Ken Cuccinelli Calls on NYPD Officers to Join DHS If 'NYC Doesn't Want You'

The New York City Police Department saw its budget slashed this week, leading to the Department of Homeland Security looking (DHS) to recruit dejected police officers who may be getting the idea that NYC "doesn't want" them anymore.

On Tuesday, city lawmakers approved a $88.9 billion 2021 budget that saw funding for the NYPD slashed by $1 billion.

The budget cut came in response to widespread calls to "defund the police" following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest on May 25.

While many lawmakers were in favor of slashing NYPD funding, some expressed disappointment, saying the $1 billion cut didn't go far enough.

In the wake of the decision, however, DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli appealed to NYPD officers to consider abandoning the department altogether and join federal law enforcement instead.

In a tweet published on Wednesday, Cuccinelli told NYPD officers the DHS "would love to have you if NYC doesn't want you!"

"Come join our team, where you will be appreciated by your political leadership instead of being belittled and treated like you are the problem instead of part of the solution," he said.

(1/5) Hey, #NYPD, @DHSgov would love to have you if NYC doesn't want you! Come join our team, where you will be appreciated by your political leadership instead of being belittled and treated like you are the problem instead of part of the solution.

— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@HomelandKen) July 1, 2020

The DHS, Cuccinelli said, is currently "seeking hundreds of people to fill key positions in law enforcement, travel security, emergency prevention, response, & management, as well as cybersecurity, IT, & intel analysis."

It is unclear what impact the $1 billion cut to funding will have on the NYPD, which had a budget of nearly $6 billion for the 2020 fiscal year.

As it stands, the NYPD has the largest police force in the U.S., with more than 55,000 people employed with the department. Approximately 36,000 of those employees are officers, while 19,000 are civilian employees.

The NYPD is not the only police department to face change in the wake of Floyd's death, which has seen countless people around the world take to the streets to protest against police brutality and for systemic racism to be addressed.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $150 million cut to the Los Angeles Police Department's budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

As part of the decision, city lawmakers said police officer roles would also be reduced, with the department expected to see the number of officers it employs brought down to 9,757, a level of staffing that has not been seen in L.A. since 2008.

Meanwhile, city lawmakers in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, have vowed to disband their local police department and replace it with an entirely new public safety system.

That system will focus on "transformative" justice, which involves a more community-based approach to addressing conflict and other issues that typically result in police being called.

Ken Cuccinelli
Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli speaks during a press conference on recent developments with the coronavirus with other members of President Trump's Coronavirus Task Force at the Health and Human Services headquarters on February 7, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Cuccinelli has called on NYPD officers to consider joining the DHS.