NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday fought back against comments from former police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who claimed that the mayor and the current police chief are responsible for a rise in violent crime.

De Blasio defended the record of current police Commissioner Bill Bratton and said crime has been on the decline overall.

“Under Bill Bratton’s leadership, we have had the lowest number in murders in 50 years,” de Blasio said.
“Just last year, six months ago, we set that record.”

De Blasio said Bratton accomplished that decline without unconstitutional stops. But Kelly said the NYPD’s stop, question and frisk policy helped get guns off the streets.

“For over two decades, New York City has been made safer as a result of that proactive policing; police using their own initiative,” Kelly said. “All signals that have been given lately to police officers — ‘Don’t get involved.’”

Kelly also blasted the mayor’s recent comments blaming a spike in shootings on gang violence. The mayor said the city needs to do better to prevent gang-related shootings.

The NYPD has been dealing with a surge in gun crimes. This past weekend alone, there were 13 shooting incidents – 17 victims, and two homicides.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced earlier this week that it is joining the effort to get gun crimes under control.

At City Hall Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked if the NYPD needed any help.

“I think I stated very, very clearly — I have tremendous faith in the NYPD,” de Blasio said. “We went through a similar situation last year and they turned it around very effectively. We’ve hundreds of officers to where the need was greatest.”

Federal sources tell Kramer the new federal anti-gun program will allow agents to go after people with as little as one prior felony arrest, and hit them with charges that could carry up to 10 years to jail.