Shortchanged Again

No local police department is more engaged in fighting terrorism than the New York Police Department. The NYPD has a thousand officers dedicated to fighting not local criminals, but the nation’s enemies. Some of them are deployed overseas, where they work in collaboration with national security agencies.

You’d think the federal government would be grateful for this commitment of manpower and brainpower. And maybe the feds are, in fact, thankful–but they certainly have an odd way of showing it.

For the fifth year in a row, New York received zero dollars when the U.S. Department of Justice distributed $298 million in grants last week. Nearly 400 police agencies around the country received federal assistance, but not a dollar of it went to the nation’s largest police force.

Nobody would ever suggest that New York deserves more than its fair share of federal funding. But it would be nice for a change if the city were treated fairly in the distribution of federal funding. It’s an old story, to be sure, but it is all the more urgent at a time when terrorists would like nothing more than to strike New York again.

New York’s commitment to fighting global terrorism is not without self-interest. But it is also not without sacrifice. The city’s treasury isn’t bare, but it isn’t flush, either. As a result, the head count in the NYPD has been allowed to shrink from a high of more than 40,000 officers a decade ago to about 33,000 now. Perhaps not coincidentally, the murder rate has begun to creep up for the first time in years.

New York worked hard to become one of the safest large cities in the world. It is working equally hard to make sure that residents and visitors alike are protected from the scourge of global terrorism.

Washington ought to recognize those efforts not with lip service, but with cash. Our two U.S. senators and our Congressional delegation should be making this point, loudly, during this campaign season.

editorial@observer.com

Article continues below
More from Politics
(FILES): These two file photos show then Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (L) speaking to reporters about the minimum wage for federal contractors at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feburary 12, 2014; and Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (R) during a press conference about Islamophobia at the National Press Club on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.


US Democrats, licking their wounds from last year's election debacle, will pick a new leader on February 25, 2017 to take the fight to President Donald Trump and his Republicans. The race to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) features front-runners Tom Perez, a Hispanic-American and former secretary of labor under Barack Obama who is the establishment pick, and Keith Ellison, a black Muslim congressman from the party's progressive wing who has left open the prospect of pushing to impeach Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN AND Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanders 2020 Just Became Much More Likely With Tom Perez as DNC Chair