The New York Police Department hasn't been hiring civilians despite plans by the de Blasio administration to fill certain jobs with nonuniformed personnel, including safety personnel, traffic enforcement agents and 911 operators, a recent report released by the Independent Budget Office found. 

Two years ago, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council proposed a deal to 1,300 new police officers. Since the increase would cost the city $170 million, de Blasio said giving some jobs once performed by officers to civilians would save $70 million. Now, IBO, a publicly funded watchdog agency, revealed between December 2013 and the end of last year, the number of NYPD civilian staffers increased just 2 percent (284 people). 

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The report also stated the increase in the department’s budget plan for civilian staffers does not correspond with the actual hiring of civilians employees. By the end of December, there was actually an 11.6 percent increase in civilian positions. As for uniformed officers, the report showed a 4.1 percent increase.

It is evident NYPD is cutting jobs that could be filled by civilians. Statistics indicated the positions fell from 731 in December 2013 to 381 by the end of last year. For instance, based on a chart on the IBO’s website, the number of NYPD civilians working as administrative aides and school safety agents fell by 66.

Last June, Joseph Giacalone, a retired detective sergeant-turned-professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said these civilians are often unqualified for certain positions, adding that in other areas like intelligence analysis, social media work and filing duties, uniformed officers still need to be present “to run their day-to-day operations.”

“Many civilians don’t understand the inner workings on how to run a police department, so we still end up putting cops back there eventually,” Giacalone told City and State New York.

IBO reported de Blasio’s budget plan for next year includes a $5.1 million reduction, mainly because 150 unfilled civilian jobs are being eliminated. IBO estimated the city would save $97 million for the entire fiscal year.

This year the NYPD’s uniformed overtime budget will see an increase of $547 million, or $44 million more than what had been estimated.