At a City Council hearing on Monday, police commissioner Bill Bratton said that he would like to hire “in excess” of 1,000 more cops. That is pretty much the opposite of the position he took back in June, when he and Mayor de Blasio rejected a Council proposal to increase the size of the NYPD by 1,000 officers, plus 500 civilian employees. According to Bratton, New York needs the new cops to make sure shifts are covered while the entire force undergoes post–Eric Garner retraining, but de Blasio didn’t seem too convinced when he spoke to reporters about the NYPD chief’s request on Tuesday.
“I think Commissioner Bratton was expressing the same kind of view that every commissioner expresses: that he ideally wants more personnel,” said de Blasio. “I think he was expressing an aspiration — that’s a very different thing than what we’re going to decide.” He added that Bratton had not yet formally submitted his proposal. “We’re certainly going to have a full process around the city budget,” De Blasio told the Observer. “You know, when he finishes his review, which is still in progress, we’ve talked about it for a long time — there will be a very formal proposal that comes out of the NYPD into our budget process.” In other words: Don’t be surprised if the conversation about this gets dragged out for a long, long while.