Mayor Bill de Blasio predicted Wednesday that 2016 would be a “very good year” in the NYPD’s efforts to drive down crime.
Speaking in a radio interview, de Blasio acknowledged that the number of murders has risen in 2015 compared with 2014, but noted that gun arrests are up, and shootings are down; overall crime is down also.
De Blasio said that he expects the addition of 1,300 new police officers, combined with hundreds more being sent to the streets from desk jobs, would help drive down crime even more.
“I actually think next year is going to be a very good year for us,” he told 1010 WINS radio’s Brigitte Quinn.
There were 15 more murders as of Tuesday in 2015 compared to the previous year, when New York City over the entire year recorded 333 murders, the fewest in 50 years.
De Blasio dismissed a suggestion made a day earlier by former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly that the police force was manipulating crime statistics under his successor, de Blasio NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.
Kelly provided no evidence for the assertion, but said “perception is reality in many instances and that “the city feels unsafe in many people’s minds.”
De Blasio stood by Bratton.
“He certifies — 100 percent — we’re using the exact same standard to track crime that Ray Kelly used. It was inherited from Ray Kelly. It’s the exact same set of metrics,” de Blasio said. “And so I’m surprised to see Commissioner Kelly raising those questions.”
Asked about de Blasio’s response, Kelly spokeswoman Anne Reingold said the former top cop was unavailable to comment.“Ray is out of town,” she said in an email, adding: “He cannot be reached.”