New York City Mayor Eric Adams lamented that more than 30% of NYPD officers do not actually live in the city, but did not address the notoriously high cost of living in the city and the amount officers are paid.
“We can not talk about residency without talking about police officers’ pay and the cost of living in this city,” a Police Benevolent Association spokesman told the New York Post following Adams’ comments.
Adams unveiled his plan to address the city’s increase in gun crimes this month and said after the speech that he wants NYPD members “here in this city.”
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“I want you to go to the cleaners. I want you to go to the churches to the supermarket, your children should be in our schools. We should not have 30 something percent of officers residing [out of New York City]. “
“There’s no such thing as being off duty, so technically, if you see a crime and you do not take action as a police officer, you could be held accountable for that,” Adams added. “So, why are we using our tax dollars to pay for an officer to be here for eight hours and then 16 hours he’s going to one of our five neighboring counties and protecting them?”
“That makes no sense.… You are paying for other counties to be safe.”
Crime in New York City has ticked up this month, with shootings alone rising by 16% and claiming the lives of two NYPD officers and injuring three others.
Adams’ office referred Fox News to the NYPD when asked for a response to concerns over cost of living and wages for NYPD members. An NYPD spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Meanwhile, rank-and-file cops have sounded off about the mayor’s comments.
“As soon as he pays me enough to rent an apartment in the city, I will move,” a Manhattan law enforcement officer told the New York Post.
Another cop added: “Not everyone wants to live in Brownsville – which still costs half a million for a house,” the police source said.
“I’d rather put my balls in a Vise-Grip.”
Annual salary starts at $ 42,500 for officers before overtime, and pay goes up to $ 85,292 per year after five and a half years on the force, according to city data.
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New York City came in the sixth spot for the world’s most expensive cities to live in in 2021, beating out Los Angeles, which came in the ninth spot, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New York City sits at $ 3,684 per month, which is $ 2,021 above the national average, according to 2021 data.
Uniformed police officers must be residents of New York state but can also live in Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, Putnam or Orange counties, the New York Post reported.
The state’s Public Officers Law requires NYC law enforcement members to live within a 30 mile radius of the city. Any changes to the law would have to come down from state lawmakers, not the mayor or city council.
A Brooklyn officer summed up Adams’ comments as “just lip service from the latest politician.”
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“I am sure he knows he does not have the power to make that decision. He is just making noise for his voters,” the officer said.
NYPD officers have not been required to live in the city for more than 50 years, the New York Post reported, but Adams said Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell is working on a plan to get more cops living in the city.
Adams’ comments mark a shift from former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s stance on cops living in the Big Apple.
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“A lot of NYPD officers who happen to be people of color are living in the suburbs for purely economic reasons, because they can not find enough affordable housing here,” de Blasio said in 2020. “We should have a real public debate about it. But we should be mindful that it’s not as easy an equation in New York city as it is in a lot of other places because of the pure cost of housing.”