Bloomberg and the NYPD

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One of the biggest challenges for mayor-elect mike bloomberg, as for any mayor, will be to preside successfully over the nypd. But wnyc’s brian lehrer says with hard economic times and new security demands, it will be particularly difficult in 2002.

ANCHOR: wnyc’s brian lehrer. You can hear his call-in show every weekday mornings at 10 on am820 and fm93.9.

BRIAN: One of mike bloomberg’s potential strengths is that he comes from sales and is always on the lookout for the win-win deal. symbolically, he’s off to a good start: by bringing back mayor dinkins’ last police commissioner ray kelly, who’s popular with both dinkins and giuliani supporters - can’t say THAT about a lot of people - and by shaking al sharpton’s hand on the day after election day, something mayor rudy NEVER did. Maybe bloomberg really CAN keep crime low without alienating half the city.

Of course, there’s a lot more to it than symbolism.

Yesterday, I spoke with both of ray kelly’s predecessors, bernard kerik, the current police commissioner and howard safir, the one before him. Safir, the closest to mayor giuliani of his three top cops, laid out the daunting challenge ahead.

OUT: “Resources to do it.”

former police commissioner howard safir.

The CURRENT police commissioner, bernard kerik, has been in the news this week mostly for the personal revelations in his new autobiography. But HE spoke with me about how he has successfully repaired some of the damage done to police community relations since the amadou diallo shooting. and guess what: it’s the same method they’ve used to fight crime: compstat

IN: I think the
OUT: Already had

Police commissioner bernard kerik. Very specific there on how he’s rebuilding community relations.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t be that specific on bloomberg and kelly’s biggest challenge: DEPLOYING the same size police force to
fight crime and terrorism at the same time.

OUT: Never say never

Police Commsioner kerik, like anyone else without a good solution to a problem, falling back on “never say never.”

The new administration takes office with a billionaire’s bank account of good will . It’s a good thing. tough choices lie ahead, to be paid for in political capital. good luck out there.

ANCHOR: wnyc’s brian lehrer. You can hear his call-in show every weekday mornings at 10 on am820 and fm93.9.