Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday staunchly defended the city police department's stop-and-frisk and counter-terrorism programs and bashed city politicians who oppose them.
While addressing NYPD leadership at One Police Plaza, Bloomberg said the department is "under attack" by politically motivated members of the City Council and mayoral candidates.
The 20-minute address was triggered by a trio of election-year proposals.
One is the Democratic mayoral candidates' vow to limit stop, question and frisk, a policy that is the subject of a federal trial.
Another is a proposal that, on its face, bars racial profiling, but that Bloomberg said will hinder crime-fighting.
A third calls for an inspector general overseeing the department.
"My message is simple: Stop playing politics with public safety," said Bloomberg. "Look at what's happened in Boston. Remember what happened here on 9/11. Remember all those who have been killed by gun violence and the families they left behind. We owe it to all of them to give our offices the tools they need to protect innocent lives or people will needlessly die and we'll all be responsible."
It wasn't just political contenders on the receiving end. Also under fire were civil liberty activists, City Council members and even the New York Times, which Bloomberg said didn't cover the unintended shooting of a Bronx teen, whose name Bloomberg mispronounced.
Though he didn't mention her by name, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was implicitly criticized in the mayor's speech. Her support for an inspector general is creating a rift in their years-long alliance.
Quinn said there are rifts between police and New Yorkers that need to be repaired.
"The way to do that is to move forward with good ideas for reforms, not bad ones," Quinn said.
Others were even more critical of policing under Bloomberg.
"He's presenting a false choice, that people either are safe, or people have rights," said City Comptroller John Liu.
"The mayor seems to think that the world revolves around him," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. "I mean, this is just the height of arrogance, acting like he is the only person who has able to make New York City safe."