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William Bratton has off-color reply to crime-stat question

Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, and NYPD Commissioner

Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton greet officers Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 at police headquarters. During a news conference, Bratton used an expletive to respond to a question about whether the NYPD uses a quota system for arrests and summonses. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

The usually mild-mannered NYPD Commissioner William Bratton let out an angry expletive Tuesday — in the presence of Mayor Bill de Blasio — when asked about allegations the department’s vaunted CompStat system may lead to quotas for arrests and summonses.

And then, as de Blasio cracked a smile, Bratton repeated the off-color phrase for emphasis.

The commissioner made the remark in response to a question about a Sunday New York Times Magazine story concerning NYPD Officer Edwin Raymond.

In August 2015, Raymond, 30, was among a small group of black officers who filed a federal lawsuit alleging the NYPD was violating laws against quotas, according to the Times’ story.

Raymond and other critics believe the NYPD’s reliance on the CompStat data system spurs police commanders to pressure cops into making arrests and taking other enforcement actions, the story said. Bratton strongly disputed the claims of Raymond and other critics.

“If any of my cops think we are pushing for the summonses, etcetera, I am sorry, we are pushing to reduce crime,” Bratton said. “They never talk about the number of summonses, etc. They talk about what is better for collaboration among the various units.”

Bratton went on to say the actions described in the Times story are “not the practice and policies and procedures that I am brining to this organization.”

According to the story, Raymond secretly taped some of his superior officers in preparation for the lawsuit. He couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

The issue of quotas has long been a bone of contention with critics of the NYPD, which over the years has insisted that it sets performance goals, not quotas.

Bratton’s flare-up came during a joint news conference with de Blasio to announce CompStat 2.0, a souped-up version of the crime data system now available to the public weekly at https://compstat.nypdonline.org.

Devised in 1994, CompStat was the brainchild of the late NYPD Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple. It has evolved into a comprehensive system of crime-data collection used by commanders to analyze crime trends and make adjustments in strategies.

De Blasio said the new system will allow anyone to search for what matters in terms of crimes in local neighborhoods.

“This sort of clarity is not merely about useful information,” De Blasio said. “It also builds relationships between the police and the community.”

In a related announcement, deputy commissioner for technology Jessica Tisch said the department will be finished distributing 36,000 smartphones to all officers by March.

To underscore the evolving technology, Bratton showed reporters an old Motorola walkie-talkie, a relatively heavy device weighing about 3 pounds developed in the 1960s for police departments. Tisch then placed a diminutive, current smartphone of the type NYPD officers will carry that weighed just a few ounces.

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