Mayor On NYC Cop Stimulus Snub: 'It's Perverse'
By MarcIa Kramer
Rep. King, NYPD Commish Kelly Criticize Obama Administration
WCBS Channel 2 News Online
July 29, 2009
The Obama administration has told Mayor Michael Bloomberg "no cops for you."
In a slap in the face to New York City, the Big Apple was completely cut out of a $1 billion economic stimulus package to help cities avoid laying off police officers.
Now, local politicians are furious.
New York City asked the federal government for money to hire 2,000 cops. It got, as Bloomberg is fond of saying in Spanish, "nada," nothing … not one red cent.
"It is, ah, perverse might be the word I'd use," Bloomberg said on Tuesday.
Believe it or not the city was punished for its success, having a mayor who kept the budget stable during the fiscal meltdown and a police commissioner who kept crime down despite a huge drop in manpower.
There are now only 35,500 cops, down from 40,000 in 2001.
And despite the cuts the crime rate has continued to fall. It's down nearly 13 percent so far this year. Murders are down just over 17 percent.
Overall, crime has dropped over 36 percent in the past eight years and more than 76 percent since 1993.
"The New York City Police Department is being penalized for doing its job too well," said Rep. Peter King, R-Long Island.
But who knows how long the city can keep the numbers down? More budget cuts are right around the corner.
"We're down over 5,000 officers from where we were in 2001. We're projected now to go down another thousand. We will have no hires this fiscal year, for the next 11 and a half months," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
This as New York City remains the top target of terrorists the world over.
"The New York City/Long Island region has the largest bull's eye on its back of any region in the world. We are clearly the No. 1 target of Islamic terrorists. It's our subway system, our landmarks, our ports, our financial district, all of that," Rep. King said.
"We're a city that's been attacked successfully twice we've, had eight major terrorist plots against the city since Sept. 11," Kelly added.
Those who will get the money include the Seminole Indians in Florida, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Rochester, and Kalamazoo, Mich.
Since this federal program was started in 1995 New York City has received over $600 million, allowing it to hire nearly 5,000 cops and 2,000 civilian employees of the NYPD.