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.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly took time at his final police academy graduation on Friday to reflect on his dozen years in office under Mayor Bloomberg.
Kelly noted that during the past year there were record drops in crime, including 322 murders—a new low.
There were 649 homicides in 2001, when he first took the helm of the NYPD.
But Kelly was also determined to note that the department's connection with New Yorkers is not as corroded as it's been portrayed. "Our relations with the communities that we serve are stronger now than they've ever been,” he told reporters at a press conference after the graduation. “Irrespective of some narratives that have come out during the campaign or lawsuits—and the polls show that."
Kelly regularly received high poll numbers even as unpopular tactics like stop-and-frisk increased on his watch and were challenged in court.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and his replacement Bill Bratton have called repairing "frayed" relations with the community a top priority.