New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton wants to hire more than 1,000 new officers, in part to accommodate staffing as the department overhauls its training program, reports the Wall Street Journal. Bratton told a City Council hearing the officers are needed to mkake sure that shifts are covered as nearly every officer is retrained on the use of force. The retraining was announced after the July death of a Staten Island man who was placed in an apparent chokehold by a police officer.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has said increasing the size of the NYPD was one of the council’s top priorities for the fiscal year that began July 1. Mayor Bill de Blasio seemed cautious about Bratton’s plan. Spokesman Phil Walzak said, “The mayor and his team would review staffing and expenditure proposals received from every commissioner and department when the regular budget process begins next year.” Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union that represents officers, said the additional officers are part of “the answer to quelling crime hot spots around the city.” Still, he added, even more officers are needed to keep the city safe.