New York, NY – A Republican candidate for New York City mayor called Mayor Bill de Blasio a “police hater” on Wednesday for refusing hire more officers for the New York Police Department (NYPD).
GOP candidate Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, made the statements at a press conference he held outside One Police Plaza on June 30, the New York Post reported.
Sliwa condemned de Blasio’s refusal to use the $6 billion in American Rescue Plan funds the city got to bolster the NYPD as President Joe Biden suggested cities should do.
The mayor claimed President Biden was referring to other cities, the New York Post reported.
“He specified that to certain cities that were dealing with challenges that are greater than ours,” de Blasio explained during a press conference at City Hall.
“What we did here was strike a balance,” the mayor explained. “We had a lot of different needs to make sure we could bring the city back. We had to think about jobs, we had to think about bringing back schools.”
He said the city would continue to make investments in community-based solutions to improve public safety and keep “NYPD at a strong level,” the New York Post reported.
But Sliwa poked a number of holes in de Blasio’s logic, the New York Post reported.
The Republican candidate also criticized the city’s $98.7 billion budget which added just $200 million to cover police overtime and IT.
The city slashed $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget in 2020 amidst calls to defund the police, the New York Post reported.
“You now have almost a billion-dollar budget — more than most countries — and you still won’t re-fund the police!” Sliwa said. “Which means you’re a police hater! There is no doubt about it.”
“The reality is we need more police, we need to hire more police. We need to take the handcuffs off the police and put it on the criminals,” he added.
Sliwa founded the Guardian Angels safety patrol in 1979 when crime in New York City was at its worst.
The red-hatted volunteer community safety patrols operate in 130 cities in 13 countries, according to the organization’s website.