Huffpost New York

Number Of NYPD Officers Set To Plummet

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Budget cuts have forced the NYPD to dramatically shrink its ranks while 300 officers, without badges or guns, continue to collect pay checks.

By 2012, the NYPD will have fewer officers in uniform then at any time since 1992, when the crime rate in New York City was sky-high.

From the New York Post:

The city's Independent Budget Office projected yesterday that by June 30, 2012, the Police Department will have shrunk to 34,413 uniformed personnel, a record low since the 34,825 that were on the force on that same date 20 years ago when crime rates in the city were near epic highs.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said its own projection is actually lower -- 34,060.

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee, said he worries that fewer officers on the streets will lead to a more dangerous city.

"Crime statistics show there is a breaking point, and we're at it," Vallone said. "We can't absorb any more public safety cuts."

The budget crunch means fewer officers on the streets while 300 cops who cannot fight crime are costing tax payers $22 million a year.

From the Post:

The NYPD keeps 300 cops on the payroll at an annual cost to taxpayers of $22 million, though police brass don't trust them enough to give them guns or badges, The Post has learned.

Hundreds of officers, detectives and supervisors who have killed or assaulted people, violated civil rights, beat up their wives or girlfriends, driven drunk or hurt bystanders languish on modified duty -- including one who's been sidelined for 12 years -- while still being paid their full salaries.

The officers have been cleared of crimes or never charged, and the department has decided not to ax them. But without their guns, these police can't fight crime or respond to emergencies.

Officer Kenneth Boss was one of four officers who shot and killed unarmed immigrant Amadou Diallo in 1999. The Post reports that Boss has been without a gun for 12 years but he makes $104,526 a year, according to public records. He's collected more than $1 million from the city.

He spends his time performing repairs at Floyd Bennett Field and taking part in police drills.

In April, the city decided to reassign teachers who were languishing, with pay, in a bureaucratic limbo in so-called "rubber rooms."