Crime is at historical lows, and the next mayor wants to keep it that way, but police tactics have also been the subject of intense debate on the campaign trail for months. In Part 4 of his series on mayoral issues, NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report on what Bill de Blasio and Joseph Lhota envision for the New York City Police Department.
Fear of crime, and fear of the police, have been part of each candidate's ads.
One Joseph Lhota ad says, "Bill de Blasio's recklessly dangerous agenda on crime will take us back to this," and then shows images of a time where crime was high in New York City.
In a Bill de Blasio spot from the Democratic primary, the Democratic mayoral candidate says, "Chirlane and I have talked to Dante many times about the fact that someday, you will be stopped," referring to their son, Dante.
De Blasio said during the primary that he would end the "era of stop-and-frisk." Have his words have changed since he won the primary?
"The NYPD is doing a great job," de Blasio said during a recent debate.
De Blasio now says he'll end the "overuse" of stop-and-frisk. He also wants to expand surveillance camera use, and he backs an inspector general over the New York City Police Department, slated to go into effect in January.
During the primary, De Blasio also backed a federal monitor over the department. A federal judge ordered one in August, but on Thursday, a federal appeals court blocked that ruling for now, removing the judge from the case.
De Blasio has said that he believes there are quotas for police to stop people.
The Republican, Lhota, opposes the federal monitor. He also opposes an inspector general and says he agrees with 99 percent of NYPD tactics. Lhota also defends the NYPD's stop, question and frisk policy.
"Anybody who believes that the accomplishments over the last 20 years are not fragile is kidding themselves," Lhota said during a recent debate.
De Blasio says his policies will overcome suspicion of police he says exists under Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
"What we need to fix is the problem, the rift, between police and community in a lot of our neighborhoods that happened because of the unconstitutional use of stop-and-frisk, the overuse of stop-and-frisk," de Blasio said. "We can fix that, and that will make us safer."
Then, there's the question of who the next mayor will appoint as police commissioner. Lhota says he would try to get Kelly to stay, but under a Mayor de Blasio, Kelly may want to look elsewhere. de Blasio has long said that Kelly would be out out of a job.
Even under de Blasio, Kelly's influence may still be felt. One name the Democrat is floating for a replacement is Phillip Banks III. He is Kelly's chief of department.