Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is fond of saying that New York City is the safest big city in America – and on Tuesday he reiterated some of his administration’s crime-fighting successes.
Speaking to a crowd of uniformed officers at a ribbon-cutting for the newly renovated Central Park precinct, he also warned that the drop in crime over the last decade shouldn't be taken for granted—especially by the candidates vying to replace him.
“What we don’t know is what they will actually do to reduce crime. We don’t even know if it’s a goal, and I believe the people of this city have a right to know that their mayor will keep fighting to reduce crime,” Bloomberg said. “The question is whether people running for mayor believe that.”
The mayor’s remarks come on the heels of the City Council’s proposal to appoint an NYPD inspector general in an effort to provide greater oversight over the department.
The bill has gained traction among several mayoral hopefuls including Democrat front runner Speaker Christine Quinn, whose support resulted in a rare public rift between Quinn and her longtime ally the mayor.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly echoed the Mayor’s warning about meddling with how the NYPD fights crime.
“I think there is real cause for concern,” Kelly said Tuesday. “Putting in another layer of so-called supervision or monitoring can ultimately make this city less safe.
He pointed to the five city district attorneys and the Civilian Complaint Review Board but didn’t specific how the plan might threaten department effectiveness.