NYC Police and Fire Fighters Next to Feel Budget Pinch

The city is cutting jobs and programs in wake of Wall Street crisis.

November 4, 2008— -- With Wall Street revenue dropping and no easy alternatives at hand New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg tomorrow is expected to announce that in order to close a $4 billion budget gap the city is cancelling the police academy January 2009 class, cutting 500 jobs in parks and education, cutting back nighttime operations at five firehouses and reducing firefighter training, ABC News has learned.

In all, the city will reduce its workforce by about 3,000 jobs through attrition and through layoffs in an effort to close a widening budget gap that is the result of the crisis in the financial markets. Wall Street and related jobs provide an estimated 20 percent of the city's revenue.

Bloomberg, is expected to explain that the belt tightening is needed as the city budget gap grows to $4 billion for fiscal 2009 and 2010, ABC News has learned. That gap, is now about $700 million greater than the estimate from just a few weeks ago of $3.3 billion.

Bloomberg officials confirmed the measures New York City is taking, with one administration official saying that: "It will reduce the size of the City workforce by over 3,000 employees, approximately 500 through layoffs and the remainder through attrition."

A senior Bloomberg administration official said that the fiscal plan update that the Mayor will present on Wednesday will show a combined cumulative budget gap of approximately $4 billion for fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The official said that New York's mayor will lay out plans on to close that gap.

"Included in those plans will be the result of the budget cuts the Mayor ordered in September," the official said. "The value of the cut program is as targeted - approximately $1.5 billion during the current and next fiscal year. It will reduce the size of the City workforce by over 3,000 employees, approximately 500 through layoffs and the remainder through attrition."

At present New York City employees a municipal work force of more than 300,000 and according to financial advisors to the city, more cuts and further attrition measures are to be expected in the future, barring unforeseen good news.

The city will meanwhile work to close the gap by "cancelling of the Police Academy's January 2009 class, reducing the Firefighting training academy from 23 weeks to 18 weeks, reducing the nighttime operational hours at five engine companies in firehouses that also contain ladder companies (which will remain fully staffed), and closing the Health Department's Dental Health Program which currently operates at more than 40 sites," an administration official said.

The official said that other cuts include reducing seasonal Parks workers by 321 positions, attriting 187 Sanitation Workers dedicated to street cleaning, and not filling 127 Child Protective Supervisor positions at the Administration for Children's Services that are already vacant.

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