NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced a series of new reforms to the New York City Police Department to strengthen trust between New Yorkers and officers. The City will shift funding from the NYPD to youth and social services for communities of color, move vendor enforcement out of the NYPD, and establish a community ambassadors program within the NYPD. The Mayor also announced his support of the new 50-A reform bill introduced in Albany. The Mayor also lifted the citywide curfew effective immediately.
“While we have taken many steps to reform policing in this city, there is clearly more work to do to strengthen trust between officers and the New Yorkers they serve,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These will be the first of many steps my Administration will take over the next 18 months to rebuild a fairer City that profoundly addresses injustice and disparity.”
The de Blasio Administration has made unprecedented effort to change how the city is policed, and the are deepening this work with the following reforms:
Shift Funding from NYPD to Youth and Social Services: The City will find significant savings in the NYPD budget. This funding will go towards youth development and social services for communities of color. The amount will be finalized with the City Council during the budget process.
50-A Reform: The Mayor announced that he supports the State Legislature's efforts to take away the provisions in 50-A that prevent transparency while still protecting the personal information of police officers. The Mayor also commended the Legislature for taking this step to ensure more accountability in the Department's disciplinary system and give the public confidence.
Move Vendor Enforcement Out of NYPD: The City will shift enforcement for street vending out of NYPD so our officers can focus on the real drivers of crime instead of administrative infractions. This will further the Administration’s de-escalation agenda by reducing interactions between uniform officers and New Yorkers, particularly immigrant communities and communities of color.
Real Community Ambassadors within NYPD: The City will bring community voices into senior levels of the NYPD by hiring community ambassadors. These ambassadors will reflect the diversity of the five boroughs and serve as liaisons between officers and New Yorkers. This new initiative will provide a venue to address complaints and concerns, and ensure NYPD leadership hears New Yorkers.
These reforms build off the Administration’s commitment to fundamentally changing how the City is policed and strengthening the bonds of trust between New Yorkers and officers. The Mayor announced last week that Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson and DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett would be conducting an independent review into the protests and the NYPD’s response. The goal is to ensure accountability for both officers and protestors who acted inappropriately during these protests, and help deepen trust between community and police.