NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday that he plans to take an undisclosed amount of funds away from the city’s police department and redistribute it to youth initiatives and social services in order to prevent crime.
“[W]e will be moving funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services,” he outlined, as part of his four-point “next wave of reform.” “I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people. And I also will affirm, while doing that, we will only do it in a way that we are certain continues to ensure that this city will be safe.”
de Blasio noted that during his State of the City Address in February, he expressed that “[o]ur young people don’t need to be policed. They need to be reached.”
During that address, the mayor further clarified, “I believe in what the NYPD does every day, but this is about getting to that young person before they ever might commit a crime. This is about going to the root cause.”
de Blasio said that the decision to redistribute funding came after meeting with his Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity, as well as the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council. During discussions, it was expressed that emphasis needs to be made on reaching young people.
He met with one of the council members, along with various community members, at Deliverance Baptist Church in Queens on Sunday.
“Policing matters for sure, but the investments in our youth are foundational,” de Blasio stated.
He tweeted about the plan as well, writing, “This morning we committed to move resources from the NYPD to youth and social services as part of our city’s budget. Our young people need to be reached, not policed. We can do this AND keep our city safe.”
He also outlined that part of his desired reform is to see legislators in Albany repeal 50-A, a law that protects the identities of police officers who are disciplined by their superiors. de Blasio expressed a need for transparency “to give the public confidence.”
He additionally opined that civilian agencies, not the NYPD, should monitor street vending in the city as coming into contact with law enforcement intimidates immigrants and people of color.
de Blasio further advised that the City plans to hire community ambassadors to regularly speak with senior level officials at the police department so that concerns can be communicated and heard — creating a “truer and deep connection between police and community.”
He stated that further reforms will be forthcoming, as his plans are only the “first steps in what will be 18 months in making intense change in this city.” The mayor said that he wants New York City to become a place where its residents will know that its pleas are not only heard but acted upon.
Reaction to the announcement has been mixed, with 57K liking his tweet as of press time but with others leaving comments of concern.
“So what will you do when your NYPD officers decide to just walk away and leave you with the mess, the violence and lawlessness? Who will you ask to help you then? I do not blame any of them [if they decide] to turn their backs on you. I hope they do,” one wrote.
“Say goodbye to your tourism, because there is no way most American families will travel to a city that is unsafe!” another exclaimed.
“You should really think about leaving office and taking care of your daughter, and leave the city to someone who can do a much better job at protecting it!” a third opined, referencing Chiara de Blasio’s recent disorderly conduct arrest at a protest.
Some felt that de Blasio’s plan didn’t go far enough, characterizing it as being full of “symbolic gestures and platitudes,” while others expressed concern for the lack of support for law enforcement.
“Our work to keep people safe — at any cost — is being drowned out by calls to defund police departments and arrest officers based on a few seconds of video on social media,” Detectives Union President Paul DiGiacomo said in a statement. “There is zero backing for the men and women in blue by our elected officials. Their decisions are based on appeasing the loudest anti-police protesters instead of fact.”
In the Scriptures, Jesus said that the last days will be as the days of Noah. Genesis 6:11-12 chronicles, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”
Verse 5 says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
In Matthew 24:12-13, Jesus outlined that the last days will be characterized by abundant sin and a lack of love for one another.
“[B]ecause iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold,” he said. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.”