Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) thinks Mayor Eric Adams should fund community violence prevention programs without law enforcement rather than increase police wages.
In an interview with “The Daily Show,” Ocasio-Cortez discussed the “Stand Up to Violence” program at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, which addresses violence as a public health issue and allows social workers to investigate shootings without law enforcement.
When the show’s host, Jordan Klepper, asked if Mayor Adams misplaced funding that bumps rookie NYPD cop’s annual salary by 28%, Ocasio-Cortez said she “thinks so.”
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Contrary to her comments, the New York Post reported the city’s Department of Education said teachers with a master’s degree and teaching experience make between $68,000 to $83,900.
“We are defunding safety, defunding our public schools, defunding our public pools, defunding our parks [and] defunding our libraries,” she said. “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.”
Earlier this month, the New York Post reported Mayor Adams struck a tentative eight-year agreement retroactive deal with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) — the city’s largest police union — which raises new officers’ salaries by more than $12,000 amid low recruitment numbers and departures. The deal also grants back pay to officers in addition to a 3.5% raise this August and a 4% raise in 2024.
PBA President Patrick Lynch said the city had already lost “far too many talented cops to better paying and less stressful policing jobs” in other departments.
“This agreement is not only a major step toward closing our pay gap relative to other police departments — it also significantly improves our members’ quality of life,” Lynch said.
The deal will give rookie cops salaries from $42,000 to $55,000 per year once PBA officials approve the agreement, projected to cost taxpayers $5.5 billion through 2025.