Crime Bill Funding
Only Half the Story

In the FY 2001 Executive Budget, the Mayor announced that the city will apply for federal funding to create 1,230 additional police officer positions. The administration's proposal to secure $92.3 million in federal Crime Bill funding would ultimately cost the city about $116.2 million in local taxpayer resources-or about $1.26 for every $1.00 in federal funds anticipated over the 2001-2004 plan period.

What is the Crime Bill? This money is made available to cities through the federal Violent Crime Control Act of 1994-commonly known as the Crime Bill-which includes a program to provide localities with three-year grants that partially fund salary and fringe benefit costs to hire additional police officers.

The grants provide a total of $75,000 per covered position. Grant recipients are responsible for any additional salary and fringe benefit costs. Recipients are also required under a maintenance of effort provision to keep the covered positions at their own expense for at least one city fiscal year following expiration of the grant.

City costs. Under the current proposal, the city would receive $92.3 million, spanning four city fiscal years. An additional $116.2 million in city funds would be required over the plan period to cover the balance of the salary and benefit costs for the 1,230 officers.

The proposed hiring plan. To receive the federal funds, the NYPD must reach a peak staffing level of 41,440 once each year from 2001 through 2004. NYPD would achieve the target by hiring a new class once each fiscal year to reach that peak. Attrition would then reduce staffing until the next fiscal year when a new class of recruits is hired. The city's grant application proposes to reach the peak of 41,440 in 2001 by hiring of a class of 1,589 recruits in September 2000; assuming a normal rate of attrition the force would decline to 40,210 by the end of the fiscal year. In 2002 through 2004, the agency would achieve the peak-staffing target of 41,440 by hiring a new class on the first day (July 1) of each fiscal year.

Possible costs after 2004. While the city plans to achieve the peak staffing level for four years, there is a question of whether the grant would require the city to reach peak staffing again in 2005. The three-year grant (September 2001 to September 2003) requires the city to fully fund the officers for one city fiscal year after the grant expires. Since the city will receive federal funds for a portion of fiscal 2004, it may be required to again fund the positions in 2005. If that were the case, the city's 2005 cost would be at least $60.8 million, since there would be no federal share.

For more information about this issue contact Bernard O'Brien, Senior Budget and Policy Analyst at (212) 442-8656.