New York City’s Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had some tough words for predecessor Ray Kelly and former mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The new Commissioner blamed the past administration for NYPD’s apparent lack of morale during a recent interview with Channel 7. He also revealed which side of the coin he falls on, stating that police practices like “stop-and-frisk” are too extreme, and adding that the “political establishment” has damaged the force.
“Morale coming into this department was awful,” Bratton said in an interview aired Sunday on Channel 7. “The public didn’t understand that, politicians didn’t understand it, but it was a very dispirited organization. It was an organization, I think, beat down over several years, beaten up by the political establishment.”
Bratton complimented Kelly for lowering the crime rate, but kept to his word about stop-and-frisk.
“The commissioner and the former mayor did a great job in the sense of keeping the community safe, keeping crime down, but one of the tools used to do that, I believe, was used too extensively,” said Bratton, who has long had a contentious relationship with Kelly.
Stop-and-frisk was down an astounding 86 percent between October and December of 2013. Police made over 12,000 stops last year; a huge difference from the 89,000 stops made in 2012. 16 percent of the stops made in 2013 ended up in arrests.
Although Kelly hasn’t released a statement regarding Bratton’s comments, his supporters have:
“Ray Kelly will be forever remembered fondly by New Yorkers for keeping the city safe and protecting all of us from terrorists. To suggest otherwise is just plain unfair,” said political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who worked for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009.
On the flip side, a lot of officials support Bratton, claiming that police were never able to enjoy accomplishments because of the constant pressure put upon them to elicit outstanding arrest numbers.
Let’s hope this means the dawn of a new age at the NYPD.
SOURCE: DAILY NEWS | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty