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Tone More Cordial for City Council Hearing on NYPD's Budget

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A new police commissioner and many new City Council members made for a different public hearing at City Hall Friday, one where things were much quieter. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

There was no loud arguing over police tactics at the City Council hearing for the New York City Police Department's proposed $4.7 billion budget for 2015.

"In the spirit of collaboration, we'll go easy on you today," Police Commissioner William Bratton said, laughing.

It was quite a difference from when former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly went before the Council and often battled over stop-and-frisk.

Bratton said that stop-and-frisk is becoming more effective as crime remains low this year.

"The number of stops, although they're down dramatically, obviously much more appropriate in that the increase, up to 16, 18 percent of those stops resulting in an actual summons or an arrest or a gun seized is a dramatic increase from what it was," Bratton said.

At its peak, with almost 700,000 stop-and-frisks in 2011, only about 10 percent of people were found to be doing something illegal.

Bratton brought his entire senior staff with him, allowing them to better answer questions he couldn't. John Miller, the new deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, said that his department is working on a manual to better instruct officers on surveillance.

"To be candid with you, when I said I want to see our policies for intelligence collection and investigation, it was hard to get a hold of them," Miller said. "When I finally got them, they stood a foot tall."

Several other issues were brought up, including the possibility of officers working a four-day week by doing more hours per day, like firefighters. The department has been studying the issue and hopes to make a decision soon.

"The training was to study the impact of fatigue of officers who work these extra tours, especially inner-city neighborhoods, and we're looking at the fact as though it may work in some municipalities where the workload may not be as light, but what impact that that have as far as stress, violence, etc.," said Philip Banks, chief of department for the NYPD.

The NYPD's proposed budget is $80 million less than this year's budget, so the department said it has to make do with the officers it has while coming up with innovative ways to keep crime low.

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