New York City officials have agreed on a budget that cuts roughly $1 billion from the police department, but defund/abolish police advocates and lawmakers say the change doesn't go far enough.
The city council said in a statement Tuesday that the city's 2021 budget, totaling more than $88 billion, "reduces police spending and shrinks NYPD's footprint."
The budget cuts nearly $484 million from the NYPD's annual $6 billion budget and shifts funding to other agencies as well as youth and social services programming.
The changes will cancel a nearly 1,200-person police recruiting class set for next month (though another class in October is scheduled to go forward), curtail overtime spending and shift school safety, crossing guards and homeless outreach away from the NYPD, USA Today reports.
The budget changes come as hundreds of protesters who have camped in front of City Hall for more than a week demanded that the police department be defunded. Organizers have called the movement “Occupy City Hall," a reference to the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement that took place just a few blocks away.
Patrick Lynch, head of the Police Benevolent Association union, said the proposed cuts will lead to fewer officers on the streets amid a spike in shootings that has lasted several weeks.
“We will say it again: the Mayor and the City Council have surrendered the city to lawlessness," Lynch said in a release. "Things won’t improve until New Yorkers hold them responsible."
The council will proceed with hearings and legislation in July "to ensure a just transition away from law enforcement in schools, homelessness and mental health," according to a statement.