April 12, 2018
Video available at: http://youtu.be/BJoKY4EFrPc
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Farah, thank you so much. I really appreciate everything you said. I also want to say to everyone, look at the sharp suits on these young men. I mean come on, give them a round of applause.
I don't think I had a suit that sharp until I was like 25 years old so, I want to commend Amden, Rilen, thank you for joining us and I love the story you told Farah of – very honestly starting out with your concerns and then going on what has been a journey for all of us these last years and a very positive one, to recognizing now what's possible in the relationship between our communities and our police.
MTA Announcer: There is a Manhattan-bound, local 3-Train to Harlem 148th Street – two minutes away.
Mayor: Thank you, computer voice.
So what we are talking about today is all about families like this. It's all about hardworking New Yorkers who need to know they are safe in the subway and need to know that they can work with the police for the good on all and that's what neighborhood policing is all about but until now neighborhood policing was an idea that was over ground, now we are going to deepen the concept, that's today's pun, we are going to deepen the concept and bring it underground. Neighborhood policing works incredibly well in our streets, it's going to work really great on our subway cars as well and on our platforms. It's going to change the lives of people all over the city.
I want to tell you a lot of people have been involved in this effort and I want to thank and acknowledge some of the folks who are here and some others you are going to be hearing from in a moment as well. Of course my Transportation Commissioner who is also a member of the MTA Board, Polly Trottenberg, thank you so much. I want to thank the Chief Stations Officer at NYC Transit Rachelle Glazier, thank you so much for your good work. I especially want to thank, you know the phrase that Farah used – the best and the brightest, here are the best and brightest behind you. These good men and women from the NYPD –
These are sergeants and officers, NCO officers from Transit Districts 12 and 30 and they are going to be the trailblazers. You know every great idea has to come to life, there have to be trail blazers, there have to be people who put it into action. These individuals are going to be creating a whole new reality in this city, policing in our subways in a way you have never seen before in your lives and here are the people who are going to make it come to life.
I want to thank the elected officials who have been supportive of neighborhood policing – special thank you from my old neck of the woods, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, thank you so much for being here.
Even though he's dressed rather conservatively today, I want to welcome Councilmember Andy King from the Bronx.
Jo Anna represents in part Transit District 30, Andy in part Transit District 12 so they are both going to be experiencing this, the first wave of this in their communities and helping us to make it work.
You know you are going to hear from Terry Monahan in a moment, I'd like to quote Terry Monahan. I don't know if there is something wrong with me but I do like to quote Terry Monahan. And he said that – the day you were sworn in, in your role as Chief of the Department – we are inventing an entirely new type of policing here in New York City. And this is a further example of that.
When Terry and Ed Delatorre, and obviously Commissioner O'Neill came to me with this idea and told me how it would work, I was literally speechless. I spent a lot of my adult life on the F train and the notion of knowing the officers who patrol your train and having the ability to have a direct relationship with them – that is something I have never conceived of before. And it is a tribute to the creativity at the NYPD that this idea came to the floor. So I am going to just point this graphic over here because it is so amazing. This is what you are going to see in subway stations all over the city, it is way far away from me, I'm still going to point it. This is the part I want you to focus on especially, officers [inaudible] and their email's right here and of course the station manager as well.
Think about this for a moment everyone – for all of you have spent a lot of your lives in the subway, the notion that you are going to know the names of the officers on your line that if you have concerns or something you're seeing you're worried about, or a question you want answered about safety, you can literally walk up to them because now you know their names or you can email them because their email is there, and they're going to respond to you personally.
We've never had anything like that and even – I said at the meeting when we were discussing this, you know the lore we all heard about back in the day, the cop on the beat, and the way neighborhood policing is an updated version of that – well, there really wasn't a lore about the cop on the train. In fact, the officers that worked in transit I think often didn't get the respect that they were due for the extraordinary work they did.
Here's the idea now of making it very real, very personal, very human. It's not just any officers, these are your officers, and you're going to know their names and you're going to be able to communicate with them and that's going to make everyone safe including our officers.
So this is something we've never seen before in New York City and I think it's going to be a game changer for making the subways even safer and, as Farah said, for giving people a sense of peace of mind which is so important in this city.
Six million people ride the subway every day. Six million rides a day. And it is the essence for so many New Yorkers. The essence of their lives is that trip they take on the subway every day. It's core to everything else. We want that ride to be safe and we want to keep making it safer.
Now, I want to tell you, overall every year, the City of New York spends about half-a-billion dollars to protect straphangers. The commitment we make for safety in our subways through the NYPD is about a half-billion a year and it's absolutely worth every penny.
This is going to allow us to even more with the money we invest and this begins immediately. Starting in, again, Transit District 12 in the Bronx and District 30 in Brooklyn, this will play out in the course of this year. We'll be expanding all over the city. By early next year, this approach – this neighborhood policing approach to our subways will be in every transit district.
So basically, over the next 12 months, we will apply this approach in every part of the subway system.
Now, look, if you ride the subway, you know you get to know a lot of your fellow riders, a lot of friendly faces. It is so important that those friendly faces now include our officers guaranteeing you that as that develops there's going to be a flow of information that's going to make a huge difference because I hear it from our NCOs all over the city.
When they have information, they're able to stop crime. And what they're getting now in a way they didn't used to get before is everyday New Yorkers who will come up and share information with them because they feel that human bond. So I know it's going to make us safer.
The last thing I want to say is, beyond the question of safety, and Farah really pointed to this, our police do a lot of things that are not just fighting crime. They do a lot of things to help people. They do a lot of things for people who have no one else to turn to. And I want to give you a little example from April 2nd of this year – just days ago. After the snowstorm that day there was a man in a wheelchair. He was at 180th Street stop in the subway in the Bronx and he was stranded by the snow. He was in his wheelchair. The snow was making it impossible for him to move and he was stuck there and it was night and he needed to get home.
Two NYPD officers saw his plight, went over to help, and when they learned that he needed to get home and he couldn't make it on his own, they literally took him a mile – they pushed him in his wheelchair a mile – to get him home, to get him to a place where he was safe and sound. They've made it their responsibility, if someone's in need, to go literally the extra mile and get that man to safety.
That is another example of what neighborhood policing means and it's something that not only helps people to be safe and live better but it's also really what Farah said. It builds a bond between our police and our communities that keeps deepening with every one of those moments, every one of those moments where an officer helps someone, deepens that connections. And we want to see a lot more of that.
I'll just say before a few words in Spanish what I always say to people, we are the safest big city in America but we will get safer. We will get safer because we're applying new and better approaches and this here in the subway is going to be one of the great examples of that.
In Spanish –
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
With that, he will now address you in English – I bring forward the Chief of Department, Terry Monahan.
Chief of Department Terrence Monahan, NYPD: Muchas Gracias. Just as the Mayor was acknowledging two police officers that were involved with the wheelchair, they're two of newly assigned NCOs here from District 12.
Mayor: These are the actual officers?
Chief Monahan: Yes.
Mayor: Come on up.
Wait, wait. You got to get your moment here. Officer –
Mayor: [Inaudible] And –
Mayor: That's two names.
Thomas hyphen Martinez. Let's give them both a round of applause.
Chief Monahan: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Good afternoon, everyone. It's great to be here Brooklyn on behalf of Commissioner O'Neill. He is currently on business, traveling with Deputy Commissioner Miller in Afghanistan meeting with General Nicholson over there and senior NATO officials in advising the local Afghan police. Let me welcome you to the Barclays station. This is one of the 472 stations that make up a huge underground community with millions of straphangers passing through it every day.
As the NYPD continues to roll out neighborhood policing in every precinct across the City, we are now setting our sights below ground. Over the last few years the NYPD has been honing its neighborhood policing philosophy. What began as a pilot program in four precincts back in May of 2015 has become our core crime fighting strategy. We have it up and running in 63 precincts and every one of our police service areas within our housing bureau. With the remaining 13 precincts on track to have it running by October of this year – neighborhood policing impacts every member of the NYPD. From our clerical assistance to our crossing guards, our cops working in their steady sectors, our neighborhood coordination officers, our detectives squads, and now our transit bureau. Just as we did with our precincts we are starting off slowly here in transit to make sure we get it right. We are rolling this out in two areas of the city, here in Brooklyn and in my own town up in the Bronx. Our transit cops have always done a great job making a transit system a very safe place to be. But we could always do more. Chief of Transit Eddie Delatorre is now going to share some details about how we will utilize our people and resources in order to bring neighborhood policing down here into the subways. He will also discuss our partnership with the men and women who've been a great help with the MTA. We're also down here every day making a difference as well as the campaign that we are launching to spread this word about this important announcement. All of this on behalf of our community of commuters where the familiar you see every day will now include our police officers. Eddie, all yours.
Chief of Transit Edward Delatorre, NYPD: First, I'd like to take this opportunity to get a commitment from you two gentlemen that you want to be transit officers, when you join the NYPD. We'll swear you in.
Mayor: Yeah, [inaudible] sign up now.
Chief Delatorre: Anyway, just to – I don't want to repeat anything that was already said. So I am just going into the knots and bolts of how we're assigning our officers. So just like topside – the precincts, we're going to have two NCO's assigned to each sector. Within district 12 and district 30 we're going to have three sectors. So they'll be two NCO's per sector within these districts. That gives you six NCO's for each district. So follow me through the math, because sometimes it gets a little complicated here. We have three squads assigned to every platoon for the 12 day tour and the late tour, the midnight shift. In each of these squads there will be one steady sector with two officers assigned to each of those three sectors within that district. So what we have is a commitment of 20 officers fixed to these sectors, not allowed to leave these sectors, accountable for everything that happens in these sectors to create relationships in these sectors with their MTA counterparts and to create relationships with the straphangers or the ridership that rides through the lines within these sectors. Is that clear? Got it? Good, so, yeah it's definitely not easy to get, but in the police world its simple for us because understand that there are three squads on every shift and in every squad there will be two officers assigned to each sector that exists within that transit district. So we'll always have four officers working normally within that sector that have ownership of that sector under normal circumstances. The NCO's however are going to have very flexible tours, they are going to be the sector leaders so to speak, they're going to be the ones who coordinate resources, the sectors will supply support to them and address needs as they come up. So they'll be a lot more familiarly between the already good relationship we have with the MTA and transit authority workers, but we're hoping to really strengthen that, strengthen communication. We're already getting a very good feel on it, and in addition to all of it, we've again following the model from top side, we've actually converted a lot of positions that previously existed in the transit districts to add officers to the patrol force and we've also increased the patrol force in these districts to make sure that our ridership sees a lot more officers on the trains when they're riding as well.
Mayor: I think you covered it.
Chief Delatorre: Got it? Good.
Mayor: Alright, thank you. And I want to thank Chief Delatorre because he hit the ground running in his new role. As this is kind of creativity and innovation bringing neighborhood policing into the subways is exactly the kind of thing we need. So I want to thank you for helping to spark that in your new role. And of course Chief Monahan, one of the great architects of everything we've done with neighborhood policing. And he explains it very well, Chief Monahan, inside joke. So, with that I want to say as we thought about neighborhood policing and this has been a four year effort to create something new and something better. It's not just folks in the NYPD who've done the thinking; we've often had leaders in this city who had a vision of something new and helped us to perfect the direction we should go in. And many, many at time I have turned to the borough president of Brooklyn for insight and advice when it comes to how to create a better approach to policing. And why have I done that? Because he understands the communities of this borough, and he understands the changes people need, but also he is that rare individual in elective office who has patrolled these streets as a police officer, so it brings an extraordinary combination of experiences to the discussion and I – this is a day I know you've been looking forward to, Borough President Eric Adams.
Mayor: Okay, we're going to take questions on this announcement, and then we'll take a few questions on other things as well.
Question: Mr. Mayor, how will the neighborhood police strategy [inaudible] homeless situation on trains [inaudible]. What should they be doing [inaudible]?
Mayor: I'll start and then either chief might want to jump in on that. I think it's going to help a lot because right now what we're doing more and more is using the HomeStat approach. That means it's heavy intervention with homeless folks to get them to come in off the street. We got about 1,500 people who have left the street, come in, accepted shelter, and stayed off the street over the last year or two.
That approach requires building relationships. I think the officers are going to be able to help in that. They're obviously going to be able to alert the outreach workers anytime they see a homeless person on the subway. But the NYPD has also played a crucial role working with the homeless outreach effort to convince people to come in.
And the fact that there's going to be the same officers seeing the situation day-in and day-out, they'll see if someone is regularly on the train. They'll be able to identify someone who needs help. They're also going to be able to help those outreach workers to know how to approach someone.
Because remember the goal is to win the trust, get the person in off the street, keep them off the street. So I think this kind of approach, which really emphasizes the human connection, is going to help quite a bit.
Chief Monahan: Again, all of our NCOs are going to be trained by the homeless outreach, by the BRC people, learning how to talk to these people, get them help, what services are available. And they're going to get to know them. You're in that same station every day. That same person is coming from up-ground, underground. He rides the same line. You're going to get that familiarity.
You'll be able now to gain that trust, gain that confidence, and maybe be able to get them the help that they need. That's what neighborhood policing is about. It's working upstairs, it'll definitely work here.
Question: Are there different [inaudible] in the subway system [inaudible] ground when it comes to homelessness? [Inaudible] fundamental right to sleep on a bench in the subway system or stay on a train all night long or will officers [inaudible]?
Chief Delatorre: Alright, so – no, there are no – let me put it this way. A homeless person has the same rights as everyone else on the train. They don't ever have to get off the train but they're not allowed to lay out on a bench just like any other rider. So, we – all our NCOs have been trained by homeless outreach, by the Bowery Resident's group, and by the homeless liaison unit for the transit authority as well.
So they are prepared to start dealing with this. They're not going to personally always be reeling people, you know, to residences at distant locations but their job is to be coordinating the resources. So, they'll be coordinating with BRC, with homeless outreach units when they become aware of a condition where somebody's homeless. They've been already trained on how to speak to them and how to reach into them to try to convince them to accept help. And then at that point, they're going to try to connect them to resources.
So, yes, I do think it's going to slowly help us improve the conditions.
Chief Delatorre: No. It's the same as any other rider –
Mayor: Let me – let me jump in with a distinction here. So, if you violate the law, you can be arrested obviously. If you violate the rules of the MTA, as the Chief said, you're laying out on a bench for example, that's not acceptable.
But remember, and this is something I want to note that both Commissioner O'Neill and Commissioner Bratton have talked a lot about as we thought about how to be effective in addressing homelessness.
You don't want to take someone who's homeless and just simply send them above ground and consider that a victory. That's not a victory. The victory is getting them off the streets all together.
So, if someone is doing inappropriate, that has to be addressed and we're going to address it. We won't tolerate it. We got rid of homeless encampments. We do not tolerate illegality. We do not tolerate anything threatening. We don't tolerate breaking the rules of the MTA.
But simply shifting a problem around is not a solution and that's where this important point is being made about if someone is not violating a law but they're still out on the street or they're still out in the subway system, we need to get them to believe there's something better and to buy into the notion of coming in and accepting shelter and no longer being on the streets unless they are not able to make that judgement properly and they are a threat to others or themselves, that's when we can do something involuntary.
Mayor: Wait, a little louder.
Question: [Inaudible] transit police are still here, I'm wondering [inaudible] more than an hour.
Chief Delatorre: Okay, I can just give you the basic facts. It was at the High Street station this morning, I believe about 8:15 am. There was a rider on the train who was – got into an argument with another rider. The argument started to get out of hand. Other people in the car stepped in and the rider then pulled out mace and sprayed several people, and I believe punched one of them and ran.
The Transit District 30 officers responded and our topside actually picked up the perpetrator and arrested him. As to holding the train, I don't know all the details as to why the train was held an hour or if it even was held an hour but anytime there's a crime we have to deal with the people who were injured and also deal with witnesses as well.
Mayor: Back to the announcement. Anything on this announcement? Greg?
Question: [Inaudible] –
Mayor: Chief Delatorre.
Chief Delatorre: I don't do weeds.
Question: What is the difference – because my understand of it now is that the [inaudible] –
Chief Delatorre: Right –
Chief Delatorre: Okay, so, here's what – so transit officers ride the line. They also ride in vehicles as well along the lines to respond to different jobs. The difference is there will be more officers riding the lines now and they will be restricted to a small portion of the district. So, now the district is broken up into three sectors. So those officers who may have rode the line earlier or been assigned to different stations throughout the entire district are going to be restricted to that sector alone.
There's – there are few more pieces to this and one of them is that on a 24-hour basis, we're going to recap any information that comes into the MTA portal and to the NYPD regarding any conditions or crimes that occurred within that area responsibility. We're going to make sure that's emailed directly out to the NCO's, the NCO sergeant, and we're going to make sure there's follow up on that stuff and the steady sector officers are fully aware of what's going on in their area of responsibility.
Question: [Inaudible] pilot program [inaudible] –
Chief Delatorre: We'll give you the map afterwards. In District 12, where the officers pushed the person – the stranded rider home or to his sister's house actually – in that district, that was Sector-Adam and those were the Sector-Adam NCOs who did it.
Mayor: Okay, Jillian?
Question: There was some talk late last year about having more officers go out solo on – in the trains. Is this like a movement away from that [inaudible] different kind of strategy –
Chief Monahan: No, we're not going out solo on the trains. We're just putting more officers in the trains and putting the same officers in the same area. Again, just going into that question before. You could have been in a different part of the district each day. Now, those cops are going to stay in that same portion of the district every single day. Got rid of specialization, more of a generalized cop having that geographic responsibility.
Mayor: Yes I really want to emphasize that because, imagine you know the old way of policing was officers used to get any assignment any day and again no continuity, no getting to know people, no getting to know the turf and the specific realities. Now we are saying the thing that worked on the streets at that very local focus which we have seen has developed a lot relationships a lot of good information getting to officers – gives them a lot more ability to use their professional training creatively because they get to know the area and feel a sense of ownership. Now apply that very same idea to each subway line. And so the officers, I think are going to feel a much greater satisfaction, getting to know people, getting to know the realities and every day knowing exactly what they are going to be dealing with.
Seeing anything on this side? Yes.
Question: We don't want an exact subway map but general areas, where these two districts are?
Mayor: Where District 12 and 30? Okay.
Chief Monahan: These [inaudible] are going to give you a map of the exact breakup of each section as soon as we finish here.
Mayor: Just give them broad – what part of Brooklyn? What part of the Bronx? Just give them the general area.
Chief Delatorre: In the Bronx it's easy for me because that's where I was born and raised. So it's going to be the Lexington line, the 2, the 5, and the 6 I believe. That's going to be the District 12 area. In District 30 there are a lot of lines so we are going to have to give you that in writing. Okay, we are in District 30 now. You see all the lines that go through here.
Question: When you say the Bronx – the entirety of the Bronx or?
Chief Delatorre: No, no there are two districts in the Bronx, District 12 and District 11. So you know—
Mayor: East? West? South? North? Give us something.
Chief Delatorre: Yes, District 12 is more the east Bronx, District is more the west Bronx. District 11 is housed over on Yankee Stadium and covers that whole west side of the Bronx, going up the D line and the 4.
Mayor: And District 30 is based?
Chief Delatorre: District 30 is based right here.
Mayor: Right, so downtown Brooklyn.
Chief Delatorre: This general area. Downtown Brooklyn, so it has a variety of commercial areas as well as residential.
Question: I don't mean to make light of this but how does one build relationships with people on the subway? It's not the most social environment in the world. You kind of have people packed in and they kind of just want to get from point A to point B.
Chief Monahan: You get on the subway every day, you ride the subway? Get on the same station every day?
Question: Never talk to anyone.
Chief Monahan: You see that same cop every day, you see his face there? Now you get that thing, now you see a problem on that subway, you see something – you now have an email to reach out to that cop who you see as you come on. It just gets you that familiarity with a cop. It's not just us knowing the neighborhood, it's the commuter who gets on that same station every single day, rides the same train every day, gets off the same station every day, starting to see the same faces. And when there is an issue, there's someone you can reach out to. You have your cop to reach out to.
Question: And also just in terms of fair evasion, I'm wondering what you are directing the NCOs in terms of that. Is it an effort to say hey, you know you're here every day you know these people, give these guys more discretion if you see somebody jump for the first time or is it a way to cramp down on it?
Chief Monahan: Obviously, we will, listen people have to pay to get on the subways. We don't want people getting on for free, it's a quality of life issue but in everything we do, the main focus of neighborhood policing is giving these men and women back here discretion to handle their area. They are in charge of that area – they have the discretion to keep it safe, to keep the riders safe, to keep everyone safe. We want to make connectivity – we have to keep people safe as we do it. Neighborhood policing is allowing our officers to be innovated, use their initiative, and use their discretion to keep people safe.
Mayor: I also, I do get your skepticism but I want to you know, from my many years of riding as well I want to argue – if you see these posters and so I think people are going to be intrigued by that. They are going to be intrigued that these are officers that they know the names of, the y know the email of, they've never seen anything like that before in their lives.
Then they are actually going to see the people. Right? They are going to see the officers on their train, on their platform. There's going to be some natural curiosity, there's going to be a dialogue that gets started and if you see the same officer ten times and you have something you are concerned about, I think you know New Yorkers – they are not going to be shy about it. Right? If they have a concern or if they want to say thank you or whatever it is, they are going to start speaking up. So at first it sounds a little bit, you know so far out of the box you might wonder will it work? What I have seen happen is a whole neighborhood policing notion. When people get familiar with each other, the officer with the resident, the resident with the officer, the straphanger with the officer, just starts a natural dialogue.
And I saw one officer a few weeks back on the number-two train, and she was – the train was really crowded – and she was talking to people about, you know, hey move in a little bit more, make a little room for people, there's plenty of room inside. And people were thanking her because she was helping them get on the train. People gravitate to an authority figure who's helping them, and that's why neighborhood policing has really made such an impact.
Question: My question was, how the emails are going to work. Is each officer going to be personally answering emails? Are they going to be screened? Are you going to answer all emails? Is there a scale of importance?
Chief Delatorre: So, what's going to happen is, we have one standard email for District 30 and one for District 12. It's going to come into the district and go straight to the NCO that's responsible for that area. If the NCO happens to be away, on vacation, or, for whatever reason, the NCO's are not available, then we'll connect them to the steady sector, but we'll make sure somebody gets back to that person on that email. In a perfect world, my vision, our vision is that you connect to the officer, you discuss the problem, if the officer can't resolve it through the email, the officer will reach out to the station manager and maybe set up a meeting. You're going to get on the train tomorrow morning at 7 am, we'll meet you there, and we'll see what we can do about this problem. And that goes along with the MTA workers as well – we're communicating the same way.
Mayor: And I also want to note, that's another thing we found with neighborhood policing – so, you send it to the district, but then the officer who's got that line is going to get back to you. Now, you have each other's email. So, say it's a month later, something else comes up – you know which officer to turn to. Even if you don't see the officer in person, you can email them if there's something you want to tell them.
Question: How many NCO's in total now? The entire neighborhood policing program?
Chief Delatorre: We just rolled out a whole bunch more, so I think we're close to 700 right now.
Question: And these officers, have they been moved to this new assignment from elsewhere?
Chief Delatorre: No, reassignment [inaudible] got rid of specialization within transit, put people back on patrol. So, they all came from that district – from both District 12 and District 30.
Mayor: Okay, let me see if there's any questions on this – did you have a question?
Unknown: No –
Mayor: Okay, anything more on this announcement? One more time, anything more on this announcement? This announcement?
Mayor: I know New Yorkers, they want to be safe – they really want to be safe, and the subways have gotten safer than ever would have been imaginable, as we said. But people want to know that there is help there, they want to know they're safe on their ride – that always comes first. Yeah, we all need to do a lot to continue to efforts to fix the subways, but safety comes first. I think the notion that you're going to have a police officer you get to know personally, that you have an email you can email them directly. If there's a concern, I think that's going to be very reassuring to people.
Okay, let's go to other questions – yes?
Mayor: Oh yeah, hold on – let's give these officers a round of applause again Thank you.
Okay, we're coming back everybody – coming back. Go ahead –
Mayor: You're going to have to speak up though, we're getting people moving out. Go ahead –
Mayor: I heard arrests, I couldn't hear you after that.
Mayor: I think very, very highly of the chief judge. I'll certainly reach out to her again. I mean, I've said very clearly, I think the same standard should be applied at the courthouse that we apply with public buildings in New York City, and there should be very clear limits on ICE's ability to come into those buildings, and there has to be very clear ground rules. So, I think we still need that for the courthouses, and yes I will reach out to the chief judge.
Question: [Inaudible] they're saying allegations of misconduct against police officers are up. They [inaudible] higher rates of misconduct. What are your thoughts on that? And [inaudible] what the policy is [inaudible]?
Mayor: Look, I think the overall trend with the CCRB complaints has been very, very positive over these last years. We've seen a steady reduction in complaints against officers. We did have a little uptick here, but not a very substantial one in the scheme of things. And second, this has been the same timeframe in which there was an expanded CCRB outreach program to communities. So, that may have well been part of why you saw more complaints. But I think the big picture is what I'm looking at here. The reduction in complaints has been so steady for so long, and clearly there's a changing relationship between police and community – that's what I'm focused on. We'll watch, going forward. But at this point, I don't see it as a major indicator.
Question: Is there a policy for how NYPD handles allegations of misconduct [inaudible]?
Mayor: Look, I am satisfied that we have a robust situation now where we have a CCRB that's functioning better than ever in the past, that NYPD takes these concerns very seriously, and we have a disciplinary system that's working. I'm comfortable that we've struck the right balance.
Question: Mayor, there were some family members of Sayeed Vassell [inaudible] and they were asking why the City doesn't release the names of officers who are involved in [inaudible]
Mayor: I understand their concern, but the protocol we have I think is the right one. It respects the safety and the confidentiality of the officers as well. But remember, there's going to be a full investigation here by the NYPD and a full investigation by the Attorney General. And then that will determine whether any further action is needed. And, of course, anything that the Attorney General determines would be a public proceeding. So, I think things are in the right balance now.
Question: [Inaudible] why not in a situation like this?
Mayor: Again, I think it's trying to respect the safety of everyone involved. There's a consciousness about this on many levels. You also know we did not release the audio of the 9-1-1 calls out of respect for the confidentiality and safety of those callers. We did transcripts instead, so I think there's a parallel there. Again, I think the situation is appropriate because this is before there will be the full investigation. There will be a full NYPD investigation and clearly a full and independent investigation by the Attorney General. That's the right venue to determine the whatever actions are needed next, and that's obviously a venue in which, in the Attorney General's case, the names of the officers will come forward if there was further action taken.
Mayor: Look, I'm concerned about the issue, but I'm not familiar with the specifics. So, this is one where I have to in a very straightforward way say I need to get you an answer because I don't have the facts to be able to give you the full answer. Anything involving safety, I'm concerned about. We're certainly not afraid to take aggressive action if there is a safety problem, but I need to get briefed on this before I can give you a good answer.
Question: Chief, do you mind giving an update on the human remains found in Canarsie? Where was [inaudible] seen last? What has her family told you?
Deputy Chief Michael Baldassano, NYPD: Right now, it's still an ongoing, active investigation. The –
Question: Your name?
Deputy Chief Baldassano: Sorry, I'm Deputy Chief Mike Baldassano, I'm the EX-O of the Detective Bureau. Right now, it's an ongoing, active investigation. Our detectives are following up on numerous leads. The Crime Stoppers reward has been upped to $10,000, for your information. So, we ask that anyone who has information on this crime, please contact us. But that's basically it – it's an ongoing investigation right now, numerous leads.
Question: Mr. Mayor, Chair Olatoye said she left on her own and that you didn't force her to leave. When I think back over your administration, I don't ever remember anyone specifically being fired. Have you ever fired anyone in your administration? And why has it not been described as people being fired?
Mayor: Because, look, there are times when people are fired and there's times where people make a choice if they want to leave. There are all sorts of points along the spectrum. I think in this case it was a personal choice. You heard it from her, it was a personal choice and a professional choice by the Chair. I have said repeatedly, I don't think what's happened here has been fairly characterized. I think she did a lot of very important work. I wanted that work to continue, but I fully understand that she thought it was a point that, personally, it was the right time to go.
Question: [Inaudible] fired in your administration? Because I don't recall anyone ever, you know, publicly being named –
Mayor: Right, but, again – you know, it's interesting, it's almost as if you would like there to be firings –
Mayor: No, but I'm saying – I'm reading between the lines. We deal with each situation as is appropriate. Sometimes a person makes their own choice, they're ready to leave, and that's very natural, especially for those who have been there for a long time. Sometimes there's an honest conversation – very different than this one – other situations where, you know, there's a discussion that something may not be working and people decide to separate. It's rare that you have to say to someone who says, I'm going to stay no matter what. No, now you're fired. It's usually more of a process than that. But each situation is nuanced. I don't like to parade out there. If I got to the point that someone was fired, I don't make it a point to embarrass them. I just want the outcome – if someone is not working out and I want them out, we find a way. But this was not one of those cases.
Question: Mayor, I wonder if you've heard the latest on 85 Bowery, which is the tenement building in Chinatown where people –
Mayor: This is the issue with the Department of Buildings and all? I have not heard the latest.
Question: So you don't know whether the City's going to do more? People have –
Mayor: If I don't know what?
Question: You don't know if they City's going to do more? People haven't had a home since January.
Mayor: I know we want to resolve the issue, but I just don't have anything updated. We'll get back to you on that.
Mayor: My understanding – I think your facts are right about the origins of this. I don't remember the year – I want to say 1995, something like that – these units were exempted. I guess that was the Giuliani administration. I think we need to go back through all of them and look to see if that was done properly. I mean, we're talking about going back over something almost a quarter-century ago, but I think it's the right thing to do. So, we will go back and look at all of those apartments and determine if any of them need action. And let me be clear – the ones that have kids in them. I mean, as with everything with lead paint, the ones that have kids – six years old or younger.
Unknown: We've got time for two more.
Mayor: I don't know or did not work with her directly, but based on the arrest we suspended her.
Mayor: True statement –
Mayor: I've said a bunch of times, at some point I'll speak about the 2018 elections – not today. But the day will come when I'll speak about that, but I'm certainly not going to advise anyone outside of that. I'll come to my own judgements and then I'll offer my views.