NEW YORK (Associated Press) - The city won't have to shrink its police force as planned in the next fiscal year, officials said Wednesday.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was set to lay out his budget update Thursday for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Ahead of the announcement, officials said the city will be able to avoid the proposed reduction of the 35,000-officer police force by 892 officers through attrition. Other cuts are still expected, however.
"The mayor will lay out a budget on Thursday that by necessity will include further cuts to many important city services, but it won't include a reduction in the number of police officers out on our streets keeping New York City safe," Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said.
The city declined to give details about the other expected cuts before Thursday.
The mayor had proposed shrinking the force in his preliminary budget plan in January. It was among many belt-tightening moves intended to close a deficit of about $3.5 billion for fiscal year 2011.
The city's budget is about $60 billion.
Bloomberg, who was lobbying for more state aid from Albany, has mused in recent weeks about whether an uptick in violent crime might be linked to a police force stretched too thin.
Crime remains at historic lows, but murders, rapes, felony assaults and burglaries were up slightly in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
Officials said tax revenues have come in slightly above projections, allowing for the restoration in funding for the police department. Keeping the 892 officers amounts to about $55 million.
The preliminary budget plan contained more than $1 billion of savings for the next fiscal year.
City officials have delayed the spring budget update, which is typically released at the end of April, as the Bloomberg administration has waited to see how much aid the city would get from the state.
The state budget is a month late, and some lawmakers are predicting negotiations will drag into June.
Early budget proposals from the state cut aid to New York City by $750 million to over $1 billion.
The city must adopt a budget by the end of June.
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