Tuesday, September 12, 2023

NYPD can expect a flood of retirements after NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ proposal to slash overtime for migrant cost-cutting: sources



The NYPD can expect a brain drain thanks to a flood of retirements if overtime is cut as proposed by Mayor Eric Adams to help plug a multibillion-dollar, migrant-fueled budget hole , police sources say.

“A lot of people that are eligible to retire are going to leave if the overtime stops because overtime is pensionable,” an NYPD sergeant said Monday.

New York’s Finest “haven’t heard anything officially” about a potential reduction in overtime, but the source told The Post that such a move wouldn’t make financial sense.

“We’re already at critical staffing levels, and it’s cheaper to pay overtime than it is to hire another officer,” the source said, explaining that health care and other benefits had already been paid for when an existing officer picks up a shift.

In addition to possible police, fire, sanitation and correction OT cuts, all branches of government in the Big Apple have been told to slash spending by 5% — and potentially up to 15% by spring — to mitigate the “skyrocketing costs” of New York City’s migrant crisis without more federal aid.

Recent city initiatives such as special education pre-K expansion, rent supplement for families with children and additional litter-basket collection should also be ripe for the chopping block, according to budget watchdogs.

Dozens of NYPD officers, sanitation workers and homeless outreach officers stormed the migrant mini-city under the BQE on Hall Street and dumped it into a sanitation truck.
Paul Martinka

Possible belt-tightening measures for the city were very generally laid out in a Saturday directive to Big Apple agencies by Jacques Jiha, director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget.

Sources said news of the percentage cuts and the memo were rushed over fears of a leak, leaving the missive begging a number of questions.

Approximately 100 parents and children who attend PS 172 in Sunset Park held a rally today in front of the school.
Gregory P. Mango
Newly arrived immigrants were dropped off at the Port Authority on Sept. 2.

Jiha warned in the memo that without an “infusion of significant aid from the federal government ,” the city will be forced to slash costs to cover the expected $12 billion bill for sheltering migrants from the southern border over the next three years.

“We are a city of immigrants, and we will always welcome people from around the world in search of a better life, but the financial cost of the current crisis is staggering and not sustainable,” he wrote.

For cops, the possibility of slashed overtime was mentioned.

Adams plans to cut overtime for police officers.
William Farrington
Jacques Jiha is director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget.
Gregory P. Mango

But the NYPD source that while there would be pain over such a move, there’s an upside, too — for some officers who are currently being forced to work extra hours against their will.

“Morale will improve among some cops if overtime is cut because a lot of them are being forced to do unwanted overtime,” the sergeant said.

But sources at several city agencies also complained that guidance was scant from City Hall as to what they should be doing to cut costs.

New York City Police Academy graduates

At City Hall, a top Adams aide, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, huddled with budget officials Monday. The administration declined comment on what was discussed.

Andrew Rein, president of the Citizens Budget Commission, a nonprofit think tank, said a list of programs that were added to the city budget just two months ago should be considered for the chopping block.

“The fiscal cliff programs — ongoing programs funded by federal COVID and non-recurring city revenues — should be scrutinized to see how essential they are, since they are already unfunded in the future. But the city may determine they are higher impact than other programs, and ones chosen to protect,” he said in an analysis.

A new migrant center has been set up on Staten Island at a former Catholic school, Saint John Villa Academy.
Gregory P. Mango

The programs include $735 million worth of DOE initiatives such as special-ed pre-K expansion, mental health support and digital learning and gifted and talented programs, he said.

Jiha said in his memo, “The city is experiencing a humanitarian crisis that we did not cause.

“We are responding to an enormous influx of migrants, most of whom arrive with young children and limited means.”

In addition to the proposed cuts, the city plans to “impose a hiring freeze, limit contractual spending, reduce uniform agency overtime spending, and freeze city funded new agency spending,” the budget chief said.

Nearly 60,000 asylum seekers are being sheltered by the city, and some 110,000 have come through the five boroughs from the southern border since last spring, according to officials.

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