City public housing may end $70M police payments

TRD New York /
Dec.December 28, 2013 12:00 PM

 Keeping the projects safe doesn’t come cheap in New York City. The city assigns about 2,000 officers to New York City Housing Authority buildings, at a cost of roughly $70 million a year.

But that could soon change. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has promised to end NYCHA’s payments to the NYPD, saying the money “was taken on the assumption that NYCHA was just awash in federal money, all these wonderful resources coming into NYCHA. And that hasn’t been true for decades.”

Moreover, the landlords of thousands of private residential buildings throughout the city have authorized the NYPD to patrol their properties, and the police do so without charging, according to the New York Times.

Yet some argue that NYCHA buildings present a special circumstance where police funding matters: “Public housing is a unique policing context, not because the residents are more criminally prone, but because the architecture is distinctive and where it is in the city is distinctive,” Fritz Umbach of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the New York Times. “This presents unique police challenges that can only be met with these over-and-above services.” [NYT]Christopher Cameron


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