By Gabriela Resto-Montero
MANHATTAN — More than 500 NYPD cadets have had their graduation delayed by seven months so the city can save money, the New York Times reported.
The class of 540 students, which was supposed to be sworn in last January, will be combined with the 900-member graduating class in July, said Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"This is a reflection of the difficult economic times," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Wednesday. "We're all America. We all feel it."
Pushing back the cadet graduation until July would allow the Bloomberg administration to make the hirings after the beginning of the new fiscal year, the Times reported.
"The last three years were the three safest in New York City's history, and crime is down again this year," Loeser told DNAinfo.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. worried that a delay in hiring cadets would stop that progress.
"By the time any cadets hired in July get onto the streets, it will be January 2012," Vallone told the Times.
"And as every month goes by, we lose over a hundred officers to attrition," he told the paper.
Although the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said Bloomberg's decision would compound the force's staffing problem, Paul Browne, a spokesman for the NYPD, told the Times the department would continue to fight crime with the resources it had.