NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — He has been New York’s top cop for more than a decade and now, in his final days as police commissioner, Ray Kelly is reflecting on his impact and looking toward the future.
“It’s been a great experience for me,” Kelly told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson on Friday.
He has spent 12 years at the helm of the largest police department in the nation. And his time as New York City police commissioner has been filled with both accomplishment and controversy.
But despite being on the scene of every major event this city has seen during his time, the police commissioner insists he won’t miss being a part of the action.
The stoic former Marine, with 50 years in law enforcement, is not the type to reflect on the past, Johnson reported.
When asked if there will be a little emotion the last time he walks of his office, Kelly simply told Johnson “yeah probably, but life goes on.”
“I have certainly good feelings for the job. It’s been terrific to me, but life goes on,” Kelly added.
And so does his defense of stop and frisk, although Kelly admitted he could understand why some take issue with the policy, Johnson reported.
Reflecting on his greatest accomplishments in the department, Kelly noted the strong bonds the NYPD has forged with communities, the continued drop in crime and that New York has not been attacked again by terrorists.
Though the commissioner added that New Yorkers must always be vigilant, “I don’t think it’s a bad thing to remind people that it’s a dangerous world and New York is a possible target.”
Kelly told Johnson that in all of the years on the job, there is no darker day then when a police officer is killed in the line of duty.
“You go to the hospital, you go and visit their families, sometimes you break the news to them — they don’t know what’s happened. Those days are very, very difficult,” Kelly said.
As for his successor, Bill Bratton, Kelly said he thinks Bratton will do a great job, but wouldn’t comment further.
“You’ll have ample opportunity to talk to Commissioner Bratton, so no comment on that one,” Kelly said.
After a lifetime of public service, Kelly said he is looking forward to the private sector, Johnson said.
When asked if this would be his last stint in public service, Kelly reminded Johnson that you “never say never.”
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