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631 officers boost thinning NYPD ranks

But Adams rebukes new ‘paperwork’ law


The NYPD welcomed 631 rookie cops to its ranks last week, but this latest recruit class is likely to be the next-to-last for as long as a year or more. 

The Adams administration in November announced the cancellation of five NYPD academy classes as part of municipal budget cuts made necessary by spending connected to the influx of immigrants to the city, the drying up of federal Covid subsidies and the resolution of collective bargaining agreements.

A class of 600 recruits began their six-month academy training Oct. 25. 

Mayor Eric Adams, speaking to the new officers during their Dec. 29 graduation ceremony at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, recalled his own time first with the city’s Transit Police Department and then with the NYPD.

“The bad people of the city thought that they can run us out of the city, but they got it wrong. We never gave up and we never surrendered,” he told rookie cops. 

Adams, counseling them “to ignore the noise,” then alluded to a bill passed Dec. 20 by the City Council in its last meeting of the year that will require officers to detail their interactions with persons during all “investigative encounters,” including those that did not require suspicion of criminal activity. Critics of the legislation, which passed with a veto-proof majority, said it will unnecessarily tie up officers with paperwork. 

Proponents, though, said it would improve and increase police accountability and transparency. 

Adams, fiercely opposed to the bill’s provisions, said the Council’s action could impede officers’ ability to properly police the city. Council members, he told the new cops, “believe you should not have the empowerment you need.” 

“Instead of patrolling, they want you to do paperwork,” he continued. 

Speaking outside the City Hall gates just before the Council’s Dec. 20 vote, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, Patrick Hendry, warned that the new law could contribute to more officer departures from a department already stretched thin. 

“Every New York City Council member needs to understand we are short thousands of police officers and hundreds are quitting and retiring every month,” he said, obliging those still on the force to work significant amounts of overtime. “And that’s still not enough,” he added, noting that response times to police emergencies were increasing.

“It will bury our police officers’ heads in paperwork,” Hendry said.


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