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Police Commissioner, City Council Clash Over Budget

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After a particularly icy relationship with the last administration, the new City Council and the city's top brass were expected to find more common ground, but at City Hall on Tuesday, the speaker and the city's police commissioner clashed over the budget. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

The speaker of the City Council and the police commissioner started the day with a kiss on the cheek and a handshake, but from there, they did not see eye to eye.

"We can't continue to tax our current resources, and that we need to bring more police officers into the precinct," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

"Would I like 1,000 more cops? Certainly," said Police Commissioner William Bratton. "But I'm also very mindful of the mayor's issues around the budget and his needs."

Bratton once again dismissed a City Council budget proposal to add 1,000 more police officers to the city's police force of 35,000.

It's a move that Mark-Viverito says is necessary to curb a spike in crime at the city's public housing projects and reliance on overtime at One Police Plaza.

"Sounds great, but the reality is, those officers, the first one would not hit the streets until July of 2015. That will do nothing to alleviate the issues that are being discussed here in May of 2014," Bratton said.

The disagreements did not appear to end there. Mark-Viverito raised concerns over the number of people who are still arrested for small amounts of marijuana. That sparked Bratton to slam the idea of decriminalization.

"My hope is that this is the next major policy change under the NYPD so that we can curtail the number of African-American and Latino youth that are being criminalized and that are being arrested," Mark-Viverito said.

"It's a gateway drug. It's been proven to be that, and I think it would only compound our problem here if people were free to basically smoke it, use it," Bratton said. "We don't need that in New York City at this time."

While the commissioner was not endorsing the idea of more officers, he did express support for cutting-edge technology.

"Myself, I'm supportive of the concept of drones, not only for police but for public safety in general."

The city's police commissioner said the skies are clear for now, but drone technology is definitely something the NYPD has its eye on. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP