A report on Tuesday revealed that the NYPD has current staffing at 34,017 — down nearly 900 from last year and has dropped more than 2,500 from the peak of 2019, when the department employed 36,717 uniformed officers, according to the NYC comptroller’s report.
The numbers came out as the City Council debated the high price of overtime being racked up by NYPD.
City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams lashed into the NYPD over its potentially budget-busting overtime costs — calling it out of control at a level that no other city government agency could get away with.
NYPD overtime is projected to hit $740 million this fiscal year — nearly double the its extra-duty budget and the highest level seen in the last decade, city officials said.
Sewell said the department has tried to cut overtime costs where it could, specifically noting that the NYPD has reevaluated its “cookie cutter” police response to events, instead catering the presence to the need.
That led to a 14% dip in OT costs during planned events, according to police officials.
“It comes down to, as we move forward, putting our officers where the need is evaluating where the successes have been and being able to shift our resources accordingly to be able to account for the fact that the money the funds will not be in perpetuity,” she told council members.
Council Speaker Adams said the NYPD does have extraordinary influence, particularly in administration headed by Mayor Eric Adams, a retired transit cop who made public safety the cornerstone of his successful campaign for City Hall.
Defund the police advocate Councilwoman Tiffany Caban from Queens said, “Your budget is bigger than the Ukrainian military,” on Friday.
“It sounds to me like these agencies are facing the challenge of actually doing more with less because of the billions per year your department demands,” Caban added.
But Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and other NYPD brass defended the spending during a lengthy committee budget hearing Monday, telling council members the department’s dwindling headcount warranted the extra pay.
Sewell conceded that the level of overtime “is not sustainable in the long term,” but said it has been needed to bridge the gap in shifts left by a dwindling police force.