New York Daily News

April 3, 2014


 

 

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton stands by comments saying Raymond Kelly left him a police force with ‘awful’ morale 


The current top cop said Wednesday that he believes it "is basically a fact" that the NYPD was suffering from lowered morale when he took over in January.

BY THOMAS TRACY , TINA MOORE 

   
JUPITERIMAGES/GETTY IMAGES  
Mayor de Blasio threw fuel onto the fire after NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton extended an olive branch regarding the top cop's comments slamming his predecessor, Raymond Kelly.  

The city's top cop extended an olive branch after comments he made about his predecessor, but then Mayor de Blasio promptly threw fuel on the fire — repeating the same refrain that led to the drama in the first place.

“The stop-and-frisk policy was broken,” de Blasio said Wednesday. “And it created in many neighborhoods a rift between police and community. And it also made the job of the police officer more difficult. That’s an absolutely factual statement.”

De Blasio said he heard from many officers and precinct commanders that the use of the tactic made it difficult for regular cops to do their jobs.

“By the way, the PBA has said this for years,” the mayor said, referring to the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

De Blasio said the city has reduced the use of stop-and-frisk, which former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited with saving lives and reducing crime.

JULIA XANTHOS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Wednesday stood by his comments saying cops had “awful” morale when he took over in January.

“I think morale is starting to come back and I certainly think Commissioner Bratton has sent a very positive message,” de Blasio added.

The critique of Kelly and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg erupted Sunday with a Bratton interview that aired Sunday on ABC. He said Kelly left him a department with “awful morale.” Bratton, speaking about the interview for the first time on Wednesday, didn’t back down — but still managed to heap praise on Kelly.

RICHARD DREW/AP
Former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly has refused to react to Bratton’s comments.

“As far as my comment about (morale), I stand by it,” Bratton told reporters hours before de Blasio weighed in.

“It was not meant as a shot at Ray, that is basically just a fact as I understand it,” Bratton said.

JEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Bratton has since said that the comment about morale was not a shot at Ray, but was "just a fact."

Bratton made an assessment of NYPD morale, he said, after talking to union leaders.

In the Sunday interview, the commish also said Kelly used stop and frisk “too extensively.”

TODD MAISEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
in a Wednesday interview, Bratton also gave praise to Kelly stating that he has "the greatest respect for Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg for what they did."

“It’s quite clear that we have a difference of opinion about the stop, question and frisk effectiveness and procedures,” Bratton said Wednesday. “I have my opinion about that, I state it.”

Then came the doves.

“I should make it very clear that I have the greatest respect for Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg for what they did,” he said. “Do I have differences of leadership and management opinion about how some of that was achieved? Certainly. I am entitled to my opinion.”

Bratton also criticized the media for creating a “tempest in a teapot” over the comments and said he wouldn’t provide “additional fuel for the fire.”