New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has resisted increasing the number of uniformed police officers, but a shift in city politics and a rise in homicides is adding to the political pressure that he acquiesce, reports the Wall Street Journal. Police Commissioner William Bratton and the City Council are pushing for a higher headcount, which can be as high as 35,437. De Blasio's preliminary budget proposal for the year that begins July 1 recommends no increase.
Bratton, whose stature has grown since he helped stem the mayor's feud with police-union leaders, is in discussions with de Blasio and his budget team about an increase of hundreds of officers. Public Advocate Letitia James, who has been pushing for more uniformed officers, expects de Blasio to settle on an increase between 500 and 1,000 new officers. At the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, there were 40,710 officers. As of Sunday, homicides had increased 20 percent this year to 66 from 55, and shooting incidents rose 11.4 percent to 185 from 166.