Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton Hold Media Availability Following NYPD Swearing-in Ceremony

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well, this is a very, very good day. I’m so proud to have been here to swear in 678 new recruits. It is a tremendous honor to lead them through their oath of office – as you can see, a wonderful new generation of police officers joining this force. And  as I said to them, their joining a winning team, and this summer – I give such credit to Commissioner Bratton and his team – the safest summer in over 20 years. This group of recruits now coming on to make this department even better.

The fact is the department will be stronger for a number of reasons. We’ve talked before about new technology like ShotSpotter and the smart phones, and the other devices that officers will have to be able to have information so much more quickly than ever before. We’ve talked about the training and how that’s going to teach officers better than ever before to work with community, literally, to the point of showing very specifically how to deescalate in any given encounter with a civilian; how to use the correct use of force; a clarity of training and follow through on the training that hasn’t been there sufficiently in the past to really help our officers hone their approach – obviously, showing them the right way to approach a stop-and-frisk situation. The clarity, the communication, the training, the follow through are going to help our officers do their work better and better, and also to bond more closely to communities.

Now, I’m very proud of the fact that we’re seeing the beginning of the impact of the almost 1,300 new officers that we authorized in the last budget working with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the City Council. You’re seeing today the first manifestation of that budget action. That will play out over this recruit class, the next one, and the one after that – that third class taking their oaths in June of next year. They will be on the streets of this city protecting us by December of next year. So, the budget action taken with the Council in June will fully manifest by the end of next year with the impact of almost 1,300 new officers, and then as the commissioner said, additional troop strength from other sources as well within the department.

Also, one of the most diverse classes we have ever hired. We have hired the highest percentage of Latinos of any NYPD class in history – almost a third – 32 percent. So a lot happening that suggests real change, real reform, and the ability to reach our communities more effectively than ever before. And I want to emphasize the power of the neighborhood policing model that the commissioner and Chief O’Neill are putting into place because this something, again, we’ve aspired to, but never fully experienced in this city. There’s going to be the ability of so many of our police officers to build close real relationships with community members; to be known by name, and to know community members and community leaders by name; and have the time with them to actually figure out how to go deeper to do more preventative policing to figure out the best ways to serve the community. This is going to be less and less about just responding to a 9-1-1 call when the crisis is already happening – more and more about how to stop crime before it happens, and doing that with a close, close relationship with communities.

I am so proud of what’s happening here – this academy, this beautiful facility. You can see that this place is getting stronger all the time. We are the safest big city in the country. We will continue to be, but we’re also going to show that safety and fairness walk hand-and-hand. And that’s what is happening here. That’s what this new recruit class is going to learn. With that, I would love to turn to Commissioner Bratton for a few words.

Commissioner William Bratton, NYPD: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. We’re also joined by Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce to update you on a couple of the crime events of this week. As a follow-up to the mayor’s comments about the class that we just swore in – they are the first of the new hires off the 1,297 force expansion that he advocated and the City Council approved. I point out those – this is the first expansion of this department in 15 years – 15 years – that declined in size by almost 6,000. So, this is the beginning of it. The timing of these classes – this October class will graduate in March just as we start rolling into the spring. The 1,200 kids that are in the academy now will roll out at the end of December – will be in the streets as we roll into the end of winter, beginning of spring. So next spring, by March, we’ll have about 1,800 additional officers out into the street before the summer months begin. We do intend to have another Summer All Out program. This one this year was very, very successful with many of the officers that participated indicating that they would look to do it again next year – that they got so much out of it. So, good news for the department is that the numbers are growing.

We also hope to finally open this place that you’ve been attending a number of press events later this month or moving into next month to finally get it officially opened. It’s a lot going on. Relative to the shooting incident this morning – the officer-involved shooting incident at the 88th Precinct – quick update on that, as you’re aware, last night at about 10:30, three of our anti-crime officers – a sergeant, two officers in plainclothes, saw several individuals in the street at a vehicle, and as they turn to approach, they were fired upon. We [inaudible] three assailants with at least two firearms – number of shots – Chief Boyce can give you more specifics, but as of a few minutes ago, all three suspects are in custody. We’re seeking a fourth individual who we believe assisted the wounded suspect to go to the hospital. Fortunately, none of our three officers – all of whom were engaged in the shooting – no injuries there other than being treated for the ringing in the ears. Good work on the part of the officers– proactive and fortunately ended well for them. We believe that one of the shooters is on parole for a previous gun violation – an issue we’re seeing more and more of [inaudible] the number of our parolees engaged in reoccurrence of crime. Something we’re working on with the district attorneys, and our federal colleagues at the U.S. Attorney’s Offices. With that, Mr. Mayor, I think we can open up for questions.

Mayor: Questions on the new recruit class or any other police matters? Yes?

Question: [inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: A couple of hours.

Mayor: Yeah. It’s – you know, it’s a long process as we talked about at the time. And it was a very good process because it helped us clarify the vision we needed for the future. I said repeatedly I thought the NYPD was doing an extraordinary job with the resources it had, and there were great statistics to back that up. But what was clear was there was some place farther we could go. There was an even better place then we could reach through neighborhood policing. Commissioner Bratton made a very compelling argument, that the way to achieve neighborhood policing; which I said in my remarks earlier, this is a vision that has been sought for decades, but not achieved. Some call it community policing and I think neighborhood-policing is a more precise title because it talks about the real deep connection between officers and neighborhoods they serve. And you’ve seen the models going to involve a focused effort to build relationships and to gather intelligence out of those relationships that will help us to prevent crime, to stop recidivism, etcetera. That was a crucial part of the decision that this vision was going to allow us to do something even bigger. The second part of the decision was about the other reforms we made fiscally. I emphasized at the time, these were also very long sought – the only time in the history of this department there was a substantial serious, consistent overtime cap was when he was commissioner the first time. And it was time to institute a clear guideline on overtime, and make that part of the budget process. It was time to go farther on civilianization, another topic that’s been talked about for a decade or two in the city, but never fully realized. This commissioner was willing with us to go farther on its civilianization, which obviously saves substantial money. So, it was a combination of reforms and cost-savings with a bigger vision that made it absolutely sensible to make the investment, and certainly the City Council felt that deeply as well. And now we’re seeing the fruits of that investment already.

Commissioner Bratton: Let me expand on that – give you a little more specificity on some of the numbers. During the budget process, we presented to the mayor and subsequently to the Council, the vision, the plan of action for what we wanted to dealing with terrorism, the increased training that we are obviously engaged in, also still dealing with those approximately 15 precincts that have continuing significant crime problems, that and also the continuing effort to get more officers engaged more frequently with the community. So, the growth of the department – the 1,297 – additionally, 400 civilians who are going to be hired to free up 400 more cops – 1,697 – 500 cadets who will become future police officers – equivalent of about 200 more officers. Last year, we civilianized 200 police positions, those officers are already on the street.

We had a plan that encompassed the need for an excessive 2,000 additional officers for terrorism, for community relations groups, relationship building for training to account for – on any given day, I’m going to have 1,000 officers in training on any given day – that the master plan we needed so many bodies. The mayor and the Council had delivered what we need. We are working moving forward. For example, within a month or so, we’re going to be having an event with you with the new Critical Response Command – the terrorism issue. Terrorism has warped, as you know, in new directions so now we’re going to have about 450 additional, full-time officers coming out of that group of 2,000 going directly into terrorism issues.

You’ve seen a number of issues like Times Square, 125th street in Harlem that require more dedicated personnel. Something you haven’t picked up on is so much of what we’re doing is volunteer officers – it’s about morale building – and officers pick what they want to do. So the almost 800 people that we’re going to have in the Strategic Response Group, the task force is all volunteers. The 450 people in the counter terrorism – all volunteers. The neighborhood coordinating officers, two in each sector – in each precinct – all volunteers. The field training officers, the vast majority of them, initially volunteers, hopefully all of them over time.

So, all these initiatives are also intended to get officers who want to do the work. In terms of the policing, the community policing, neighborhood policing [inaudible] this month we will be redesigning every precinct in the city. They will all be reduced to four or five sectors – reduced down from 17,19, 20 sometimes – so they will have consistency of four or five sectors. It’ll all be based on the model pilot precinct program that’s now up and running, I think, in eight precincts and one or two PSAs.

It’s going to be a very busy year, but to make it all happen, we need bodies and this is a tough guy to work for. I always talk about, he gives me everything I’m looking for, but I have to really justify it and we spent months justifying – I need this many bodies to do all these things, and believe me, I went through the wringer justifying it and the benefits are going to be very evident. How are they going to be evident? This year we will end the year with historic low crime. Guarantee it, by the end of this year we will have the best crime year in the history of the city. Going in to next year, my projection would be we will have a good year next year because we will have a lot more resources to work with along with an already low crime rate.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: There is a process, and I respect that process, but I am not going to comment on the process that we have on how to handle a case like that. That’s obviously something the commissioner will determine. I have great faith in his judgment.

Commissioner Bratton: Let me expand on the process – it’s all about process, and processes that we’ve been trying to improve dramatically. We’re very fortunate that Richard Embry has been appointed head of the CCRB. He has done wonderful things with that organization. The speed of investigations has been reduced from on average almost 300 days down to about 80. On higher priority, more significant news-involved events – as indicated in this case – there is the ability to move those forward even more quickly. That’s a benefit to the officers involved, to the complainant and to the public. The process now going forward is part of the new responsibilities of the CCRB. They now will move this into either a negotiated settlement between the officer and Mr. Blake – if that negation were not to occur, then it would move into a trial process, a trial that will be prosecuted by the CCRB in the department’s trial rooms. It’s something that we have expanded greatly over the last year. So, the CCRB not only makes the finding, but then they conduct the trial in many of those instances. Ultimately, the judge, who is a New York City Police Department judge, will make a finding based on the prosecution, and that finding will then be transmitted to me, where the committee I chair we will then review and make a final determination of if discipline is warranted if there is a guilty finding or not guilty finding. So it’s a process that we’re working to improve both the fairness to officers as well as the public. And it’s a very pubic process – if you were to go to a trial, there will be a public trial.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Again, my view of this – because I have a lot of respect for Chairman Emory too, and I agree with the commissioner. He has made the CCRB much more efficient, much more fair to police officers and community members alike – but there is a process here, I respect the process, I don’t comment on it.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Look, he does his job as he sees fit, and you know again, I’m always willing to work with him. We agree on some things, we disagree on other things, but I’m always willing to work with him.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Followed who? I’m sorry.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Okay.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Sure, yeah I’ll obviously let the commissioner speak to the specific incident. I haven’t seen the video. I don’t know any details of that incident, but on the broader point, what’s so powerful about Commissioner Bratton’s approach is he’s recognizing the professionalism of our police officers. And in any serious area of professionalism in this country, we train, retrain; constantly invest in the development of talent. We need to do that here more than we have done in the past. That’s why our officers are being retrained in how to approach each situation more effectively, how to reduce the use of force – de-escalate – communicate effectively. Look, the bottom line here – I think commissioner has laid this out in many different ways. We need to keep the city safe. We need our officers to be effective. A lot times that can be done with less force. A lot of times there is a way to de-escalate a situation.

That’s what is being trained here – to use all the various tools that an officer has, all the different options, to figure out how to get the job done with the least possible force. It never precludes using maximum force when necessary. That’s the whole idea of both the training here for the new recruits, the retraining for the existing officers, but also the new use-of-force guidelines – which I think are another very important step. What you hear a lot is officers, like any other professionals, want clarity. They want a clear set of rules, they want training that helps them live by those rules, and a reporting mechanism that shows that they did follow those rules. And that’s what the commissioner has achieved.

Commissioner Bratton: The event you’re describing – I have seen that video several times now – it is a matter that is the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation, which the CCRB will be coming in to because it is probably more appropriate in their domain, relative to use-of-force. Circumstance of the incident she is referring to – an individual had several items stolen from him including a phone. The responding officers working with the individual, an EMT – I don’t believe a city EMT at this stage of the investigation – they were able to – Find My Phone app – they were able to find that phone. And the video she is referencing shows several officers and the victim EMT entering a store, a bodega, and encountering a suspect holding the victim’s phone. There is an incident that occurs during that time when officers are attempting to arrest the suspect in which the EMT assaults the suspect and, and a number of officers then proceeded to arrest the suspect, during which time, force is used. That’s it, as we know it now. You now know what I know as of now. And the process we just described – there will be an investigation very similar to the Blake investigation, very similar to any other investigation, that will go forward. So we will not comment at all in terms of the issue of use-of-force by the police officers, the behavior of the EMT. Those will all be issues that will be part of the investigation.

Question: [inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: I’m not going to speak to that at all – that – again, I saw that video twice – have not had the opportunity to sit and look at it in great detail. I’m comfortable the matter is now being investigated, and in any event that I think we’ve shown very good credibility in the investigation of these matters as they go forward.

In the back.

Question: [inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: Well, for example, the class that’s currently in the academy, which has now been in July, August, September, October – they’re in there now their fourth month. This class beginning this week, a number of them are actually going out into the field, where for several weeks they will work in a precinct that they will ultimately be assigned to, where they will learn about the precinct. They will spend a day with a sergeant. They will spend a day in each of the functions of the precinct. So that’s new – the idea that even as they’re in the academy, they’re already out into the precinct, where they’re going to work. They’ll meet community members in that precinct. And then they will come back to the academy and be debriefed on their experiences out in the field – totally new. They will also get exposure to the field training officer program, which began with the police class – recruit class before that – the mayor and I, our first class. So with each of these classes, the evolution of how they’re trained and after they get out of the academy after six months, how they’re then mentored for six months after that – constantly evolving. I have a team of five people over in London, England right now as we speak, looking at the Metropolitan Police training procedures in their academy. I understand they’ve got a lot of new exciting things that they’re doing that we will bring some of that back – potentially that we’ll bring into this class’ experience – much the same as a lot of what we train in now, some of those ideas, how we train came from the LAPD, so that the last three classes have been trained with a model that we adopted from the LAPD. We are constantly evolving so that each class will build on the experiences and the success of the previous class.

Mayor: Let me – hold on a second, I’m sorry – let me add to this. I appreciate the question, because I think this gets to the heart of the matter, what’s changing. I give Commissioner Bratton intense credit for the fact that throughout his career he’s seen whatever the missing links are. He saw it with CompStat. He saw it with the Broken Windows strategy. He saw it here in terms of training. Our officers weren’t getting enough training – their training was essentially at the beginning of their career. I’m sure they got firearms refreshers along the way, but they didn’t get updated training in how to approach the community, how to approach each incident, each encounter. And a lot has changed over the years – a lot of recognition of how to deescalate conflict. So what’s so powerful here is these new officers are going to be trained in a way that’s more effective. They’re going to be trained how to get the job done with the least possible use of force. Rigorous – the job has to get done, crime has to be stopped, but we want that close bond with community. And we want to answer the concerns of so many New Yorkers who have felt that there was unnecessary use of force – and obviously that alienated many New Yorkers from their police force. When we get over that barrier fully – and I want to say parenthetically, the indications so far are extraordinary – the reduction in complaints to the CCRB by civilians at the lowest level now in about 15 years is a huge validation of what Commissioner Bratton is doing – we now real evidence that things are changing profoundly – but think about this now, people have said they want to know if the have an encounter with a police officer that it’s going to go the right way. This training is ensuring that the least use of force will be implemented, that there’ll be every effort to deescalate. The officer retains all their options, but this is actually helping officers to find a way to get the same outcome with less force. The great benefit, the great impact that has beyond the incident is it’s another step toward bonding police and community – and that day when more and more community members will walk up to a police officer, even without introduction, and say something happened down the street you need to know about, or I know someone who has a gun, or I heard something about a gang and I want you to know about it. That’s what we’re working towards, because that’s the day when both officers and community members alike will be safer.

Commissioner Bratton: Building on that – that ironically this morning I attended a class going on right down the hall – 30 officers that are going through a four-day crises incident intervention class – four days of training on how to deal with the mentally ill, with those under the influence of narcotics, with the idea of deescalation rather than escalation. And it’s one of the reasons I took some umbrage with the inspector general’s report that was recently released in that there’s no police department in America that’s going to be doing as much in the area of deescalation as we’ve been doing and will be doing. The mayor has funded the training this year for almost 10,000 of our patrol officers for this four-day program. Those same officers, in addition, will be getting a three-day in-service training program, which we’ve already committed to, and then they’ll get, as they always do, two days of firearm training, which has resulted in the press event we did with you last week showing the lowest use of firearms in the history of the department. And in addition to that, there’ll be additional training those same officers will get this year on the new equipment that we’re going to be giving to them. Many of them will be getting the new tasers. All of them will be getting the new [inaudible] – that our officers will be carrying the latest improvements over the one we issued years ago for dealing with incidents of having to go into buildings where they need additional protection. There is not a police department in America that’s going to be receiving, by 2016, the amount of training that we’re going to be giving to each and every police officer in this department – the quality of recruit training, the quality of the post-recruit training, the mentoring in the field, and then the in-service training going forward. The average police officer in this department next year will get two weeks of that in-service training – all funded for and all supported by the mayor and the City Council, and all intended to keep our officers safe and let them do a better job. The training I attended this morning is fabulous. The cops are all leaning in, they’re engaged, they’re asking – we purposely keep the classes to 25 or 30 officers so they can have the intimacy of it. And the class I sat in on was how do you deal with a schizophrenic individual and what’s going on in that individual’s head as you’re talking with them? And if you’re escalating the issue, that individual – the fear is building up in them – and in the background they get all these voices talking in his head as the cop is attempting to talk to him. So we showed, if you escalate, that person’s going to end up being so fearful, he’s going to assault you. If you deescalate, you actually get more compliance. So we are really focused on that. If none of you have ever seen the movie A Beautiful Mind, Russell Crowe, I’d suggest see that, because that’s, in some respects, what a person with schizophrenia goes through, and how we can deescalate by learning how to identify that that person has that illness. The officers are also being taught to understand different types of drug behavior – PCP, K-2, heroin, all the different drugs we encounter – what are the behaviors so that – because each one of those requires a different response on the part of the officer, a different way of approach, a different way of deescalation. We are spending a fortune on trying to give our officers those tools.

Question: [inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: Bob Boyce [inaudible].

Robert Boyce, Chief of Detectives, NYPD: Good morning. Right now, the – after last weekend’s blast, we completed the crime scene last night. So we have taken all those materials back to the police lab and we’re analyzing them right now. It would be unfair to anybody to make a statement like that right now, if we thought it was some kind of suicide. We don’t know. There’s a lot of material there has to be treated. We don’t even know the accelerant used in the explosion right now. It’s either natural gas, gasoline, it’s unknown. Until that comes back, I’m not going to comment on Ms. Figueroa’s state of mind. We will, again, go back into cell phones and text messages and see what we can find from there, but going forward right now, the science comes first [inaudible].

Question: [inaudible]

Chief Boyce: No. That’s not fair – I just said we don’t know. Gasoline, natural gas – it’s unknown at this time.

Question: [inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: I was at an all-day meeting yesterday in Washington, D.C. with Dermot Shea, who heads up our CompStat process, with a number of police chiefs, U.S. Attorneys, district attorneys, mayors from around the country – the meeting, initiated and hosted by the Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who you all know very well. And the issue was the spike in violence that seems to have occurred in 2015 after almost 20 years of a steady decline around the country, so that even though the spikes have occurred, there’s still nowhere in any city approaching what we faced in the 1990s, but of concern because it’s happening in so many places at the same and we don’t know why.

We certainly, in New York, as we’ve wrestled with homicides that are up by about 8 percent, and shootings for a while were up double digits, which are now down in the city – what’s behind it? Each city, they’re trying to find a commonality. And the meeting yesterday did not arrive at conclusions. It was really designed to share with each other what’s going on in our respective cities, what role might the federal government play in assisting through the U.S Attorneys. One of the things we’re getting great response from both our U.S Attorneys is on the use of federal law to go after gun violence in this city. We have had an excess of [inaudible] prosecutions in the last several months, where we were able to use the more significant threat of a federal sentence. [Inaudible] and you’re not going to do your time locally, you’re going to be in Utah somewhere. So it gives us great tools to work with in breaking down the gang violence. So, the meeting yesterday was very productive. I was sitting beside Rahm Emanuel. The city of Chicago over the last three weekends – it’s had three weekends, I think, in excess of 50 shootings a weekend. Coming on the heels of last year, it was the safest year ever in Chicago for murders. But this year, they’ve had these incredible spikes. So, that’s one meeting. Next week, I’m going down to a day-long meeting on Wednesday – also, the attorney general, a number of police leaders, government leaders, on the issue of – the incarceration issue – the idea that so many people put in jail, are now coming out. What do we do with them? How do we deal with that issue? And the point you raised – that issue is on the front page of the papers today [inaudible] of the Washington Post. The 6,000 federal prisoners who are only the tip of the iceberg – I think that number is actually 40 or 50,000 – they are going to be letting out over time. They let out tens of thousands anyway in the normal course of events. But what about – one third of the 6,000 illegal immigrants are probably going to be deported. The other 4,000 are being screened by federal judges because they come out on parole.

And the issues we raised yesterday in the discussions with the AG. Well that’s great, they are coming out and they are soon to be pursued by you know, 10-20-30,000 more. But the federal government right now is in continuing resolution. They can’t hire. Well, the parole people in the federal government are already understaffed. How are you going to supervise another 10-20-30,000 parolees coming out. Arguably, many of them are nonviolent, but that might have been the offensive they were sentenced on. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t have other criminal activity in their lives – a concern to us naturally. Additionally, there is no current head of the Bureau of Prisoners at the federal level. So, they are implementing a huge program where there is not a person technically in charge at the top. So, we advance the law to issues of concern for them to address. We’ll talk about those next Wednesday. And there might be a potential meeting with the President on Thursday as a follow up to that. So, this is happening, not just there, it is happening in our own state. We’re releasing – usually we release a lot of people – even more coming out. So, we’re going to stay focused on it.

Question: [Inaudible]

Chief Boyce: Let’s start with the police shooting first – three officers, and a lieutenant – two police officers were assigned to surveillance in that location. You’ll remember, two weeks ago, there was a triple homicide in that development. We’re still actively investigating that case. The lieutenant and his two officers were in a plainclothes vehicle – in plainclothes. They observed some suspicious activity from a person they knew to be a robber and recidivist on that corner where this happened. They came around the block and set up surveillance on that location. At which time, they began to exit their vehicle, one of those members – who has been identified as Keyshawn Smith, who lives in that development – opened fire on them with a .45 caliber weapon. He shot at them seven times. The officers returned fire at Mr. Smith, striking him in the leg. Additionally, while that was happening, we have another individual that we have identified and arrested who we believe fired four rounds from a 10mm gun, which we do not have in custody right now. We are seeking to get that [inaudible] in those developments. We’re hoping to get that gun back. That is where we stand with investigation right now. Another individual, who was also arrested, who was present. We arrested a person who took Mr. Smith to the hospital in the 13th Precinct – Beth Israel Hospital. We immediately identified him as being part of this shooting incident. The officers did a great job. As I said, [inaudible] with that. We had a – there was a bag that was recovered from the scene as well – a pink piece of luggage. I don’t believe it belonged to these three individuals. In that bag, was a considerable matter of ammunition as well. So, I think they thwarted a possible shooting. And of course, they did a really great job last night.

Commissioner Bratton: Emphasizing the issue of [inaudible] and concerns about that as we’re seeking to [inaudible] – the issue of concern about as we seek to understandably, and justifiably increase letting people out of jail, particularly nonviolent, many of whom went away for drug offensives – to ensure we’re not returning individuals into our communities that are going to be have the propensity to get right back into their former lives. The shooter in this instance – the wounded shooter – if I understand it correctly, Bob, he’s on parole for an earlier gun violation?

Chief Boyce: He is on parole. He was arrested at 2-5 Precinct in 2012. He is on parole until December of 2016. So, we’re going forward with that right now. He’s been known to carry a gun in the area.

Question: [Inaudible]

Chief Boyce: No, it’s a different individual who was out there as well.

Question: [Inaudible]

Chief Boyce: He is.

Question: [Inaudible]

Chief Boyce: Sure. We had a case in 1982 – the Manhattan South Homicide Squad – unsolved stabbing inside an apartment. We had – just, let me say there was a closed case. And homicides never close unless it was closed with an arrest. Since it was an inactive investigation, it was looked at in 2001 prior. Now, the way we look at evidence, the way we could test evidence now has changed dramatically in 33 years. So we’ll take a look at that investigation, see if we have evidence that we can get DNA – something like to can make an arrest. That’s where we stand right now. It’s really premature to talk too much more about it. We do have paper cases. Now, we have computer cases. So we found that – members of the Cold Case Squad in Manhattan South’s detective [inaudible] worked the case and see what we can find out. I don’t want to say too much. You don’t want to get people’s hopes up on a case. It was looked at about 14 years ago. We’ll take a second [inaudible].

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: On this topic right now. We’ll come to that later on. Yes? Jill? On – yeah.

Question: [Inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: The – our concerns are constant as it relates to – not only active shooter types of incidents, the more common – the lone wolf – that the expansion of the CRC – personnel specifically designed to deal with that type of incident – priority responsibility. But at the same time, we stay, with our federal colleagues, very focused on radiation, biological types of potential attacks. To that extent, it’s 1,000 of our officers, and indeed, 450 are being made into CRC. They will all be equipped with radiation detection devices. We have those that are worn by officers. We have stationary devices, literally all over the city. You will often times see officers – counterterrorism officers with a backpack – a team of them. You probably saw a lot of them during the Pope’s visit. They are also equipped with higher level detection. We have the biological and chemical detection capabilities. We have several boats. Every ship coming into this harbor are screened by us, by these boats going around them before they get into the harbor. So this is something we pay a lot of attention to. I’ve been briefed on the report that you’re talking about. No specific threat against New York, coming out of those series of events. But it just reinforces that this issue is not going away and it’s going to remain a priority, as it was for the previous administration. It certainly remains one for us. The mayor and a lot of his senior staff have all the top clearances necessary to be continually briefed on this. We have a meeting this afternoon as a matter of fact, and our weekly meeting, and he’ll be getting a top-secret-level briefing on – as we do with him frequently on what is the current state of affairs.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Wait, wait, wait – let me – I’m sorry – hold on – Marcia, Marcia – hold on – just wanted to – you’re going to – we’ll get to you – this lady has been waiting patiently and then we’ll give you that one, then we’ll go to off-topic.

Question: [inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: That’s not correct. Actually, I can speak to that very directly – that – I had a conversation Friday night at the Steuben Society event. The head of one of our Muslim fraternal organizations came up to talk very specifically about that issue, because they have been making – we’re using our fraternal groups to go out and actively assist in recruiting – and the head of the Muslim society, the Desi society, was very excited about the results they’ve been getting as they go to different populations. He had met just that week with representatives of the Sikh community. We have Sikh officers. They wear a modified headdress that basically allows them to meet the needs of their religion, to meet our needs. So we have Sikh officers and are seeking more, but we do not accommodate the very headdress that many wear, but as you know, there are modified versions that they can wear. And similarly, Muslim female officers, would it occasion, wear the headdress that they are required to wear by their religion. We try to be very accommodating without interfering with safety issues. The problem with the large headdress and the ability to get the mask over their face, that would interfere significantly with the safety features of fitting the gas masks – because in addition to the turban, there’s the beard issues that we have to be concerned with. So it’s an officer safety issue as well as other concerns, but on that end, that I’d suggest you can speak to some of our Muslim fraternal organizations – they’ve been actively out there recruiting in that community and we want to them to.

Question: [inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: I’m waiting for them to come up to my office. We’ve – actually –

Question: [inaudible]

Commissioner Bratton: I think – I think we have him scheduled up to my office next week, actually – that – so he can deliver one to me. I felt kind of jealous that he’s been to 50 of the precincts already. No, I became aware of that earlier this week, and it – it’s a wonderful story – little 7-year-old fellow that would take that time to go around – and I look forward to having him up to my office next week and greeting him – that – we’ll have some fun.

Mayor: Well, and I want to note – we want him – I was going to say, we want him in the class of 2032, I think it is? 2033?

Commissioner Bratton: 31.

Mayor: Okay, 31. So just tell him – tell him we’re holding a space for him. Alright, we’re going to go to off-topic and you were ahead of the curve so you get the first one.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: I’ve said many times, each person has to make their own choice on whether they want to run for office. And I have said I welcome anyone who makes that choice – I’m ready to have a very spirited debate about New York City. We’re very proud of what we’ve done in terms of driving down crime, in terms of full-day pre-k for all, and improved test scores in our schools, and 177,000 new jobs since I took office. So I look forward to that discussion, but, you know, she’s made her choice, and everyone will have to make theirs.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: My message to the governor is the same – I’ve been saying it for days. The people of New York City are already shouldering a huge burden when it comes to the MTA – almost three-quarters of all the resources for the MTA come from our taxes on our businesses, our tolls as individuals, our fares, and the city contribution. I’ve said we are open to considering other contributions, but there have to be some very clear ground rules. We have to be certain that the state’s contribution is real and definable and verifiable.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: We’ve seen a lot of interesting history around the way the state has handled the MTA budget. We certainly know, since this governor came into office, I think $270 million dollars were taken out of the MTA’s budget and put into the state budget for other uses. That’s a clearly documented fact. We know over many, many years and different governors, that there’s been some interesting math around the MTA finances. What we want is certainty. We want to be sure that the state is making a long-term commitment. It is the state’s responsibility – I’m going to repeat the fact. The governor names the head of the MTA, the governor has a majority of the board of the MTA – it’s the state’s responsibility to ensure the funds are there. So we want to see a verifiable plan. We want to make sure the plan does not include additional unexpected fair increases for straphangers. We want to make sure the money that’s put into the MTA stays in the MTA. So those are the things that we’re working for, but we’re certainly open to doing something if we get those conditions.

Okay. Yes.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: I – I want to commend Hillary Clinton. I think that was a bold and powerful statement, and a necessary one for this country. I’ve said many times the issue that I think will dominate this election is income inequality. I think it’s on the minds of so many Americans, so many folks in the middle class who have felt their economic situation slipping backwards. One of the great unanswered questions is where are we going on trade? Because the last time we saw major trade deals, like NAFTA, unfortunately it set back American workers and undercut their earning ability. So Secretary Clinton’s taken a very bold, sharp stance. I find it very encouraging. I think it’s going to change the discussion in the Democratic party and in the presidential campaign – I think it’s a watershed moment. And I certainly look forward to sitting down with her and her team soon.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Just – I’m going to leave it at I look forward to sitting down with her and her team soon.

Question: [inaudible] NYCLASS [inaudible]

Mayor: You know a lot of detail I don’t know here, but go ahead –

Question: I was wondering if you had any – any thoughts about what the [inaudible] NYCLASS has and if you would’ve done anything differently, looking backwards?

Mayor: I’m not going to go over history here. That organization obviously had a viewpoint that wasn’t about any particular candidacy. It was about an issue and they did what they did. I don’t know all the nuances of what they did, I don’t know how it relates to Staten Island. If there is an oversight process, I respect that process, but again, [inaudible].

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: The DA race, we haven’t had any conversations with anyone yet. I’m a big fan of Mike McMahon, but haven’t sat down with him. In terms of deadline, no, I don’t go about things like this with a deadline. I want to make sure, when I make an endorsement, it’s because I believe it’s the person who should be president of the United States and will do right by the people of New York City – and that’s a very serious decision, and one I’ll make when all the facts are in.

Yes.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Again, we don’t – I want to just – I always admire, in the budget process or in personnel matters, you guys were very good at asking questions a lot of different ways to get us to say something before we’d made a decision or are ready to announce it. I’ve been to this rodeo. If and when we have something to say, we will certainly say it, but the fundamental reality is there have to be ground rules that protect the taxpayers of New York City and protect the straphangers. And one thing we will not do is put money into an MTA budget to see it siphoned off by the State of New York.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: I think the discussion on the MTA has been artificial in the sense that when you look over the years, the city contribution has changed radically over time – in different directions. There’s not been a clear pattern. There’s no pure benchmark here. And what we do know at the same time is the people of New York City have paid more and more towards the MTA – and I think your bigger point, the people of New York City have paid more and more towards the State of New York for a lot of other things that – that’s a net out-flow of our money. That’s the very point I’m trying to hammer, and I appreciate the question. If we’re going to contribute to something, it has to be in the [inaudible] of the people of New York City and it has to be verifiable. The last thing I want to do is put money into the MTA on the assumption it’s going to help the people of New York City and wake up and see it goes to some other purpose or wake up and see that there’s an additional fare increase that wasn’t expected because the money wasn’t used for the stated purpose. So that’s the ground rule here, but if you look at the history, the history doesn’t offer us much in terms of a clear pattern in terms of city contribution. The one part of history that is absolutely consistent – the people of New York City pay the lion’s share of the costs of the MTA and also contribute greatly to the rest of the state.

Yeah.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: The real issue here is to try and figure out what’s going to sustain the MTA for the long-term, and this discussion over the immediate budget is only a part of that, honestly. We’re going to have a much bigger discussion in New York City, a much bigger plan with all the stakeholders – with the city, with the state, with the suburban counties, with the business community – to figure out really how to make the MTA as strong as it can be for the long-haul, because our entire economy relies on it. So I would say that this is one piece of a larger puzzle, but it’s not – again, I don’t get into the personalities or the stylistic issues here. I think it’s dredging up a very important question, which we want addressed – we need rules going forward. You know, the MTA in the past, again, I – how on earth was money siphoned out of the MTA budget and there wasn’t anything stopping it? That should be a rule. If it goes into the MTA budget, it stays in the MTA budget. So in a funny way, whatever the strategic sensibilities here, a bigger discussion is starting that’s actually one we have to have. Where are we going with the MTA? How are we going to make it sustainable for the long-haul? And what are going to be the ground rules that really protect the MTA’s resources going forward? That’s what we’re working on.

Thank you, everyone.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York, News, News of New York