In this installment of “22 Minutes,” 1010 WINS anchor Brigitte Quinn sits down with former NYC Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly. Kelly discusses everything from his 14 years as police commissioner to his reaction to a possible Bloomberg presidential run.
Kelly spoke about his New York City upbringing on the Upper West Side and his pathway to pursuing a career in law enforcement.
BQ: What was it about your childhood that made you want to be a police officer? Was it something that you always wanted to do?
RK: No… I didn’t have any particular affinity towards police; as a matter of fact we didn’t always love the police on the Upper West Side in those days… I had a part-time job at Macy’s when I was going to high school and college, my mother got me that job, she worked in Macy’s. Macy’s was very good to my mom and very good to me… I happen to read about a police cadet program, which was an effort to get matriculating college students into police. I was in the first class of police cadets in the NYPD, and I must say I found it very fascinating, it was exciting… it seemed to be the center of the universe.
BQ: How did you transform the NYPD from a crime-fighting unit into anti-terror organization as well?
RK: Well, Mayor Bloomberg was elected 56 days after 9/11 and we knew that we had to do something different to add a higher level of protection to New York City… We wanted to supplement what the federal government was doing.
BQ: Everyone is talking about Former Mayor Bloomberg possibly jumping into the presidential race, do you have any inside track on that?
RK: I personally believe he was the best mayor in the history of our city. He came in right after 9/11, had tremendous challenges on his plate and in many ways the city was never better under his watch, at least in my judgement. I think he can do anything; he could certainly do the job. The real challenge is, how do you get there? It’s pretty difficult.
BQ: And a lot of people are also asking if you’re going to run for mayor, I asked you this before and you said, “no comment.” I’d love to get a comment from you. A lot of people want you to run, will you?
RK: I’m flattered, but I have no plans to run for any elective office.
BQ: What could make you change those plans?
RK: Not much. I’m happy doing what I’m doing. I have a great job. I have a variety of things I’m engaged in. I have a little more leisure time. What I’m doing now is working well for me.
Kelly also discussed his new book, “Vigilance.”
BQ: Why “Vigilance”?
RK: Well, I think I have been vigilant most of my life working for the government, the police department, the Marine Corps. And I think we as a nation have to be vigilant certainly from here on out. There are a lot of threats out there, it’s a dangerous world. I think we have to be on guard. You have to be aware of your environment, your surroundings.
About Ray Kelly: With fifty years in public service, including fourteen years as police commissioner of the City of New York, Raymond W. Kelly is one of the world’s most well-known and highly esteemed leaders in law enforcement. Kelly was appointed police commissioner in January 2002 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, making Kelly the longest serving police commissioner in the city’s history, as well as the first to hold the post for a second, separate tenure. He also served as police commissioner under Mayor David N. Dinkins from 1992 to 1994.
In 2002, Commissioner Kelly created the first counterterrorism bureau of any municipal police department in the country. He also established a new global intelligence program and stationed New York City detectives in eleven foreign cities. In addition to dedicating extensive resources to preventing another terrorist attack, the NYPD has driven violent crime down by 40 percent from 2001 levels. Commissioner Kelly also established a Real Time Crime Center, a state-of-the-art facility that uses data mining to search millions of computer records and put investigative leads into the hands of detectives in the field.
About Brigitte Quinn: Brigitte anchors mornings at 1010 WINS radio and has worked in broadcasting for more than thirty years. She was a TV anchor at the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and NBC. She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BS from Cornell University. Her first novel, “Anchored” was published in 2015.
Follow Brigitte Quinn @BrigitteQuinn11