New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday that the city would be reducing the size of its police force and cutting budgets across city departments, including education funding, as the city continues to be overwhelmed with the high costs of providing shelter and services for illegal migrants.
In a video announcement shared on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday, Adams claimed that the city has been able to operate since September by cutting 5% of city-wide department spending with “minimum disruption to services.”
The New York City mayor said the city successfully put together a financial plan update for November that resulted in a “balanced budget.” However, Adams noted that the migrant crisis has already cost the city billions of dollars and warned that the city will have to close a $7 billion budget gap over the course of the next fiscal year.
According to Fox News, the $110.5 billion budget announced by Adams comes as the city has spent $1.45 billion this year alone on providing services to migrants. Additionally, the migrant crisis is expected to cost the city roughly $11 billion in 2024 and 2025.
As a result, Adams explained that the city’s education department budget will be reduced by $1 billion over the next two years. Additionally, the New York Police Department will be reducing the size of its police force from over 33,000 officers to less than 30,000 officers by the end of fiscal year 2025 by instituting a hiring freeze. Adams described the budget cut process as one of the “most painful exercises” he has had to endure throughout his time working in government.
“For months, we have warned New Yorkers about the challenging fiscal situation our city faces,” Adams said. “To balance the budget as the law requires, every city agency dug into their own budget to find savings, with minimal disruption to services.”
According to Politico, over 130,000 migrants have arrived in New York City over the past year. As New York City grapples with skyrocketing costs due to the migrant crisis and reduced city-wide budgets, Adams urged federal action to help support the city.
“No city should be left to handle a national humanitarian crisis largely on its own, and without the significant and timely support we need from Washington, D.C., today’s budget will be only the beginning,” he said.
According to Fox News, Police Union President Patrick Hendry warned that the police hiring freeze could result in public safety issues in New York City.
“This is truly a disaster for every New Yorker who cares about safe streets,” Hendry stated. “Cops are already stretched to our breaking point, and these cuts will return us to staffing levels we haven’t seen since the crime epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s. We cannot go back there. We need every level of government to work together to find a way to support police officers and protect New York City’s 30 years of public safety progress.”
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew also criticized the mayor’s budget cuts, warning that 653 schools, representing 43% of the city’s school system, will face midyear budget cuts.
“Class sizes will rise, and school communities will be needlessly damaged,” Mulgrew warned.