Almost 3,000 NYPD officers who graduated from the academy in 1994 will be up for retirement this year ("20 and done"), a fact that Commissioner Ray Kelly addressed at a City Council hearing in March. But with the Community Safety Act passed and a federal judge ordering a police monitor to oversee the department, the Post spins the story into an "Exclusive" piece of propaganda. “The next mayor, whomever it happens to be, will inherit a degraded police force,” an unnamed source says.

A police academy class graduating in January will help stem the loss of uniformed officers (usually 80% of those eligible for retirement after 20 years do so). In Fiscal Year 2014 there will be 459 fewer officers, bringing the total to around 34,500, down from a 2001 high of 40,800 officers. At the March hearing, City Council members asked Ray Kelly that since 40% of the department's overtime expenditures are planned in advance (parades, public safety, etc.) why not better manage that overtime and use the savings to hire more officers?

"It's actually cheaper to have an OT tour than a straight time tour," Kelly responded. "When you hire more officers, they make more arrests," which in turn drives administrative costs up.

Commenting on the loss of 459 officers, PBA spokesman Patrick Lynch says, “We’re the only police force in the country that has downsized since Sept. 11. Every other police department in the country talks about becoming more robust while we have shrunk our ranks.”

This simply isn't true. According to a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Justice [PDF], the recession has forced nearly a quarter of cities in the country to make cuts to public safety budgets. The Fraternal Order of Police estimates that as many as 15,000 sworn officer positions have been lost in the past several years.

Despite the loss in manpower, crime in New York City is also down overall by what the Post calls a "modest" 1.89%, while the murder rate is down 26% compared to last year.