With the mayor, police reform advocates, the Council speaker, the police commissioner and just about everyone else having a dog in the fight, New York talks a lot about how many cops the city has, and how many it needs. But as important as the NYPD is to public safety and all the politics that surround law and order, there are about 240,000 city employees who don’t carry a badge and gun. Their numbers, like those of the PD, reflect changing city priorities over time.
Below are statistics on headcount shifts at city agencies from fiscal year 1994 to fiscal year 2014, based on data from the Independent Budget Office. This isn’t the full picture of how city staffing has changed, because some personnel (like those from the city’s pension system) have gone off-budget since ’94 while other agencies (like the Office of Emergency Management) didn’t exist back then. And some of the agencies are way smaller than others: The Board of Correction has a staff of 16, so any percentage changes in its headcount involve tiny numbers of people.
But this snapshot does reflect changing policies and political priorities over the past 20 years.