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NYPD to reduce crossing guard count in cost-cutting move

The NYPD is slashing its school crossing guard workforce by 18% for the next fiscal year as a cost-cutting move, documents shared with the Daily News show.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell ordered an “18% overall reduction” from every NYPD borough command by June 2, a memo dated Tuesday states.

“As part of the Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Financial Plan, the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget implemented headcount reductions that affected the Department’s School Crossing Guard title,” the memo notes. “The part-time authorized headcount for school crossing guards has been reduced by 483 positions in FY 2024 with a new authorized headcount of 2,219.”

Each borough school crossing guard coordinator has been asked to “cut their part-time crossing guard positions by 18%,” another document shared with The News states.

While Chell blamed the cuts on Mayor Adams’ budget team, the NYPD had always planned to cut crossing guard positions, according to the department’s report to the City Council’s Finance and Public Safety committees during a hearing on May 18.

In the NYPD’s budget proposal, the department noted a “savings of $7.5 million in fiscal year 2024 and the outyears as a result of the elimination of 483 part-time crossing guard positions.”

The cuts will begin with “vacancy reductions,” limiting the crossing guard headcount for the next year, the NYPD budget notes.

But the steep headcount reduction will lead to crossing guards being fired since the cuts can’t be met by getting rid of vacant slots alone, according to a source with knowledge of the cuts.

Mayor Eric Adams

School crossing guards have already been alerted that layoffs are coming.

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“It’s not vacant posts; it’s posts that are being occupied by crossing guards,” said one city crossing guard, who wished not to be identified.

The reduced headcount is expected to be completed by July 1, right before summer classes begin at city public schools.

The cuts will be disastrous since crossing guard numbers have already been cut to the bone, the guard said.

A crossing guard stands on an empty corner.

“We cross millions of kids and their families every day,” she said. “If you don’t have a crossing guard at the corner — the cars, the interflow, some streets are like little highways — it’s going to be a disaster if we’re not on these corners manning them.”

Mayor Adams is pushing to cut funding in the next fiscal year for a variety of social service, education and cultural agencies, but has repeatedly said the cuts will come from vacancy reductions and streamlining services rather than layoffs. A spokesman for Adams did not immediately return a request for comment on how the crossing guard cuts align with the mayor’s vow to avoid layoffs.

It is not immediately clear how many crossing guards the NYPD currently has. The city’s crossing guard fleet are all part-timers who earn about $15.45 an hour, according to the department website.

An email to the NYPD for comment was not immediately returned.

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