NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Recent controversy over topless painted ladies, aggressive panhandling and costumed characters in Times Square have some in New York City saying the area is heading downhill fast.

But as 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said it’s preposterous to compare the Times Square of today with the way it was 25 years ago when it was filled with porn shops, hookers and drug dealers.

Letisha, who works in Times Square, said Bratton is wrong.

“There’s nudity all over the place in the summer time. There’s fighting, there’s everything, so it is going back to it. With the naked women painted up and all these characters fighting, we are,” she said.

As for the painted topless women and costumed characters, Bratton wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece “It looks awful, but it’s lawful.”

Bratton added that the city won’t let its hard-won gains slip away.