Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a recent interview on “The Daily Show” argued that New York City Mayor Eric Adams was “defunding safety” by increasing the wages for New York police officers.
In her interview, Ocasio-Cortez argued instead that it would be much better if the money was being paid to public schools and violence prevention programs, instead of being given as additional wages to the New York Police Department. As she claimed, currently most police officers are earning more than teachers with a master’s degree are earning. She further added that they are “serving the same kids, involved in the same [violent] incidents.”
The congresswoman proceeded to claim that completely cutting investments into community programs while simultaneously providing more funding to the “militarized” NYPD is essentially “defunding safety.”
She further added that not only was safety defunded but so were public schools, pools, parks, and libraries. As she claimed every department other than the “militarized ones” was being cut, and as she alleged that sends a clear message “about who and what we care about.”
According to the New York City Department of Education, in 2021-2022, the starting salary for teachers started from $61,070 for a bachelor’s degree and could reach $83,972 for teachers with a master’s degree and eight years prior teaching experience. New teachers with a master’s degree but no experience in the classroom could earn $68,252.
Adams announced that there was a tentative agreement with the largest police union in New York to increase the salaries of rookie officers to stop the large exodus of officers.