Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) reportedly believes that Mayor Eric Adams should invest in neighborhood violence prevention initiatives rather than raising police salaries.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke about the “Stand Up to Violence” program at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, which treats violence as a public health issue and permits social workers to look into shootings without involving law police, in an appearance with “The Daily Show.”
“We are now at a point where officially, most officers are paid more than a teacher with a master’s degree serving these same kids involved in these same incidents,” Cortez said.
“We are defunding safety, defunding our public schools, defunding our public pools, defunding our parks [and] defunding our libraries. When we are taking all of those resources and demanding that every single department — except the militarized one — be cut, we are sending a message about who and what we care about.” she continued.
Ocasio-Cortez answered in the affirmative, when the show’s host, Jordan Klepper, asked whether Mayor Adams misappropriated funds that increase a rookie NYPD cop’s yearly wage by 28%.
The Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the city’s largest police union, and Mayor Adams reportedly reached a tentative eight-year agreement retroactive deal earlier this month.
The agreement raises new officers’ salaries by more than $12,000 in response to low recruitment rates and officer turnover. In addition to a 3.5% rise this August and a 4% boost in 2024, the agreement also provides officers back pay.
After PBA officials accept the agreement, rookie police officers would get wages ranging from $42,000 to $55,000 annually. It is estimated that the accord will cost taxpayers $5.5 billion through 2025.