Crime is up — and cops are down. City taxpayers are paying so much for yesterday’s crime-fighting that they can barely afford today’s.
A bloody start to July reminded New Yorkers about the bad old days: 21 people killed over the holiday week, including three gunned down after leaving a Queens club. Though murders are down, shootings are up 11 percent for the year, helping push crime up 4 percent.
It gets harder to keep New York safe as the number of cops falls. Little more than a decade ago, in 2000, the city had 40,451 police officers. Today, it’s 34,413 cops — an 18 percent drop.Even four years ago, we had 35,561 officers — 1,148 more than today.
This a big switch from the protection New York thought it would have. Four years ago, the NYPD expected to have 36,284 people in the ranks by mid-2012 — 1,871 above today’s real numbers.
And City Hall expects a drop of another 104 cops over the next two years. The number of officers won’t rise until at least 2016.
What happened? Yes, Wall Street collapsed, and tax revenues plummeted. The city thought things would be better by now — and they aren’t.
But the other huge factor is cops’ pensions.