NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly moved terrorism to the front burner Monday when he said that none of the mayoral candidates have asked for a detailed briefing from him or his staff about current threats and haven't disclosed their own counterterrorism plans should they be elected.
"There are few questions more important than what the next mayor will do to protect the city from terrorism," Kelly said Monday at a breakfast in Manhattan sponsored by the Association for a Better New York and the Council on Foreign Relations.
"What do the candidates have to say?" Kelly asked, one day before the mayoral primary and two days before the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City.
"Will they devote the resources and manpower required for the task? Will they retain the programs and strategies that have kept the city safe, or do they have a different approach? We simply don't know."
In response, Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said that as part of her job as City Council speaker she had "conversations and briefings" with the NYPD on many matters, including terrorism.
In April, Quinn put out a news release in which she mentioned measures such as expanding counterterrorism surveillance training to city employees like the Department of Sanitation.
Democratic candidate Bill Thompson chided Kelly for not inviting him to any intelligence briefings and promised not to let up on counterterrorism.
An aide for Bill de Blasio said he requested a terrorism briefing from City Hall in late August. A spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the August request related to the Syria situation and that the de Blasio campaign asked for a fuller briefing Monday after Kelly's remarks.
Comptroller John Liu said while he wouldn't keep Kelly on, he would try to keep funding for counterterrorism.
Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis said he would keep Kelly as commissioner and supports his efforts.
Republican candidate Joseph Lhota and Democratic candidate Anthony Weiner didn't respond to a request for comment.
With John Valenti, Dan Rivoli and Emily Ngo