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NYPD officers have intentionally not written tickets or made low-level arrests, Bratton says

New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton

New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton holds a Q&A with members of the media in Queens on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2015. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Police Commissioner William Bratton acknowledged Friday that NYPD cops have been making fewer arrests and issuing fewer tickets in recent weeks, but said serious crimes continue to decrease and residents have nothing to fear.

"They never stopped totally working," Bratton said of officers. "Arrests continue to be made, crime continued to go down. ... Public safety has not been impacted."

His remarks to reporters at police headquarters came after he and other top officials huddled earlier in the day with borough commanders, as well as heads of transit and housing police, to discuss the issue.

Bratton said the dip in arrests and citations mostly involved "self-initiated enforcement actions" aimed at protecting the city's quality of life.

In a two-week period ending Jan. 4, officers made markedly fewer arrests and wrote on average 90 percent fewer parking tickets, moving violations and criminal summonses, Bratton said, declining to provide specific numbers.

But he stressed that the drop in police activity appears to be over.

"I anticipate early next week it will be probably to normal levels," he said.

Bratton noted that serious crimes have continued to decrease. Through Jan. 8, there were four homicides compared to 9 in 2014. There have been 21 shootings so far this year, compared to 25 during the same period last year, he said.

Bratton said he had no plans to discipline any officers for engaging in a work slowdown. He said one cop was suspended for insubordination but had no details.

Bratton also gave short shrift to the idea of bringing in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo or someone else to calm the rancor between the city's police unions and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"There is no need at this time for any intermediary," Bratton said.

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