District Attorneys rally against budget cuts

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by the city’s other District Attorneys and Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan, this week urged the city to restore previous cuts to prosecutors’ budgets and fund new initiatives.
In testimony before the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety, Brown said that since “September 11, 2001, District Attorneys’ budgets have been slashed by nearly 20 percent.”
In discussing the fiscal challenges facing his office, Brown said that “the problem has now been compounded by the fact that the mayor’s preliminary budget for next year proposes a further 5 percent cut in our funding. That will mean an additional $2 million cut in my office’s budget for the next fiscal year. And beyond that, two weeks ago we were told by the city’s Budget Director to plan for a further cut of 3 percent in FY09. That will mean an additional $1.2 million reduction in my budget.”
Despite proposed cuts, Brown said that, “arrests continue to rise. Since 1993, arrests are up 77 percent in my county - from about 42,500 in 1993 to 75,000 last year. Caseloads have steadily grown with assistants having to take on more responsibility at an earlier stage in their careers . .”
“We cannot continue at the funding level that the city is proposing and still carry out our responsibilities in keeping our counties safe,” concluded Brown. “There are already signs on our street that criminals are becoming more confident and more brazen about dealing drugs and carrying weapons.”

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