NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday welcomed in a new group of correction officers, without making reference to recent problems that have plagued Rikers Island.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the mayor welcomed the new officers to “New York’s boldest.” In terms of the scandals and reports of brutality, he said “For too long, the environment here just wasn’t right; wasn’t fair to anyone.”

De Blasio labeled the environment dehumanizing, and said things were not looked at squarely.

“We’re literally creating a new model,” he said. “The eyes of the nation are on this agency.”

He told the correction officers their department will be conducted differently, but investments will be made to ensure the safety of all involved.

In the fall, de Blasio called fundamental cultural change at Rikers one of his administration’s top priorities.

The mayor announced in the fall that 90 percent of the jail’s top leadership has been replaced, WCBS 880’s Lamb reported at the time. He also outlined plans for reform including 7,800 new security cameras, cutting back on solitary confinement and the creation of a special unit with an unusual concentration of guards for highly-dangerous inmates who are responsible for the most of the violence.


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