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City takes budget knife to parades

The city is reining in its parades.

The NYPD told parade organizers throughout the city Monday that effective April 1, all routes must be cut by 25 percent and parades must be limited to five hours.

Police blamed budget constraints, saying the move will save $3.1 million and “avoid cuts to essential police services, such as conventional crime suppression, counterterrorism and investigations generally.”

Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler released a statement saying shortening parades is a “sensible way to save money.”

“New Yorkers can’t afford a tax increase now, and we can’t take our eyes off the ball when it comes to keeping crime low,” he said.

But City Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Brooklyn), chair of the finance committee, said parades help generate economic activity.

"There are other ways to save money," he said.

While cops would not say how many parades would be affected by the time limit, several annual marches – including the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn and the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan – last longer than that. An online listing for the Puerto Rican parade, scheduled for June 13, said it would run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An official with the West Indian parade said it generally lasts at least that long, often stretching eight hours.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is scheduled to be the Grand Marshal at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade but cops won’t be stopping that one: It will take place March 17, before the new regulations go into effect.  

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