City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's plan to create an independent watchdog for the NYPD drew a scathing rebuke from Mayor Bloomberg last week, and on Tuesday Police Commissioner Ray Kelly added to the criticism saying it could jeopardize the city's safety.
"I think there’s real cause for concern," Kelly told reporters.
The cause for concern is a so-called NYPD Inspector General, who would not only investigate wrongdoing, but also monitor policy at the police department.
Under pressure from Council colleagues and some of her Democratic rivals in the mayor’s race, Council Speaker Christine Quinn last week agreed to legislation creating an inspector general. But the man she says she’d like to keep on as police commissioner clearly isn't on board.
"I think putting in another layer of so-called supervision, or monitoring, can ultimately make this city less safe," Kelly said.
The mayor and police commissioner gathered Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting on the newly modernized Central Park Precinct station house -- the oldest police department building in the city, which dates to 1871. And the mayor noted that like elsewhere in the city, crime is down in Central Park, where there hasn't been a murder since 2002.
In remarks to the audience, Bloomberg - without mentioning any names - suggested the current crop of mayoral candidates might roll back that progress.
"What we don’t know is what they will actually do to reduce crime. We don’t even know if it’s a goal. And I believe the people of this city have a right to know that their mayor will keep fighting to reduce crime. The question is whether the people running for mayor believe that."
As for Kelly, once thought to be a possible mayoral contender himself, he batted down questions about his future under a new regime.
"I haven’t made any plans for the future. I have no plans as to what I’ll be doing at the end of the mayor’s term," Kelly said.
The City Council, meanwhile, is expected to pass the Inspector General bill next month then override the mayor's veto.