Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner O'Neill Host Press Conference to Discuss Crime Statistics

January 4, 2017

Commissioner James O’Neill, NYPD: Good morning, everyone. Thanks for being here in Brooklyn. Thank you especially to the staff here at Brooklyn Museum for opening their doors to us, specifically Anne Pasternak, Museum Director David Berliner, President of the Museum Jim Kelly, Vice Director of Operations and Tricia Ross, Director of Events; thank you very much for inviting us here this morning. And thank you to all the community partners who took the time to join us and support us this morning too. I know some of you came from very far distances – from the Bronx I think, right? That is a long way from Brooklyn.

[Applause]

I see some people from Queens over there too.

[Applause]

You are the definition of what we’re talking about when we say that fighting crime is a shared responsibility.

You should take as much pride in our announcement today as we do. You help us every day in so many ways; from showing and introducing our newest cops around the neighborhoods they will be patrolling to gathering up other civic minded residents and workers in the community, so that they, like you, can work hand and hand with us in our mission to further reduce crime and to keep people safe. And that is why we are here today, of course, to talk about the year we just completed.

I’m going to speak for a couple of minutes and then Mayor de Blasio will make some remarks, and then we’ll get Chief Dermot Shea – I like saying that – Chief Dermot Shea up here to talk about the actual numbers. Dermot is our chief of Crime Control Strategies and runs our weekly CompStat meeting with Chief Carlos Gomez, the Chief of Department [inaudible]. I know everyone here had a chance to walk around and view the photo exhibit and hopefully talk to each other about the incredible changes our great city has experienced in the past 20 and 25 years. The thing to take away from all of this – the crime stats you’ll hear about in a little bit – before and after pictures we’re just looking at is that none of this happened by accident. Reduced number of murders yet again and the absolute lowest number of shootings in New York City since modern record keeping began. We truly focus on people committing the crime that is how we are keeping people safe year after year. And again, none of it happened by accident. As you look around at the faces this morning – I know many of you were around in the City during the early 80s and 90s when crime was at its peak; when murders topped 2,200 a year. And you couldn’t tell what color the subway covers because they were all covered with graffiti. I remember that vividly. And I can tell you firsthand it was a very different city back then. And I know you can tell us firsthand as well. So resident action is how it is that crime plummeted in New York City over the past two decades and continues to do so. It’s because of the hard work of the men and women of the NYPD, patroller of our neighborhoods day in and day out, and the community members who support us. [Inaudible] police executives that work tirelessly to help keep the City safe.

Over the last year-and-a-half we have expanded our neighborhood policing plan, which is a crime fighting model first and foremost, as I have said before. Everything we do now is geared towards reducing crime and keeping people safe – everything. For our neighborhood coordination officers and the team of cops that work the same shift – working the same sections everyday – it is now much more than just a traditional answering the 9-1-1 call. It is about deeper problem solving. Every one of us shares this responsibility. That is why we have redefined what it means to be a police officer in this great city. And that is why we have completely shifted the way we patrol New York.

We’ve also restructured how the NYPD is organized. We have almost all of our investigators now reporting to Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce, who we will also hear from in a little bit. With Bob’s guidance and a lot of great work by those under him, last year we conducted about 100 targeted takedowns; medium and long-term investigations into gang and crew violence, narcotics flowing, and other criminal activities. And we have locked up somewhere north of 1,000 people in these takedowns. That kind of precision policing is what is going to keep New York City on the right track.

We’ve zeroed in on a relatively small population of people who commit most of the violent crimes in the City. We’re picking them off one by one, in many cases, dozens by dozens. And we’re working with our five district attorneys and the U.S. Attorney, both in the East and Southern District, to make sure that this work pays off. Let me tell you, our DAs are truly our partners in this fight. We pre-indict many of these suspects prior to knocking on their doors very early in the morning. And through enhanced prosecutions, many of these repeat offenders are getting longer and more meaningful sentences.

And we’ve added another facet through our neighborhood policing model. After each of these takedowns, we go back into the effected communities, neighborhoods, and housing developments that were terrorized by drug dealers and people shooting guns. We’ve held community meetings there with the people who live and work there, so they can ask questions about what our teams were doing there that morning; about exactly who we arrested and why. We’re overwhelmingly being told, ‘you got the right people.’ We’re also being told thank you. That is what this is all about. That’s why we took these jobs. It’s our job to fight crime and to keep people safe and we won’t let up in our efforts. There is still much work to be done. As we begin 2017, I just wish a Happy New Year to everyone.

Mr. Mayor?

[Applause]

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well, a very Happy New Year to everyone, and I want to just offer my congratulations to the Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill, to all of the men and women of the NYPD and to all of the community partners. This is an amazing moment for New York City. Let me just give you a sense of the records that have been broken that have been shattered here once again in this City because it’s extraordinary. The year 2016 – the fewest ever overall major crimes in New York City.

[Applause]

The fewest ever shootings in New York City – the first time we have been below a thousand shootings in the modern era for a single year in this city, absolutely amazing.

[Applause]

And to give you a perspective just 25 years ago there were over 5,000 shootings in a single year in the City. Look how far we have all come together. Another record – the fewest ever robberies in New York City – you can clap for that one too.

[Applause]

And finally, the fewest ever burglaries in New York City –

[Applause]

This is extraordinary in comparison to that past and this exhibit is so powerful. I urge everyone to really look at it because it reminds us of all of the work that went in to changing things. It certainly goes back to Bill Bratton and Jack Maple and the origin of CompStat. At the time we not only had the 5,000 shootings, we had over 2,000 murders a year. Real work went in over the last almost quarter a century. Real work by our police officers, real work by our community partners to get us to this point and now the NYPD is perfecting a strategy of precision policing and in combination with neighborhood policing – crimes are being stopped before they happen because the focus is on the right people in the right places. And the information is there coming from so many neighborhood residents who are working in deeper partnership with the NYPD. And that combination of the right strategy, of the right targeting, and the right information has proven to be essential. You’re seeing these gang takedowns and you are also seeing more and more guns being taken off the streets because our police are getting the information and support they need and they are working so closely with community residents to know where they need to focus.

I want to give Commissioner O’Neill a real congratulations not just for the statistics, because the statistics are one part of the equation. The human reality is what we really care about. Every one of those numbers represents a human being. But also his vision for neighborhood policing, which is coming into its own now. It’s only begun but we are already seeing such promising results that this is the future of policing in this city, a deep partnership between police and community.

Now, as I mentioned we have so many crucial partners at the community level and this is a day to celebrate as we start this New Year. I want to again thank all the men and women of the NYPD, but I want to thank their partners as well. I want to thank the men and women who are part of the New York City Crisis Management System.

[Applause]

And to give credit where credit is due I want to thank our friends at the City Council, Chair Vanessa Gibson of Public Safety and Councilman Jumaane Williams, who has been one of the leading advocates for the Crisis Management System. City Council worked with the Mayor’s Office and NYPD to increase the number of officers that allowed for neighborhood policing to happen. That’s allowed for expanded anti-terror capacity and now that we are in January of 2017 we have that full complement of new officers out there – over 2,000 more officers on patrol than just two years ago, the biggest increase in 15 years. So thanks for that and thanks for your great support for the Crisis Management System. And I have to say to everyone involved in crisis management, thank you for what you do on the ground playing a key role in 17 precincts that have had the biggest problems with gun violence, helping to mediate and helping to prevent violence before it happens, working with community members – really putting into place the grassroots strategy that change communities for the long-term. Thank you for all you do.

[Applause]

You’re going to hear from our great ally Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and I want to thank him for all he’s done to help keep Brooklyn safe – and before that, all of New York City.

[Applause]

And look, the bottom line in this is that we’ve had a theory from the beginning. I shared this world view with Commissioner Bratton. I share it with Commissioner O’Neill and all of the top leadership of the NYPD. We believed that if we got officers and community members to communicate more. If we got a sense of common purpose and common mission that it would make a huge difference. We also knew that some of the policies of the past were not working. So we obviously believe we have to change the approach to Stop-and-Frisk and I am going to tell you that the numbers from this year’s Stop-and-Frisk is down 93 percent since I took office.

[Applause]

And there has also been a fundamental focus on training our officers and supporting our officers and looking at all the tools and using all their discretion. Obviously there are times when an arrest is the right thing to do and there’s times when other tools work better. So, over these last three years arrests are down 20 percent and crime continues to go down at the same time.

[Applause]               

And we are also seeing tremendous progress in additional gun seizures. We are also seeing gang takedowns. You heard about – how all of these pieces fit together. More and more respect and communication between officers and community while we are going at the small number of individuals who do the real violence and we are getting community members to help officers know what the weapons are so they can get them off the streets. That is how all these pieces are coming together. The investments we make – training, technology, better vests and better gear for our officers to keep them safe. All of these investments support this work and we will continue to make them.

Finally, I just want to continue to understand that this is a beginning. This is a beginning. What Commissioner O’Neill has set in place with neighborhood policing is still in its infancy. We expect great things and as it spreads more and more throughout the city we expect that relationship between police and the community to deepen further. We expect our officers to get more and more information. We expect crime to go down further. We have right now the gateway to an even safer New York City.

I am going to say a quick few words in Spanish as well.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish] 

With that I want to welcome someone who has been a key part of this progress and I want to thank him for his leadership – Chief Dermot Shea.

[Applause]

Deputy Commissioner of Operation Dermot Shea, NYPD: Good morning, everyone. Before I begin I would just like to acknowledge to men and women of the New York City Police Department – the men and woman on the front lines, sacrificing every day, working hard. We have some very good stories to tell this morning, but it’s not lost on me that it’s their hard work. They really accomplished this – what we’re about to get into. I would also – as I look across – I see some representatives from the Brooklyn D.A.’s office in the front row. We do not do this alone. We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished, but we are well aware that we are just a piece in this. So to the five district attorneys, to the special narcotics prosecutors, to our two U.S. attorneys, state, local, federal partners, and our community partners – some good news today, but we are just one piece of this and to that I say thank you to everyone.

As we begin talking about the crime statistics here, and some of them have been spoken about already, but I’ll put my own perspective and spin on it. We had a very low year at overall index crime. We were down in murders in New York City. As the Mayor and Police Commissioner mentioned, we were under a thousand shootings. It’s not often that all three of those things happen in the same year. It’s been seven years since we were down in all three of those categories in New York City, and then to be down in them – and to the levels that we are down – is really what’s truly amazing.

First on the crime – overall index crime in New York City for 2016, we recorded approximately 101,600 crimes. That’s down four percent. It shattered the record sent it 2010 of 105-thousand-and-change index crimes. Continued crime – one of the things that we’re most proud of in the NYPD is not reducing crime, but keeping it down and pushing it further – reducing those blips where crime goes up in one year. It’s down over nine percent now over the last three years – index crime in New York City. Broad categories of crime are down this year – murders, rape, robbery, grand larceny, auto grand larceny, burglaries. The only index crime that was up was felony assault, and it was up two percent. It wasn’t confined to one part of the city. This crime reduction this year, every borough in NYC is down I crime, which we’re especially proud of. The records that we’ve set – shooting incident, under a 1,000; the lowest number of shooting incidents recorded on housing properties – Jimmy Secreto, thank you very much for housing’s work. Never before have we had less shootings on New York City Housing Authority property than this year.

[Applause]

The lowest number of burglaries, the lowest number of robberies, the lowest number of stolen vehicles – you simply cannot compare when you look back to 1993 over 110,000 stolen vehicles. This year there were approximately 6,000, and a good percentage of those are individuals who leave their keys in the car. It is getting harder and harder to have your car stolen, and that’s a great thing in New York City – records being set. When you talk about the homicides this year, we recorded 335 homicides in New York City this year. Three of the last four years it’s essentially been at that very low level. We were within two this year of setting the all-time mark set in Mayor de Blasio’s first year, 2014, at 333. Interesting with the numbers this year – and these are people – we had 21 reclassified murders out of those 335 this year. So when you look at the incidents it’s actually significantly smaller that occurred this year. It doesn’t take too long to go back into the past. 2012, only four years ago, 20 percent higher in murders, so we have come a long way, and as the Mayor said we’re looking to push that even further down.

Per capita, per hundred thousand residents when you stop and look at New York City versus the rest of the country, I think we fare very well. We’re at about four percent, one of the lowest rates that you’ll see in the country. Third and final category I’d like to speak about in terms of overall crime in New York City is the shooting incidents. We recorded 998 shooting incidents – incredible pressure by Police Commissioner O’Neill for me to keep that under 1,000. We just made it. We didn’t break the record – we really shattered the record. The prior record was 1,103 incidents in 2013. New York City had never before been below 1,100. We were under 1,000. We had 140 fewer incidents this year than last year.

[Applause]

We had 162 fewer people shot than last year. When you talk about the precision policing – and we’re going to speak briefly about that, and Bob Boyce’s gang detectives and precinct detectives and the work they’re doing. At the same time that arrests were down and crime is down, and the shooting is at a record low, three straight years of increased gun arrests in New York City. We had a ten percent gun arrest this year over last year across New York City.

[Applause]

Gun arrests are not the whole story. When you look at the gun indictments, when you look at the people being taken off the street for carrying an illegal firearm – all the indicators, and again Brooklyn D.A.’s office I couldn’t thank you enough on working with us to build stronger cases, weekly calls following up on arrests. It’s not the arrests that we’re concerned about. It’s solving the problem, and we’re going miles ahead of where we were in terms of gun violence across New York City. So Mark, thank you.

[Applause]

So there are the statistics. The statistics really confirm what we’ve been talking about at some of these press conferences for some time now. There is a momentum as we call it. There’s a momentum building in New York City of the various crime strategies that we put together over the last couple of years. Of technology that’s coming online, of training that’s taking hold, things are going well with the crime picture in New York City. Essentially this is what 21st century policing looks like. It’s data driven. It’s smarter. It’s more effective. It’s results-oriented, and here’s the important part – it works. But at the same time that we’re talking about new strategies and policing differently, we have not lost sight about the most important part – the people. And I’m referring to our officers, and I’m referring to the community. And now when we hear – and I’m sure at some point we’ll hear from Terry Monahan – when we hear about the NCO program and the neighborhood policing. That’s why that is so key. If we are going to push crime further down in New York City, it’s – we believe it’s going to be holding hands right alongside the people we serve with them.

Thank you very much, and to all involved – and officers, thank you for all your hard work this year.

[Applause]

[...]

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, NYPD: Good morning, everyone. I’m Bob Boyce. I’m the Chief of Detectives. The New York City Police Department detectives have a saying  – the greatest detectives in the world – I always think of Bob Parcells and his line – it’s not bragging if you can do it. And they’ve done it day in and day out. So, how do we do this? How did we get all of these reductions?

First of all, the NCO program has been a key component for us. We use those officers out in the street to get us information. They bring us back motives, bring us back evidence so we can act as a force multiplier to our detectives.

So, precision policing – we took a look at it and we decided to, under the Unified Detective model – we can bring detectives from all different stripes, different skill sets and bring them into one area to tackle the gang problem. At the end of 2015, the number one motive for shootings in this city was gang. But how did we get this done? So, we brought two units together – the Violence Reduction Task Force under Chief Jim Essig and the Metro Safe Streets which is a joint effort with the FBI under [inaudible]. We brought them in to tackle the tough gangs in this city – the ones that are driving the crime in this city. And that’s what we did.

So, the precision policing strategy, some data driven policing – identify the worst individuals across the city. Like any crime, we have the same people committing that crime – career burglars, career robbers, and we have gang members who are career shooters. We found out that the same people who were carrying guns, the same who were witnessing crimes, and the same people who were committing crimes.

So, we identified them then we started going after them. To-date, right now, 21 – we’re down 21 gang-related homicides this year, down 134 gang-related shootings this year. That’s a 44 percent reduction from last year.

We also took a look at the drugs [inaudible] there is no longer an OCCB. They are all under one roof in our house. And we started tackling some issues as well. We’re down 11 drug-related murders this year and down 21 drug-related shootings this year. So, the proof is the pudding. It’s worked very well for us. How’d we do it? 41 total gang takedowns this year. That’s across each borough – enjoyed that reduction. Bronx, Brooklyn – right across the board.

So, 107 total takedowns, 41 against gangs. Right now we have an epidemic of narcotic – heroin overdoses and fentanyl overdoses. We’ve also tackled that as well in every borough. We’ve challenged our narcotic squad commanders to come up with programs in order to address that both on trafficking and both on street level. So, we’re very proud of that.

This year, [inaudible] investigative model is going forward. It keeps getting better every day and – every day, I don’t think I’ve spent a day in the city without some detective just making me smile over some new innovative way he solved it. In this borough, where we sit right now, we are down 58 shootings this year and 15 homicides –

[Applause]

It’s a great Brooklyn story but I worked many years in Brooklyn. I also worked many years in the Bronx, as you know.

[Applause]

Down there as well, so, we’re going to keep going forward. We’re going to keep rolling this thing right into 2017 and keep making this city the safest city in the country. Thank you.

[Applause]

[...]

Unknown: At this time, again, I’ll remind everyone we’re going to open up the floor to question-and-answer only to the media. Those that are seated in the audience in front, realize there are still live cameras and not interrupt. Thank you. Mr. Mayor.

Mayor: Thank you. Thank you, Lieutenant. Questions on this topic and then we’ll do other topics after. Go ahead.

Question: Mayor, can I ask the Police Commissioner –

Mayor: Of course.

Question: You talked specifically precision policing. How unique is that compared to other cities? And can you say what Chicago is doing wrong that the NYPD is doing right?

Commissioner O’Neill: I’m going – I’ll talk about what New York City is doing right because that’s what I know. Chicago did – they brought a delegation in here. Their superintendent and a few other people came a couple of weeks ago. We told them what we were doing. We brought them to a CompStat. And working with the community, working from neighborhood policing, working through Bob Boyce’s detectives and our federal partners and the DA’s office – we’re identifying the people in the communities and it’s a very small percentage of the people involved in the violence. And we’re using all of our resources toward that end. That’s what we’re doing right. That’s why stops are down. That’s why summonses are down. That’s why arrests are down. And it’s working because we’re targeting the right people.

Anyone else? Rocco –

Question: Commissioner, you focused on building up the [inaudible] suspects. Is that pool of people diminished any [inaudible] –

Commissioner O’Neill: I don’t know if I can give you an – well, what Rocco’s asking is as we work through the people involved in the violence, does that pool diminish? Yes it does and hopefully it diminishes because they go to prison. This is what the overall strategy is. And working with Special Narcotics prosecutor, working with the five DA’s offices, and working with the Eastern and Southern Districts we’re making sure we do that. We’re bringing the right cases to the right prosecutors to make sure that we get – we’re going to put so much effort into this we just have to have the payoff there and they have to go to prison. Rick –

Question: I know there was some concern about celebrating too long or too loudly about this because there’s a possibility that crime could spike back up again. I’m just wondering if you’ve talked about where you are on that.

Commissioner O’Neill: Yeah, this is – this is not mission accomplished as every one that spoke up here said. This is – we have a moral obligation to do our best to keep pushing crime down. As we look throughout the city to where those pockets of crime are, that’s where we’re going to go and that’s where we’re going to deploy our resources. This isn’t over. This is just starting. David –

Question: One of the things that jump out in the exhibit that we just looked at before coming here is that many of the pictures of [inaudible] neighborhoods that were [inaudible] in the past are now places that many of the people in this room couldn’t afford to live in. I wonder, for the Mayor more than for the Commissioner, what do you think is the relationship between crime and gentrification [inaudible] – 

Mayor: I think the central story here is not about gentrification. I think it is about CompStat. It’s about, now, neighborhood policing, determining how to have a different relationship between police and community. I think these are all much more important to the changes that have been made. Gentrification is a factor but if you look at that exhibit carefully, one of the things that I think is important to recognize is over many administrations, not only were these policing strategies changing but a lot of investment was put into communities – turning vacant lots into affordable housing, into public schools, into even in one case a new police precinct. So, that was about public investment. That was not about gentrification.

Question: [Inaudible] see it from the opposite way. Do you think that the success of policing is driving up gentrification, not the other way around?

Mayor: I think that clearly a safe city is attractive to everyone, to the people who live here. And we know that through the 60s and 70s, even into the 80s, a lot of people who grew up here were leaving because they didn’t think it was safe. They didn’t think it was safe for their families. So, now more and more people are staying and they want to be here. Obviously, we’ve had a huge influx of people from other parts of the country even other parts of the world. We’re at the highest all time population we’ve had – 8.55 million. Yeah, that’s of course – public safety is one of the number one drivers of why people have decided to stay and why our population has gone up.

That being said, I want to refer to the point that Eric Adams made – a lot of people, including a lot of people present here today from the Crisis Management System, stood and fought and protected our communities even during the worst moments. And that’s another part of the story. We got to today because a number of people decided – and I thought that the example that Eric gave that community patrol is a beautiful one – a lot of people decided it was their neighborhood and they were going to fight for it no matter how tough it was and that gave us a chance to rebound and recover.

Question: [Inaudible] talk about how effective targeting [inaudible] reducing crime. And then, you know, you’re taking down the [inaudible] seeing more pop up – where are we in terms of gang [inaudible]?

Commissioner O’Neill: [Inaudible] I mean if you just take a look at the shootings and how we broke them down – the number of gang and crew shootings has gone way down. Maybe Bobby can give you the exact number on that. And as they pop up, we redeploy. And that’s why we do CompStat every Thursday. That’s why we look at – I don’t think there’s anybody sitting up here that probably sleeps through the night because we’re constantly looking at our Blackberry or iPhone or whatever you have to see what’s going on.

You know the first couple of days, it’s been a challenge this year but that’s the way it’s going to be. There’s going to be ebbs and flows and wherever there are challenges and are issues, that’s where we’re going to deploy our resources to make sure we keep pushing crime down.

Question: [Inaudible]

Commissioner O’Neill: Yeah, the NCOs – the Neighborhood Coordination Officers that’s part of neighborhood policing plan is definitely having an impact on identifying gangs and crews, and making sure that we’re working towards pushing crime down. Dean –

Question: You’re proud that crime is down, murders are down, shootings are down but when you interview several people, a lot of people think crime is still up in this city. Why do you think that is? And we’ve spoken about that before – the perception. But a lot of people think crime is up in New York.

Commissioner O’Neill: We do have to fight both the perception and the reality. And a lot of what happens it impacts people individually. We’re not saying that there’s no crime in New York City. So, it’s up to us make sure that in every part of the city that people feel safe. And I think with the NCOs and the steady sector cops, people are going to have the opportunity to meet New York City police officers and maybe that’ll give them a better feeling of safety. Azi –

Question: What can you tell us about the, sort of, guns of that are used in these shootings? New York City has, obviously, tough gun control laws but where are they coming in from, how are they getting here [inaudible]? Secondly, a lot of the photographs in the exhibit looked at New York 10, 15, 20 years ago. Now, a lot of people are engaging with social media, the internet [inaudible] how are crimes related to [inaudible] being incorporated into –

Commissioner O’Neill: Alright, Bob, you want to talk about the gangs and crews?

Chief Boyce: There’s just one thing we saw – we’re seeing, and we’ve been saying this for a couple of months now – more and more gangs are using credit cards and check fraud to get money to create a more sophisticated level for us to go after. And that’s fine because they’re also very active in social media. So, that’s some of the ways we take them down through those things right now. Less street dealing of drugs than we had before. I spoke about these – over 100 takedowns this year.

We had two this morning. So, just going forward – we’re not stopping. We did a takedown on Vermillion Street up in the 3-4 Precinct. 29 search warrants this morning, 21 subjects of – if you drive down Vermillion Street in Washington Heights, it looks like something out of the 1980s. They showed me video of the block, we got very angry. We locked up these individuals for a drug market on that street.

In the 4-7 Precinct in the Bronx, Operation Blood Hound Brims which you go into the Southern District of New York – 14 subjects in that. So, we’re not going to stop what we do. We’re going to keep continuing to take down these locations and keep reducing part of that crime.

Dean, to your question – I sat down, almost jumped out of my seat when I heard it. I have some responsibility for the perception of crime in this city because each night I put out video on the media of crimes. That’s how we catch people – engage the public into identifying these folks. And time and time again, we get phone calls. So, that may skewer perception of how the city works but it’s such an important tool for us in the Detective Bureau. We’ll keep doing it but analysis doesn’t lie. That is anecdotal stuff. Analysis doesn’t lie. Crime is down and violence is down as well.

Commissioner O’Neill: Azi, just to continue on that. With the FIO program, we continue to take more guns off the street. And with Richard Aborn from the Citizens Crime Commission – helped us put together the Gun Violence Suppression Division. And then working with the DA’s offices, with the gun courts, that’s really helping us keep the gun crime down.

Question: Question for the Mayor, if I could. I was hoping you could also weigh in on the disconnect some New Yorkers seem to have between the crime statistics and the perception of safety in this city. And when we heard the Borough President speak he talked about wanting [inaudible] into the crevices of the communities, I think was his phrase. Do you plan to hold events like this around the city? Some of your allies say that they have been frustrated that you haven’t done more to promote these crime statistics.

Mayor: Look, we’re going to, in the course of this year, continue to have town hall meetings in neighborhoods all over the city. We’re certainly going to be all over this city talking to people formally, informally. And, you know, multiple times a month we talk to you about the work that’s being done to fight crime. I think we have to be honest together about this. I think it is noble, Chief Boyce, to say, you know, while we’re projecting information about individual criminals that may skew the situation. I think that’s a fair analysis. I think we’re all in this together, though. You guys, today, have an opportunity to tell the people of this city that crime is down.

We’re going to keep saying it. We’re going to keep putting out proof and statistics and examples. I ask you to do your share of giving people the whole story.

I am recalling, as I heard the dialogue – I’m recalling the presidential debate at Hofstra University which I watched, you know, with some confusion as two presidential candidates were debating whether crime was up or crime was down in New York City when there’s only one factual reality. And if you’re not sure about the factual reality just ask this guy right here.

So, crime has gone down three years running and we intend to drive it down again. It’s as simple as that and all I ask is you include that concept in all your coverage. Crime has gone down three years running and we intend to drive it down more.

Question: You’ve spoken about the statistics out in Brooklyn in the last year but there are about a half-dozen precincts in the Bronx where crime is up. Some of them have the lowest detective staffing [inaudible] in the city and, you know, just part of some wide disparities in investigative resources across the city. I wonder whether you have specific plans to address that disparity in resources as crime [inaudible] –

Commissioner O’Neill: You know, we’re constantly taking a look at manpower in the Detective Bureau and in specific squads. What we’re trying to do is make sure that, first and foremost, that we staff neighborhood policing and as we move through that and get that done, we’ll be putting more people in the Detective Bureau. And Bob Boyce along with Jay Wilcox who is the Investigative Chief up in the Bronx, this is something that they do constantly, looking to move people around, looking to – and it’s not just the precinct detectives, we have a homicide squad, we have a gang, we have narcotics. There’s a whole slew of detectives that work within a precinct that might not just necessarily be assigned to that detective squad.

Mayor: Yeah, over here.

Question: Question for the Mayor [inaudible]

Mayor: A little louder.

Question: You just mentioned the debate and the President-elect has also had comments about the use of Stop-and-Frisk [inaudible] –

Mayor: Yeah. President-elect Trump is wrong about Stop-and-Frisk. I told him that to his face –

[Applause]

And look, I want to agree with the Commissioner. I’m not going to analyze the situation in Chicago that I don’t know well. I can certainly say the way forward for all American police forces is to deepen the relationship with the community. Create partnership at the community level. That’s what’s working here.

[Applause]

And this is what I think is missing in this national debate. What’s a better example than New York City? Right? For decades and decades when people thought, sadly, of crime in cities, they thought of New York City. For a quarter-century, there’s been a systematic effort to turn it around. And that story has been told beautifully here today starting with CompStat and all the changes in policing right on up through neighborhood policing strategies, the great work of our community partners. That is a model. It’s not a model from some pristine suburb. You know, a big, tough city proved – we proved that you could turn crime around and that one of the crucial elements of turning crime around was getting away from divisive use of Stop-and-Frisk and other things that drove a wedge between police and community.

So, I would say to Chicago and every other city – we have something here. It didn’t come easy. It took a quarter-century to perfect but it’s working. We’re ready to work with all of our fellow cities on that. But what would be a step in the wrong direction is to cut off communication between police and community. That’s only going to increase violence. It’s not going to decrease it.

[Applause]

Question: [Inaudible] broader question. I know there’s been an emphasis on quality of life [inaudible]. As you focus resources on repeat offenders [inaudible] will there be less of emphasis on some of those quality of life offenses. I know that you’ve said previously, you know [inaudible] –

Commissioner O’Neill: I’ll tell you this. I was a precinct commander for about six and a half years. I had the park. I had the 2-5, and I had the 4-4. And if I didn’t concentrate my efforts, some of my efforts, on quality of life conditions I wouldn’t have been a precinct commander very long. So we’re going to continue our efforts. I think with the NCOs and the steady sector cops, we’ll be able to identify the issues within the community in conjunction with the community and come up with a problem with the community. So definitely our efforts as far as quality of life are going to continue.

Mayor: Let me jump in because – quality of life policing, first of all communities demand it. In fact, when you go back and look at those photos. There used to be a time in this city when community members wanted quality of life policing and couldn’t get response when they needed it because police were dealing with so many more violent crimes. So when you talk to people – I was a city councilman, I know what people felt in my district, and I’ve talked to people all over the city. They want quality of life issues addressed, but they also want a few very important points to be taken into account. They want absolute consistency and fairness in how it’s addressed. Every kind of community – so it should not ever be addressed in, you know – there should not be a reality where quality of life policing is done in a way that is not the same from one community to another. There cannot be discrimination in that effort. Second, quality of life policing evolves with the times. This is something that Commissioner Bratton always said, Commissioner O’Neill has always said. I believe it fundamentally.

For example, we made a decision all together to get away from arrests for low-level possession of marijuana. That was a fundamental change in the approach to quality of life policing with the City Council, and we thank the City Council leadership. They went forward with the summons reform legislation, so that officers would have more options. And something Commissioner O’Neill always talks about is maximizing officer discretion, and in many cases you don’t need to do an arrest. It can be a summons or a warning. All of these are changes in the approach to quality of life policing, so the idea is necessary because neighborhood residents want their quality of life protected, but it has to grow with the times, and it has to be applied consistently and fairly.

Question: Chief Boyce, can you talk about the gang takedown and targeted enforcement, and how you arrested [inaudible]? And I’m wondering what kind of results are you seeing on the prosecution side [inaudible] going to jail or are they going back out on the street?

Commissioner O’Neill: Bob or Dermot?

Chief Boyce: Because we spread around the prosecutions, all the D.A.’s are involved. I know we have quite a few here today. They have been great partners for us as well as the southern district, so everybody is involved in this. Just this morning, I spoke of two – district attorney of New York has one of the cases in the 3-4. The other case in the Bronx is the Southern District of New York. So we have spread it around. We encourage everybody to work with us, especially in the prosecution side of things to get this done. So, right now most of them remain in custody that we’ve had. I think we’ve – [inaudible] G Stone Crips out in Brooklyn South on the 6-7 Precinct, near and dear to my heart, and most of them are in jail right now. I think we took down 20. Nineteen are in jail, and this is from the beginning of 2016. So we’ve done very well. My detectives amass a lot of evidence against these individuals, and you can’t go to court when you’re on video doing something. It’s very tough. That’s where we are with that. We’ve had extreme good fortune to work with the best prosecutors in the country.

Question: [inaudible]

Chief Boyce: In which case are they speaking of?

Question: I mean you did 41 gang takedowns.

Chief Boyce: Right. We can get you exactly who’s in custody. I don’t have that right now at my fingertips – to tell you exactly who remains in custody. But we’ve done very well with keeping them incarcerated.

Question: [Inaudible] deported [inaudible] talk about using criminal records [inaudible].

Mayor: We have a law in this city that’s very clear, passed by the City Council a few years ago – I signed it – that delineates how we deal with different offenses that individuals who are undocumented have committed. I urge everyone, look at that law. It’s very clear. I think it’s 60-or-so – dozens and dozens of categories of specific offenses where if someone has committed that offense we work with ICE in cooperation. But we’ve also said clearly if someone has done something very minor, non-violent that’s where we draw the line. And that’s consistent with policy in this city going back decades, actually consistent with the approach that the NYPD took even under mayor Giuliani – that we did not create a situation where community residents saw their police officers as de facto immigration agents because that would really poison relationships between police and community. So that continues. The policy – the law of this city – stands. The approach stands. Nothing has changed.

Commissioner O’Neill: Ashley, just to add a little more. When we do the gang and crew takedowns, we don’t work the case and then bring it to the D.A.’s office to present it to them. We work it jointly form the beginning, so we’ll get some statistics to you to let you know how we’re doing on each and every person that we lock up.

Question: First, can you update us on the Long Island Railroad derailment [inaudible]. Second issue, how many arrests total were there in the city last year and what percentage of those were for violent crimes?

Commissioner O’Neill: I’m going to have to get those stats to you. I don’t have them off the top of my head. I can get them to you. Alright?

Question: Commissioner I’m wondering specifically in some of the precincts that have community policing, do you have to make any tradeoffs in terms of your response to some of the other things turn to the NYPD for and to Mayor de Blasio, we had a caller to the Brian Lehrer show who called with an auto accident in Far Rockaway who said there was no response for several hours, so I’m wondering is that because potentially the police were otherwise deployed. Does that fit into a strategy to address violent crime?

Mayor: No, that – from what we know of that case, and I’m very glad that that caller called in – that was not handled properly, and we are trying to get down to the bottom of why it wasn’t handled properly. There’s no way so much time should’ve passed before there was a response. That was not a systemic failure. That was a very specific failure that we have to identity.

Commissioner O’Neill: In our neighborhood policing commands [inaudible] roll out is over a period of time cause its personnel intensive and we have to make sure we have the right number of police officers in there, so they’re not handling 20 to 25 radio runs per shifts. So we’ve made that change in over half the precincts and the PSAs. So on the average their handling between eight and nine jobs instead of 20 to 25. So there is additional time to address the needs of the community whatever they might be.

Question: [Inaudible] for you and Deputy Commissioner Shea. [Inaudible] said there is incredible pressure from Commissioner O’Neill to keep that number under 1,000. Now that may have been a joke, but it’s a very disconcerting joke because questions have been raised in the past about the reliability about CompStat’s data, and there’s always leeway when one is working with data how certain incidents are defined. So how can people be sure when we’re looking at data like this, and you guys are talking about records that they can rely on the perception that you’re creating.

Mayor: Let me start. I appreciate your cynical question, but let me try and get to – here’s the bottom line. The reason everyone puts pressure on themselves is they want to keep doing better. This is a group that is competitive by nature in the best sense of the word. They want to set records. They know that setting that record means something for the lives of the people in NYC. It’s not just – you know a trophy on the wall. It’s that we want to prove that we can get safer than ever before. We want to go next year and set another record and the year after that and the year after that. That is the impulse because what they’re doing – like anybody else – and I want to really commend these professionals. They are out in a whole new frontier here that no one imagined. Ask Dermot Shea who knows this history so well.

Twenty five years ago these numbers would’ve been inconceivable. Five years ago, even as you indicated with the murder number, no one would’ve believed we could keep going this far. This team is dedicated to going places this city has never seen before. That’s what’s driving it. It’s not about some cynical manipulation of numbers. There is tremendous focus on getting the numbers right. And by the way you heard about those reclassifications – 21, 21 reclassifications. None of us likes to see a murder from five years ago or 10 year go or 20 years ago go onto this year’s number, but religiously the NYPD keeps that standard. My final point before turning to the Commissioner, and I’ll say this gently. There was – I think it was around this time last year – and individual who questioned our numbers of our police statistics publicly. That individual was proven wrong in a very high profile manner. These numbers are honest, and whether they cut our way or don’t cut our way, we’re going to be honest about them.

Commissioner O’Neill: So the origin of Dermot’s comment is that I spoke at the Crain’s business breakfast, I guess about four or five weeks ago, and as we were approaching the end of the year I was looking at the numbers, doing some math in my head. And it wasn’t an out-and-out prediction. I said I would – I think if you go back I would say I would like us to be under 1,000. So there is every hour, every minute we’re looking to see where the violence is in New York City and how we can send resources there to push that down and make life better for the people of the city, so these number are real, and each and every one of them represents a human being, and none of us up here ever forget that.

Rick?

Question: [Inaudible] talk about Chicago specifically, but I know that they came to visit the city. [Inaudible] in general, can what you’re doing – what’s working here – be applied to other cities? In general do you think it can help other cities?

Commissioner O’Neill: I think it can, and this is – the way we do business here has evolved over the years, and by focusing our resources on the people that not only do we identify, but the community identifies as being involved in the violence, I think that’s how we can continue to push crime down, and that’s how other cities can do it, too.

Question: [Inaudible]

Commissioner O’Neill: I’d have to think about that, Rick. I don’t think so. I think there’s a lot of our principles can be universally applied.

Question: Can you account for the [inaudible] increase in murders on Staten Island?

Commissioner O’Neill: I think at the beginning of the year there were domestic – a number of domestic violence incidents in Staten Island that caused that number to go up.

David?

Question: Follow up on Willie’s question. There have been instances over the years and scandals around downgrading. One most recently I think was in 2014 up in the Bronx where Commissioner Bratton had to fire and discipline many officers

Commissioner O’Neill: In the 4-0. In the 4-0.

Question: My colleagues have written about trust issues in the 4-0 and how a lot of the trust revolves around whether on the low level crime people feel like they’re being listened to by their officers, by people in the precinct, you know. How are you making sure that some of – at least some of the numbers being reflected are not downgraded at some level? How are you internally making sure those numbers are accurate?

Commissioner O’Neill: There is a – there is a rigorous process that we do through our risk managements and quality assurance division. We go out. We interview complainants. We look at 61s, not just computer generated, wherever the hand written copies are. So this is something that we take very seriously, and we’re always looking to make sure that we build trust with the community, and this is one way we do it to make sure the numbers are real.

Unknown: We’re going to close on police items right now, okay? Because we have to move on to other topics – off crime stuff. So we’ll take a few questions on other police topics and then we need to move on to the Mayor’s.

Commissioner O’Neill: Rocco?

Question: [Inaudible]

Commissioner O’Neill: Can you speak up?

Question: The review of the two police involved shootings –

Commissioner O’Neill: You know what, I’m going to get Chief Monahan. He responded to both scenes – Terry? I don’t think there’s much to update on. He gave a press briefing in the 6-9 and the 7-7, so if he’s got anything new.

Chief of Patrol Terry Monahan, NYPD: Again, really, the investigations are still ongoing. It’s really not much has changed since I briefed you just two hours ago. So it’s really – same both incidences the cop who confronted with deadly weapons, and they took action.

Question: Any change in [inaudible]?

Chief Monahan: It looks like from what we’re looking at, the Taser didn’t make contact with the skin, and that’s why it wasn’t effective.

Question: I know you’re still investigating, but we did speak to the family today for NY-1, and they’re saying they’re under the impression that their loved one was shot first and tasered second. Not the way we described it. Have you heard anything about that or are you looking into that?

Chief Monahan: We’re investigating. We’re interviewing. Bob’s detectives are interviewing all of them, and we have not heard that.

Question: The LIRR question – can you update us on how folks are doing? Injuries, etc?

Commissioner O’Neill: I’m going to let Chief Fox come up and give you an update.

Chief of Transit Joseph Fox, NYPD: We have – still counting the injured. As many as 80 reported but that number is changing. The most serious injury so far is a broken leg, thankfully. The – it didn’t affect – it’s a Long Island Rail Road train. It didn’t affect the service in the city. There were some delays in the 4 and 5-Train in Brooklyn today. Those were signal problems separate from this. There are two tracks that are out. There’s six tracks on the LIRR, so one through four still working, and as it appears preliminarily the train hit the terminal barrier and then derailed, so hopefully these injuries will not mount.

Question: Question about the police involved shooting and Taser. I’m wondering what the 9-1-1 call [inaudible].

Commissioner O’Neill: This is – our force investigation division in conjunction with the Brooklyn D.A.’s office – this is all under investigation now, so I don’t have – I can’t go into too many details.

Okay, thank you.

[…]

Mayor: We’re back.

Maura?

Question: Mr. Mayor, in terms of the derailment that happened this morning –

Mayor: Yup.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Right.

Question: Why not go? [Inaudible]

Mayor: Right.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Right, I think there are a couple of things. As you said – thank you for quoting accurately – general is a key point here. I think we look at each situation specifically. And this is a different kind of situation than that horrible tragedy we were talking about years ago. As you said, Long Island Rail Road, obviously, is the purview of the Governor. But more importantly, thank God these were minor – very minor injuries. And as you’ve heard from Chief Fox that is connected to some of the delays we’ve had on the subway. It looks like this situation will be fixable pretty soon. So, I think it’s a magnitude question here.

Yes?

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: I said publicly at town hall meetings and many other settings that there is going to be a time when I put together a taskforce or whatever it is to address this issue, but it is going to be a long and difficult effort because these are extremely complicated issues; immense questions of fairness that have to be resolved. We’re going to have to turn the whole thing upside down and shake it and make sense of it. That is not going to happen quickly. So, it is something I do intend to do, but I have to figure out the right time and the right people to do that work.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Again, I have to come to the point where I feel we have the right approach. And I know it is going to be, most likely, a multi-year approach. So, first we have to deal with more immediate matters.

Yes?

Question: Are you and the Police Commissioner planning to go to D.C. to lobby for reimbursement?

Mayor: Well, I have already been talking to members of the Congress. I mentioned on NY-1, I have been talking to Congressman Collins and Congressman Donovan about the reimbursement. I have spoken to key members of the Trump team. We will continue that. And as we get closer to the next decision in a few months, if it makes sense to go down and lobby in person I am certainly ready to do that as well.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Well, I think that you’re not necessarily characterizing exactly what I said. I said that they agreed with that particular vision on that issue, and they did. As I said, there are also people who didn’t contribute because they disagree. So, I don’t think it is so surprising if someone may have thought I was right to try to get pre-K for all our kids or to get more affordable housing or even in some cases to get a Democratic State Senate. All those things had support from people who might have other views on other matters. But clearly, as I said to you, there were some people, for example, I turned to on Democratic State Senate who actually wanted a Republican State Senate and chose not to give.

Marcia?

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Yes.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Yes, I was briefed about it right after it happened. And from the very beginning – thank God this was not a worst incident. Obviously, it happened right at the end of the train line and there were very minor injuries. That report came in at the beginning and has not changed since. So, this is, thankfully, a very contained incident.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: We thought – first of all, this was very important moment. This was something we’re going to speak to the whole city about an issue that people care about deeply. But again, given that – as you heard from Chief Fox – the most serious injury that we know of to date, thank God, was a broken leg. That it just did not – again – seem like the kind of incident we talked about, for example, years ago when there was a horrible tragedy.

Question: Mr. Mayor, a lot of people have written things recently suggesting resolutions you should make for the New Year. I’m wondering if you could tell us have you made any in terms of policy and personal.

Mayor: Personally I’m in the majority of Americans who wants to lose weight. So, that is what I am focused on. In terms of policy, I want to protect this city and the people in this city from extremism in Washington D.C. I see that as the central mission this year and that is what I am going to be focused on.

David?

Question: A lot of your campaign [inaudible] talked about being opposed by powerful interest. Do you think that hurts your ability to raise money from the City’s business interest?

Mayor: I’m telling it like it is. I mean, I think the current total has had about $13 million of advertising thrown against me since I got here; by the landlord lobby, by a major multi-national corporation, by hedge fund managers. I think it is pretty clear, we don’t see that ending anytime soon. I want to be blunt about it. And if that alienates some people with means, so be it.

Yeah – blue shirt, go ahead.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Louder.

Question: One of the most under-resourced neighborhoods for violent crime are in [inaudible] outside of Manhattan and I wonder how your vision [inaudible] –

Mayor: Just – I would say, and I’m going to refer that to Commissioner and Chief Boyce. I don’t think we share that interpretation of the statistics. That those resources are constantly being moved around as needed. I think this about getting the job done and the overall crime statistics show that the job is getting done. But I’m going to let them refer to the specifics.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: I believe they were very clear today. I’ve talked to about them – to them directly about this that they are constantly making adjustments for where the need is. And we’re going to put resources wherever crime is and wherever the need is greatest. That’s an ongoing reality.

Question: There’s been some concern about how much the City had to pay for CUNY and SUNY with this – Governor Cuomo’s new free college plan. Is there any way, you think, that this won’t raise the –

Mayor: I don’t want speculate. You know, the Governor will be coming out with a budget, as I understand, it has to be by January 17. That’s when we’ll get a first look at the numerical reality. Again, the idea is a great one and I praise the Governor for it but we want to see the details and we want to understand if it does create any exposure and then that’s its own discussion. So, it’s a step in the right direction but we’ve got to see the details.

Question: [Inaudible] –

Mayor: Sure.

Question: Last year it seemed like you got up there to Albany for his address and he surprised you with cost shifts. Are you doing anything this year, proactively, to communicate better with him and his team to make sure that nothing like that is –

Mayor: I appreciate the courtesy of your question. That was not lack of communication with him and his team that was a conscious decision not to give us the information until the last moment. So, we are communicating all the time – the two teams. We’ll see if there’s any surprises this year and second question –

Question: This one might be in the cynical category –

Mayor: Much better. I didn’t like naive you. I want cynical you to come back.

Question: I’ll try to balance. The pattern of closing down the Campaign for One New York, reducing your meetings with lobbyists, removing Jonathan Rosen from government meetings – you’ve taken all those steps in the last year, let’s say. Why – why shouldn’t people look at that cynically and say, well, if you were recognizing that these things were not really the proper way to do things, why not be more proactive –

Mayor: Sure. It’s a great question. You’ve raised similar questions before. We may have a philosophical difference. Let me share that with you. I have said thousands of times that disclosure is the main street of this whole issue – in all this, everything we’re talking about. We proactively disclosed situations where City-registered lobbyists lobbied me on a City matter. No previous mayor ever did that. We did it proactively. Not because you guys were clamoring for it. We did it because we thought it was the right thing to do. I had done that previously as public advocate.

We proactively – not because the law required it – disclosed donations, for example, Campaign for One New York. I believe that if the disclosure is there it is a further guarantee of the public’s ability and the media’s ability to look into the situation. I never felt in any of those meetings that I had that anything was inappropriate because I listened and I’m going to make my own choice. It has nothing to do with whether I know someone a long time or any other fact. I’m going to make the choice I think is right for the people.

But it’s all out in broad daylight. So, I don’t think anything we did was inappropriate. I do think they’ve become distractions and I’ve been honest about it. And again I think – I understand why someone might say, well, wait a minute, if you stopped doing something therefore you must of thought it was wrong. No. That’s just not intellectually consistent. Sometimes that’s true in life. Other times you can say practically it just became such a distraction that we’re not going to do even though we don’t think – very, very clearly, we don’t think we did anything wrong at all. We thought we did everything appropriately. But why go through the hassle. Let’s just get back to business. So, that’s what was governing our thinking.

Question: [Inaudible] reported last night [inaudible] –

Mayor: No, I don’t have the complete picture yet. But from what little I know, I’ve gotten no indication of ACS involvement.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Louder.

Question: Two questions – the first is about last week [inaudible] program which brings [inaudible] –

Mayor: Wait, wait. I lost you in the second part. I got the R.A.D part and then you said this past June –

Question: NYCHA submitted applications to HUD for another 5,200 units –

Mayor: Right.

Question: – as part of the [inaudible]

Mayor: R.A.D – R-A-D. R.A.D.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Sure. And I’ll come to the second questions after. Let me do that one first.

Mayor: … We continue to own the land. We continue to have veto power over anything that’s done, but a private corporation comes in to upgrade the buildings and provide management. This is a creative approach that HUD has put together and funds that allows us to fix buildings that for decades haven’t gotten the kind of investment they deserve because you have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan to see when the federal government started cutting investment in public housing. So this is a smart way to get investment but still avoid anything like privatization and maintain public control of the properties.

What was the second one?

Question: This press conference to address the crime stats, why hold it here if you’re [inaudible] in Brooklyn. Why not go to the Bronx or a precinct where murders are up by 50 percent to show your commitment to what you said was turning crime around? Why do it here where [inaudible] patting yourself on the back instead of there –

Mayor: Well, I think you’re – you’re connecting dots that I wouldn’t connect the same way. This – I love this location. I have a deep personal connection to it. I didn’t choose the location. The location was chosen because we were – had this wonderful exhibit that talked about the history, and we wanted to put this in historical perspective. Now I would remind you my home borough is the biggest borough and tremendous progress was made this year in Brooklyn, and it was one of the leading edges of how we got so far this year. So it’s perfectly appropriate when you’re talking about a year with a lot of success to come to one of the places where the success occurred. We’re definitely going to also go places where there are challenges we have to overcome, but I think it’s pretty normal when we’re trying to summarize a whole year, and the year was record setting, to be in one of the places where the record was set.

Question: Two more questions – follow up on the questions about the [inaudible]. You had said on NY1 that we saw donations from people who had historically given to Democratic Party causes and progressive causes, but you know some of them like Stanley [inaudible] Donald Trump.

Mayor: Azi, you are so [dead to right] on this. Donald Trump used to donate to Hillary Clinton. Come on. People who gave to Democratic causes does not disqualify them – even though I wouldn’t do it – doesn’t disqualify them from giving to Republicans, too. Come on. This is the real world. There are plenty of people in business who give to both side. I wouldn’t do it. I don’t recommend it, but my point is when you look at a donor who you’re going to approach, if they have given to Democrats, if they have given to progressive causes that would be a natural reason to go to them. It doesn’t mean they signed an exclusivity clause.

Last call?

Question: Can you talk a little – you’ve spoken a lot in the past about Democratic party unity, the importance of that, even bipartisanship when things can be found on [inaudible].

Mayor: Right.

Question: Why is it that there is no seeming improvement in your relationship with the Governor? What can you do to fix that? Is it especially this time when you’re both talking about having to protect New York from a potential Trump administration. Isn’t this the time to really come together and [inaudible].

Mayor: I’m certain we will work together on a number of issues. When, you know, New York City and New York State are endangered, and we can work together, we will. It’s the same standard I held from the beginning. When he’s doing something that’s going to help New York City I’m very happy to work with him. I was happy to go to the Second Avenue Subway opening. I give the MTA a lot of credit for getting that done. I give the Governor credit for getting that done. I always want to say to all of you just tell the people of New York City the Governor runs the MTA, so when they like something or don’t like something they know who to talk to. I think the bottom line is we’re going to look at each situation as it comes. We’re going to call it as we see it. There’s absolutely an opportunity to work together, and if we get fairness from Albany – you know we’re going to see what comes up in the State of the State, in the budget we get fairness from Albany there’s going to be even more opportunity to work together. But last time as was indicated in the discussion of that budget that wasn’t fairness, so it’s my job to stand up.

Question: He’s in Midtown right now giving a speech [inaudible]. Do you know what he’s announcing today? He’s making an infrastructure announcement.

Mayor: No, I’m not surprised because it is the time of year coming up the State of the State when we expect a bunch of announcements. That’s normal. Will – you know again, I would think it’s been very clear there’s a lot of times we’re not giving all the details in advance. That’s fine. We want to see where the details are before we pass judgements. But if it’s more infrastructure investment, generally that’s something I agree with. I want to make sure it’s fair to New York City.

Thank you, everyone. Happy New Year.
pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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