NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly blames Mayor Bill de Blasio for the rise in homelessness and murders in the city, but Kelly is particularly upset at what he called the mayor’s “cavalier” attitude about it.
CBS2 Political Reporter talked with Kelly about the issues on Wednesday.
It is no secret that Kelly is furious about how de Blasio became mayor in the first place in 2014 – by running in part against the NYPD and the stop, question and frisk strategy that Kelly credits with helping reduce crime.
But also making Kelly’s blood boil were de Blasio’s claims about the amount of crime in the city.
“We have had precisely 10 more murders this year than last year. That’s 10 more than I can accept, but it’s only 10,” the mayor said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program this week.
Kelly said the mayor’s comment suggested indifference.
“Every life matters, and most likely, those 10 more murders were young men of color. That’s who’s getting shot on the streets of our city. It’s a pretty cavalier statement,” Kelly said. “What about the families of those 10 people?”
Interviewed in conjunction with his book, “Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City,” Kelly talked about another thing that has changed dramatically since Mayor Michael Bloomberg left office 21 months ago.
“The optics are not good,” Kelly said. “You have a lot of homeless people.”
For many New Yorkers, that remark falls under the heading of, “Tell me something I don’t know,” Kramer reported. But while de Blasio blames his predecessor, Bloomberg, Kelly suggested that the city has changed for the worse under the de Blasio administration.
“There’s a feeling out there that things are a little bit out of control; that there’s not the construct that was in place in the Bloomberg administration,” Kelly said, “This city is a more permissive place.”
Kramer asked Kelly what advice he would give current police Commissioner Bill Bratton about how to deal with homelessness. But Kelly said it was not Bratton’s responsibility.
“No, I’m not going to advise the police commissioner,” he said. “Homelessness is the mayor’s problem.”
As to what advice he would give the mayor, Kelly said: “One of the issues is people not wanting to go to shelters because of a lack of security; a perceived lack of security. I think more professional policing in shelters.”
And to deal with the problems in Times Square – bare-chested painted women and the aggressive soliciting by costumed characters – Kelly said the answer is also aggressive policing.
“You can film that. You can use undercover police officers to engage with these individuals,” Kelly said. “People say: ‘Why get involved? There are more important things to do.’ But that type of thing is important for a community.”
Kramer asked Kelly whether he would run for mayor himself, or whether he had any regrets about not running last time. His answer was no on both counts.