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New York City public safety & sanitation could face additional reductions in second round of budget cuts, Mayor Eric Adams says

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NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams has given his commissioners less than three weeks to come up with another round of reductions to plug a whopping $7 billion deficit.

The big question is will he have to make even more cuts to public safety and sanitation?

Adams could find himself singing the budget blues — the NYPD blues — yet again if the state and federal governments don’t cough up more dough-re-mi for the migrant crisis.

He originally said the the police, fire and sanitation departments could skip the next round of cuts, but Tuesday, he said, now I don’t know.

“If we have to, we’re going to have to go into them as well,” Adams said.

The mayor had a blunt assessment on whether the budgets of the NYPD, the FDNY and the sanitation department could avoid the budget ax, the next round of 5% that would go into effect in January.

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A letter to commissioners ordering a new round of belt tightening originally said, “NYPD, FDNY and DSNY are exempted … out of concern that additional budget cuts at this time could impact public safety, health, and cleanliness.”

That was a reference to the fact that the first round of cuts:

  • Canceled the next five Police Academy classes,
  • Reduced the NYPD head count to 29,000 — the lowest level since the 1990s, 
  • Reduced manning on 20 FDNY engine companies,
  • And hit the sanitation department with many cuts, including fewer litter baskets on the street.

The mayor is putting off his decision on cutting those agencies until he sees what the other commissioners come up with.

“Based on the numbers that come in in our analysis, everything is on the table, you know. We want to be clear on that. Everything is on the table,” Adams said.

The city is facing a $7 billion gap, due in part to the fact that Washington has ignored the mayor’s pleas for more help to cope with the tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in the city needing shelter.

The city is also facing a second shortfall since federal aid to New York City to cope with the pandemic has ended.

Both things put the man who got elected based on a promise to keep the streets safe in a difficult position.

“We don’t want to do anything that’s going to endanger public safety. That’s the foundation that the city’s built on … But if need be, they will have to be included in the next round also if we can’t get to the numbers that we want because by law, we have to balance the budget,” Adams said.

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The agencies have until Dec. 8 to submit their belt-tightening ideas. The City Council has scheduled hearings next week on the first round of cuts.

Source: CBS

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