit the $1.2 billion improve within the NYPD working funds over the past decade and doubtlessly redirect a few of that funding in the direction of an emergency 24/7 social companies response to emergencies.

Issac Wright Jr.

Wright says he helps a “reallocation of the bloated funds” to reinvest in schooling, neighborhood companies and psychological well being companies, however declines to specify an quantity. His marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Paperboy Prince

Needs to abolish the police, presumably slashing the NYPD’s funds to $0.

That is a part of our One Concern Explainer collection, the place we break down the place mayoral candidates stand on points regarding New Yorkers. What do you wish to hear about? E-mail us at ideas@gothamist.com (topic line: One Concern Explainer).