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Mayor Splits Day Discussing Education, NYPD

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Mayor Bill de Blasio split his day Thursday between the two city agencies he spoke about most during his campaign: the Department of Education, where he focused on expanding after-school programs for middle school students, and the New York City Police Department. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking a break from talking about pre-kindergarten to focus on the other component of his tax hike plan, an expansion of after-school programs for middle school students.

"You can see here, for kids here in Morris Heights, this is a game changer," de Blasio said. "This after-school program really helps them improve their studies and focus and be truly devoted."

He toured the Bronx School of Young Leaders with his new schools commissioner, Carmen Fariña, checking out the after-school scene.

The central initiative of his mayoral campaign was a tax on New Yorkers who make more than $500,000 a year to pay for after-school programs, as well as pre-kindergarten. The pre-K part has received the most attention, but the mayor wants to make sure the middle school component is emphasized as well.

"I am a recovering middle school parent," de Blasio said. "We want every middle school to be great, and we need after school to be a part of every middle school, and we need after-school programs to be available for literally every student who wants to take advantage of it."

Earlier in the day, the mayor swore in 650 new police recruits.

His relationship with the department is an important one - and one that may need some attention, given his fierce criticism of New York City Police Department practices during the race for mayor.

"We need to make our city event safer," de Blasio said. "We can do it by respecting New Yorkers and following the constitution."

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is raising some eyebrows after saying he would not have accepted his new job if his trusted aide, John Miller, refused to come with him. Miller is a former CBS News correspondent who will be the police department's anti-terror chief.

"John, if he had not agreed to take this position, I would not have taken it because I need his skills, his relationships," Bratton said.

"I think what he is saying is that he considers John Miller a crucial partner in the work," de Blasio said.

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