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Albany Gives NYC’s Top Cops $12k in Additional Pension Benefits as Adams Pushes Recruitment

Published: April 22, 2024
NYPD officers set up barricades outside Trump Tower on March 21, 2023 in New York City. (Image: Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images)

In an attempt to retain seasoned officers, a group of 28 New York State lawmakers lobbied Albany to provide a boost to officer’s pensions in the recently signed $237 billion budget bill.

Officers who now stick around for at least 25 years will be eligible for an annual pension worth $112,000, up from $105,000. Should they decide to stay on for 30 years, they will be eligible to rake in $125,000 a year in pension benefits. 

The incentive is designed to keep seasoned officers within the ranks as more and more NYPD officers call it quits after 20 years, or even sooner. 

Keith Powers, a democrat from Manhattan who spearheaded the initiative told the New York Post, “We’re very happy that Albany has taken up our appeal to help out long-term serving members of the police department,” adding that, “As we’ve seen the last few years it’s been a challenge to maintain long-term, high-quality officers, and I’m grateful for Albany to include this measure in the budget that had broad support from the NYC council.”

Over the past decade, New York has lost approximately 1,000 first-grade officers, who are considered the best of the best, with 25 years on the force, and more than 200 officers who had been with the force for 30 years. 

Proponents of the boost say the move is a “cost-effective benefit” to retain seasoned officers.

In a letter from March this year, lawmakers wrote, “While the cost of this proposal is modest, the impact on the safety of New Yorkers is great.”

According to the New York Post, Patrick Hendry, PBA President said, “We have lost far too many of our most talented, experienced police officers to retirement or other policing jobs with better benefits and a better quality of life.”

“We’re grateful to all of the elected officials in Albany and City Hall who supported this common-sense retention incentive, which will help keep some of our best cops on the job,” he said, adding, “However, we still have a long way to go to get NYC police officers the competitive benefits and working conditions they deserve.”


Adams pushes recruitment

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams plans to double the number of new NYPD recruits in the hiring pipeline amid lingering concerns over crime rates in the city.

Last week, Adams said that he plans to restore two NYPD classes that were previously cut from the city’s budget in order to make room for caring for tens of thousands of migrants.

In total, the city is looking at adding an additional 1,200 officers.

“While we continue to drive down shootings and homicides at a historic level, these officers will give us the much needed support to continue this success,” Adams said.

According to numbers compiled by AH Datalytics, the number of nonnegligent manslaughters, homicides, in New York City has dropped by 17.1 percent year-over-year through to March 31 and, if the trend continues to the end of this year, it will mean the spike in homicides seen during the COVID-19 pandemic will have almost completely reversed itself.

Currently, the NYPD has 33,695 uniformed officers, however if all goes to plan, this number should increase to 35,000 over the next year. This number is still 1,300 fewer than the number authorized in the recent budget.

NYPD Commissioner, Edward Caban, said the news was a “major win for public safety.”

“While the NYPD will always be at the forefront of new technology and precision policing, the police officer is the ultimate crime reduction tool. They’re the ones who stay on the street corner and let the world know: ‘Not today, not on my watch,’” he said.


Restored funding

Adams said that the new officers are possible due to saving over $2 billion through reducing spending on the influx of migrants to the city. 

Currently, there are roughly 64,500 migrants in the City’s care

Year to date, crime in the Big Apple is down 3.1 percent and shootings and murders are down 19.8 and 23.5 percent respectively, according to NYPD data. 

But, despite the improved numbers, Gov. Kathy Hochul still moved forward with deploying 1,000 New York National Guardsmen, state police and MTA officers to the city’s subway system to conduct bag checks and patrol.

The additional security is working in conjunction with the NYPD following a series of high profile murders in the city’s underground transit system.

Hochul, along with the heightened security, also introduced a law that will allow judges to ban anyone convicted of a violent transit assault from riding the city’s subway or bus system.

So far in 2024, subway crime rates have surged, spiking nearly 20 percent compared to the same time last year, according to NYPD statistics.

When announcing the initiative, Hochul said at a press conference, “Let me be very, very clear. These brazen, heinous attacks on our subway system will not be tolerated. This will not stand — not on my watch.”