Later this month, more than 600 police officer recruits will conclude their academy training and join the NYPD. If convention is any guide, the rookie cops’ first assignment will be to patrol Times Square on New Year’s Eve and into 2024. That tradition could well be broken next December.
The cancellation of five NYPD academy classes as part of municipal budget cuts announced Nov. 16 means ball drop duty will fall to more experienced cops. But with the department already contending with fewer officers than at any time since the 1990s, the hiring freeze will challenge the NYPD far beyond the Crossroads of the World.