The NYPD’s Critical Response Command, a specialized force trained for swift reactions to grave, organized threats, faces potential cuts of up to 75%, according to an internal memo.
This unit, which is a primary element of the NYPD’s $219.5 million Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureaus, plays a crucial role in the defense against terrorist threats.
Scott Shanley, the deputy chief of the NYPD Counterterrorism Critical Response Command, shared his profound concerns in an email, saying, “I am devastated by the news I have to give to you, as you all are family to me.”
He further elaborated, “Today, I was informed that our unit will be downsized significantly, by up to 75%. Though we are still in efforts to reduce this number, many home/personal lives will be affected nonetheless.”
This revelation emerged shortly after Mayor Eric Adams discussed substantial budget cuts in relation to concerns about the migrant crisis’s impact on New York City.
The NYPD’s spokesperson stated that there are no planned staffing alterations for the unit.
Deputy Commissioner Tarik Sheppard remarked, “The NYPD regularly reviews personnel allocations and considers bolstering resources in various areas whenever it is deemed advantageous to our public safety mission. We have not committed to altering the size of any unit.”
Earlier this year, Rebecca Weiner was appointed as the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, marking her as the first woman to assume this role. She had previously emphasized the department’s approach of deploying resources based on collected intelligence.
Budget records showcase an allocation of just over $63 million for the unit’s operations in the 2024 fiscal year, with approximately $55 million designated for full-time staff salaries.
Sources revealed to Gothamist that the department is contemplating reassigning some officers from the unit to bolster numbers in street-level patrols.
Members of this unit are trained in various advanced techniques, including handling special weapons, explosive detection, and awareness of radiological, nuclear, biological, and chemical threats. The unit was established after the 9/11 attacks to preemptively thwart and devise a response strategy for potential terrorist incidents.