The plan would increase recruits to a level similar to 2023.

The plan would increase recruits to a level similar to 2023. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Mayor Eric Adams has announced a plan to double the size of the 2024 New York Police Department recruiting class in an effort to decrease violent crimes in the five boroughs.

On Saturday, Adams said the department will add two police academy classes, in July and October, bringing the number of new officers by spring 2025 from 1,200 to 2,400. The announced plans would increase recruits to a level similar to the 2,300 officers the department said it added in 2023.

“I always say that public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity,” Adams said in a statement. “By driving down crime, we have saved lives and laid the foundation for economic recovery, but we want to keep that going and we won’t do anything to risk all our progress.”

The first of the additional classes will begin patrols in January 2025 with the second following three months later, the mayor’s office said.

Adams repeated a goal that he would like to increase police staffing to 35,000 uniformed officers in the coming years, though recent data shows increasing the number of recruits might only stabilize the department’s ranks. That’s because between about 2,500 and about 2,900 officers retired or resigned in 2023 and even more did so in 2022, according to data provided to Newsday by the NYPD and the Police Benevolent Association of New York City.

The staffing announcement comes two weeks after Adams and NYPD brass reported first-quarter crime statistics that show serious crime is down substantially in the city and in the subways this year, including a reduction in shootings in all five boroughs.

The city saw year-over-year decreases in five of the seven major felony categories, including reductions in murder, rape, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft from January through March 2024. The drop amounted to a 2.4% reduction in major felonies for the quarter, compared with 2023, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said at an April 2 news conference.

In the first quarter, murders dipped 17.2%, rapes were down 3.7%, burglaries decreased 14%, grand larcenies were down 2% and auto theft decreased nearly 10%, according to NYPD data. Robberies and felony assaults were the two major felony categories to see increases in the first quarter, the NYPD reported.

Caban called the additional funding for police recruits “a major win for public safety in New York City.”

“The police officer is the ultimate crime reduction tool,” the commissioner said in a statement.

The NYPD is at its lowest level for sworn officers since former Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, with 33,541 cops on the job as of Oct. 20, 2023, Newsday reported in January. The NYPD hit a high of 41,000 in September 2001. Union officials had feared that with announced budget cuts, the police head count could dip under 30,000.

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