Mayor de Blasio is talking up gains he says the city is making in improving the relationship between the Police Department and New Yorkers – but Commissioner Bill Bratton says he wants more data to back up anecdotal evidence that the tide is turning. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
The Police Department's use of stop and frisk is on the decline, and Mayor de Blasio says it is helping heal the rift between many New Yorkers and police who patrol the streets. At the same time, he says, crime has been dropping.
"We've shown already in three months that, yes, you can keep driving down crime while repairing the relationship with police and community," says de Blasio. "The facts are there. The statistics are there."
But Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has plans to examine that relationship even closer. He says he wants to start polling police officers and local residents to determine whether the shift the mayor is talking about is real. He did something similar in Los Angeles when he led the department.
"How do we know we're making a difference? Crime rates are down. Great, we're making a difference that we haven't had an incident in three months. Great, we're making a difference. But have attitudes changed?" says Bratton.
The polling system is still being designed and needs to be funded.
"I'm very confident that we are going to repair the damage where it exists and make improvements in these areas," says Bratton. "But if we don't have a reliable ability to measure it, well then it's 'she says this, somebody else says that.' We need to find some kind of common ground."
The police commissioner and mayor spoke at a meeting with federal and local law enforcement officials and civil rights leaders.
It may be too soon, though, to draw any broad conclusions about the city's new approach to policing. Mayor de Blasio later admitted that the results he's seen so far are preliminary.
"We have preliminary results, but hopeful results," says de Blasio.
Bratton emphasized that the city is already working off of historically low crime figures. He says he is committed to keeping them low, but warned that they will spike from time to time. He says that when that happens, the department will move quickly to bring crime back down.