New York City will cut overtime pay for its police officers and three other agencies to help reduce costs driven by the city’s unprecedented migrant crisis, City Hall announced Monday.
Jacques Jiha, the budget director for Mayor Eric Adams’s administration, told the city’s police, fire, corrections, and sanitations departments in a Saturday memo to each submit an overtime pay reduction plan “to reduce year-to-year OT spending.”
He also wrote the four departments must submit monthly reports “to track overtime spending and their progress in meeting the reduction target” once Adams issues the order.
Jiha also noted the current assistance provided by President Joe Biden and New York governor Kathy Hochul is not enough, prompting City Hall’s decision to cut overtime pay among other financial measures.
"The amount of aid we have received from the federal government and the state has been grossly inadequate and there has been no progress on a statewide or national decompression strategy," Jhia wrote in the memo, first reported by Politico. "The city can no longer continue to shoulder these skyrocketing costs and balance the budget without making very difficult choices."
Crime has risen in New York in recent months as more than 100,000 illegal immigrants have poured into the city.
The leader of a police union said the overtime pay cuts will lead to fewer cops patrolling the streets, resulting in more staffing shortages.
“It is going to be impossible for the NYPD to significantly reduce overtime unless it fixes its staffing crisis,” Patrick Hendry, head of the Police Benevolent Association, told the New York Post. “We are still thousands of cops short, and we're struggling to drive crime back to pre-2020 levels without adequate personnel.”
“If City Hall wants to save money without jeopardizing public safety, it needs to invest in keeping experienced cops on the job,” he said.
On Saturday, Adams announced city agencies will soon need to cut at least 5 percent from their budgets. Other departments face up to 15 percent in cuts to start reducing an expected $12 billion deficit by July 2025 due to the city’s migrant crisis.
Earlier last week, the Democratic mayor predicted if illegal immigrants continue pouring in, the ongoing influx "will destroy New York City." About 60,000 asylum seekers are currently in the city’s care, with over 110,000 arriving since spring 2022.
To help address the financial situation, Adams and his administration intend to implement a hiring freeze for certain employees, excluding public health and safety and “revenue producers”; a freeze on out-of-town travel, except to Albany or Washington, D.C., for visits to the state governor or federal government; and a ban on purchasing new equipment and future consulting contracts.
No layoffs are yet included in the cost-cutting plan. However, costly accommodations for migrants will be cut as well.
“We are also reducing services being provided to asylum seekers and closely monitoring these services to ensure they are being delivered in the cost efficient and cost effective manner possible,” the memo read.
“The city is experiencing a humanitarian crisis we did not cause,” Jiha wrote, calling the federal and state assistance for New York City’s immigration problem “grossly inadequate.”