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Cruz Introduces Bill Requiring New NYPD Cops To Live Within The Five Boroughs

NYPD Police Academy Graduation Ceremony (Diana Robinson/Mayoral Photography Office)

Aug. 20, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz has introduced legislation that would require all future NYPD recruits to live within the city in order to serve on the force.

The legislation seeks to improve the quality of policing in city neighborhoods by making sure that those who serve the community also live in the community.

The bill is being sponsored by State Sen. Kevin Parker in the senate and would require all NYPD officers hired after Jan. 1 2021 to live within the five boroughs.

The new recruits would have one year to move into New York City after they graduate from the Police Academy, according to the bill.

Cruz said that officers will have a greater desire to improve the neighborhoods they serve if they live among the population. She said the residency requirement would significantly improve relations between cops and residents which would in turn benefit the community as a whole.

“When you have a police officer who, at the end of their workday, is able to clock out and tune out and not really have to think about the consequences of not just their own actions, but the force … they don’t feel invested,” Cruz said during a Zoom press briefing Wednesday.

Around 49 percent of uniformed NYPD cops presently reside within the five boroughs, according to official police data. There are nearly 36,000 uniformed officers serving in the force.

Under current rules, cops who have completed two years of service are permitted to reside in the city as well as in Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Nassau or Suffolk counties.

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (NY State Assembly)

Cruz, who represents residents of Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, said the bill forms part of a wider effort to reform the NYPD and the criminal justice system in light of widespread protests against police brutality.

She said that the low numbers of cops living among the community has made it harder to bring about the necessary changes.

“I want an officer who is so invested in their work that they’re willing to have the conversation about how to reform a system that they’re a part of,” Cruz said.

“We can’t have the conversation about equality and brutality about what is happening in our community if the people who are patrolling our streets are not from our communities,” Cruz said.

Cruz also touted the economic benefits of the bill, noting that the salaries the officers earn would be spent in the city and not in the suburbs. She said this would help the local economy at a time when it is undergoing a downturn.

The bill, which is in committee stage, would not apply to existing serving officers.

Parker said that he was not in favor of uprooting cops who have been serving the force for a long period of time.

“We’ll add enough police that over time we’ll get there,” Parker said.

Parker said that while the state legislature is not currently in session, he wants the bill to be voted on when representatives are called back to deal with budgetary matters. Parker said he expects members to be called back shortly.

Mayor de Blasio said at a press conference last week that he supports more officers residing in the city but said that living costs are too high to force such a move.

However, around 94 percent of civilian workers for the NYPD live in the city, according to data obtained by Streetsblog.

The NYPD’s civilian workforce has a residency requirement and are paid less than uniformed officers.

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11 Comments

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B

Of living in the neighborhood that work at helps police officers do their job better than also assemblers Congress senators majors should also live in the poor Burroughs. If I was a cop this is very hot the time I would want to live in a neighborhood that wants me and my family dead. Where someoneare going around shooting cops in their cars and homes I would not out myself or family in such danger.

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Jim

So apparently this assemblywoman is unaware that currently more that 50% of the NYPD already resides in the 5 boros! Good luck with the requirement, it’s a deal buster for a lot of those considering the NYPD as a profession!

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Pat

Will never happen. No representative will support a bill that takes jobs away from their residents

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Scott White

Nypd is under constant attack, limitations on how they can subdue subjects, criticism of virtually every law enforcement tactic, such as cameras, facial recognition, use of paid informants, phone taps and other methods. How do you expect to attract the best and brightest people to a job that is dangerous, under paid, and overly subjected to restrictions and criticism? I am not a police officer and i do not live in nyc. But i can tell you that i will NOT be going into the city for any reason at all. So if youre so worried about money spent in NYC how about cleaning it up so people like me come there again! Get OFF the cops backs and get BEHIND them instead.

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Jenimarie Garcia-Cruz

QUOTE: “The NYPD’s civilian workforce has a residency requirement and are paid less than uniformed officers.”

Civilians who are paid far less than uniformed officers residing in NYC qualify for housing and other special assistance programs of which uniformed officers are not eligible to apply.

Perhaps if the Mayor stopped brokering deals with his investment partners and friends to build million dollar residences which by the way most NYer’s can’t afford and he put a little effort into rebuilding the Officer next door program and possibly included incentives for example; providing low finance loans to rehabilitate the old homes in borderline neighborhoods with tax breaks until the project is completed then perhaps I could see uniformed members of the service buying homes they can afford which would allow them to stay in the neighborhoods they were most likely born and raised in and possibly raising their own families there as well. The gentrification and abuse of high rise building projects citywide doesn’t allow for long time NY residents to invest in their own communities.

I assure you that the majority of uniformed members of the service would prefer a less than 30 minute drive to work over a two hour commute to get back and forth from a home and family they hardly see in the suburbs. If there’s an accident or traffic that commute could easily equate to 4-5 hours of the day. Travel time is a stressor and after 8 1/2 plus hours of working in a high stress position it’s the last thing you want to deal with and since we happen to be on the topic it’s also a safety issue. Exhausted drivers attempting to get home. I’m sure you get the picture.

I believe the Senator and Assembly Woman missed the mark and they should have focused on and emphasized hiring future Police Officers who have a minimum of ten years of living experience in the five boroughs. Familiarity of the area is beneficial and definitely more resourceful when working with the community. There’s a tremendous amount of compassion that can be provided when the situation is relatable. Hiring a person who was raised in Suffolk County or Rockland County who has never lived in NYC is the REAL issue!

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Anonymous

So these criminals can find where these police and their families live to kill/rob them?? AS IF anyone actually wants to raise their families in NYC with the crime and ridiculous housing prices. This will never pass. What a waste of time

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LICGreg

So I guess you will also propose a bill increasing the salary of the police by 20% so they can actually afford to live within the five boroughs?

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Frank

Seriously, or give cops a fast track into affordable housing. Typical poorly thought out Progressive thinking.

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OAR

I work for the Department of Health and I have to live in the city. So there is no reason that Police Officers can’t do the same. They make considerably more than most city workers who have residency requirements. If 49% of the force already lives in the city, then there is no reason that 100% can’t.

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