Protesters call on city to invest less into policing and more into community aid

Members of Communities United For Police Reform rallied outside of City Hall on Wednesday to push the message “community over cops."
That message is a demand from protesters to the city to stop putting millions of dollars into policing and instead invest more into community and social service programs.  
“It’s time to act in the interest of our communities and fund those communities instead of funding cops,” said Maria Duarte, member of the advocacy group.
This rally comes ahead of the upcoming 2024 fiscal budget. Protesters outside City Hall said vital community-based services are being slashed while the NYPD’s $11 billion budget remains untouched.  
“We see the mayor made a big cut of 15% of open positions in city agencies in January,” said Antonine Pierre, a member of Communities United for Police Reform. “There’s less jobs to hire people… but the agency that saw no cuts is the NYPD.” 
Advocates say they would like to see more investments in mental health, housing, educational services, mentoring and youth programs, as well as other community-based services.  
Communities United for Police Reform says it plans to keep the pressure on lawmakers through rallies like this one in hope that the city’s upcoming budget will be changed to reflect the needs of local communities.  
News 12 has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment and is awaiting a response.