2006-06-16 / Community

Weiner: Feds Should Pay For NYPD Overtime

The NYPD's overtime costs have spiked since 9/11 and the Department of Homeland Security refuses to fund this crucial anti-terror cost, according to data released by Representative Anthony Weiner.

To ensure that the Big Apple is adequately protected, Weiner will introduce legislation that removes spending restrictions on anti-terror funds, allowing cities like the Big Apple to invest in their real homeland security needs - boots on the street.

In the four years since 9/11, the average annual NYPD overtime cost has increased nearly 100% from the four prior years - from $220.8 million to $436.7 million - yet the feds discount the merit of investments in police manpower.

Before 9/11 - from FY '98 to FY '01 - the NYPD spent an average of $220.8 million on police overtime.

After 9/11 - from FY '02 to FY '05 - the NYPD spent an average of $436.7 on police overtime.

Post-9/11, a nearly 100% increase in NYPD overtime has been needed to protect New York City from another terror attack.

Weiner's legislation includes three crucial components. First, it will prevent DHS from ranking personnel requests below capital requests. Second, it will remove DHS's caps on how much money the NYPD can spend for counterterrorism salaries and overtime. Finally, it allows the City to use federal dollars for all anti-terror related activities, including ongoing City efforts.

Under the recently announced high threat, high density grants, the Department of Homeland Security has refused to fund operating costs, like police overtime, instead opting to direct cash toward equipment purchases in cities that no one would reasonably believe were terror targets.

Based upon a peer review process, DHS ranked overtime at the very bottom of New York City's funding request - second to last in the Department's list of funding priorities.

While DHS funds vehicles in Texas and security cameras in Alaska, the Big Apple is facing a security squeeze, having to protect thousands of vulnerable assets and 8 million residents with less money for salaries and overtime.

According to the City, the NYPD was depending on federal funds to pay half of the $200 million annual tab for subway security and for Operation Atlas, which consists of heavily armed teams that safeguard strategic locations and city icons like the Empire State Building and United Nations building.

"New York City's anti-terror efforts are aimed at foiling terror plots and to do that we need boots on the ground. Only funding response equipment is short-sighted, reactionary and dangerous." said Rep. Weiner. "This legislation will fund salaries and overtime for New York's cops so we can do what DHS lacks the imagination to do - protect New York City from another attack."

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