New York is a big city with a lot of people, each of whom seems to get a parade of his or her own at some point during the year (usually the day I need to get across town in a hurry). But the NYPD has just thrown a dagger into the heart of this float-loving metropolis with their announcement that all parades — yes, even the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day thingy — will now be 25% shorter.
It’s not because Police Commissioner Ray Kelly or Mayor Michael Bloomberg have anything against parades (or do they?); it’s more a matter of trying to save $3.1 million from the budget without having to lose personnel or cut essential police programs.
“We’re dealing with a very tight budget. We’re not hiring as many police officers. We’re down 6,000 cops from 2001,” Deputy Police Commish Paul Browne explained. “You don’t want to cut into crime suppression any more than you have to.”
Chimed in Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, “The mayor has made it clear that New Yorkers can’t afford a tax increase now, and we can’t take our eyes off the ball when it comes to keeping crime low… Reducing the length and duration of parades across the board is a sensible way to save money in tough economic times.”
Luckily for those of us with Irish blood (or at least those of us who can pretend to have it), these changes won’t kick in until April 1, meaning everything everyone can still partake in the solemn, noble, communal meditation on Celtic heritage that is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
So Fitzy, Sully and Andy? I’ll see you at McSwiggin’s at 10am sharp.