NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said Sunday that he's seeking funding for 450 additional police officers for counterterrorism efforts -- a midpoint between Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal of zero new cops and the City Council's request for 1,000 in the city budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The officers would be put immediately to work addressing new threats to the city from the Islamic State, Bratton said in a radio interview with host John Catsimatidis on AM 970.
Bratton cited a "significantly increased threat from ISIS using social media to recruit people not only to go to Syria to fight, but encouraging people -- whatever country they live in -- to attack police, to attack government officials."
"I'm going to put another 450 police officers -- if we get the approval to increase the size of the police force, and I need to do it very very quickly -- into our counterterrorism operations," the city's top cop said on "The Cats Roundtable."
The commissioner's latest request is an increase from the 400 officers he said he needed in a news conference May 11. Asked about the change, NYPD deputy commissioner of public information Stephen Davis said Sunday the staffing request "is still being assessed. The number is just an estimate and subject to change until [a] final determination is completed."
De Blasio, however, did not include any additional cops in the $78.3 billion executive budget he released on May 7.
"My central point is I'm very confident in what's happening right now with the resources we have," he said then. "In fact, I think the NYPD is getting better all the time."
The mayor seemed to leave the door open for compromise, saying of budget negotiations: "Until the whole process is complete, there's any number of potential outcomes."
The City Council, meanwhile, wants an increase of 1,000 to the city's 35,000 police officers. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in a joint statement with the council's finance chair Julissa Ferreras said lawmakers were disappointed that de Blasio's proposal doesn't include more cops "who will help give Commissioner Bratton the tools he needs to continue to keep crime low while also improving police-community relations."
The mayor's office, the City Council and the police department are in budget negotiations as they prepare a financial blueprint for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Bratton in the radio interview said he expects the issue could be resolved in the next two to three weeks, though de Blasio is "not anywhere near a number at the moment."
While Bratton and the council are somewhat united in their call for more officers, the commissioner opposes council leaders' proposal to decriminalize the most common low-level offenses such as public urination. Those negotiations are also ongoing.
"I think we're going to find common ground where I get to keep the powers my officers need. We will be able to still enforce these quality-of-life laws," Bratton said Sunday, "but the process will ensure that nobody is inappropriately jailed or significantly inconvenienced."