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Candidates Respond To Kelly's Concerns Over Next Mayor Making Terrorism Top Priority

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TWC News: Candidates Respond To Kelly's Concerns Over Next Mayor Making Terrorism Top Priority
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As voters get ready to head to the polls for Primary Day, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is sounding an alarm about the candidates, questioning who's ready and able to fight terrorism. NY1's Deam Meminger filed the following report.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is pushing his agenda of fighting terrorism and wants all of the mayoral candidates to pay attention.

"Security from global terrorism must be a top priority for the next administration," Kelly said.

Speaking to members from the Association for a Better New York and the Council on Foreign Relations Monday, the city's top cop says he's shocked those who want to run the city haven't contacted him about the New York Police Department's counterterrorism initiatives.

"Where do the candidates stand on these issues? Surprisingly, we haven’t heard much," Kelly said.

But candidates say they are paying attention.

"My staff constantly getting briefed and updated, as we would as a part of my job as speaker of the City Council," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio says he asked for a briefing two weeks ago, as tensions started heating up between the United States and Syria.

Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson says Kelly does have valuable information, but so do others.

"I've sat with a number of other people who are incredibly qualified when it comes to public safety. Have I sat with him? I have not," Thompson said.

"Once the election is over, and I think they are going to be a little less political about things, then I think that would be an appropriate time to get a briefing, because I think then it would be more on the level," said former Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Joe Lhota, a deputy mayor during the September 11th terror attacks, says once the primary is over, the remaining mayoral candidates in the November election should meet with Kelly.

"Those are the ones who should be properly briefed, so that they're fully prepared once they're elected," Lhota said.

Kelly says the city may be more of a target now than it was on September 11.

He says from his or her first day on the job, the next mayor has to be supportive of the NYPD and vigilant.

"What is their understanding of the terrorist threat to New York City and its immediacy?" Kelly said.

No matter who is elected mayor, Kelly will have to brief the new police commissioner about all of the counterterrorism efforts, unless he is kept on as the city's top cop.

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