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

February 6, 2017

Police Commissioner James O'Neill: Good afternoon. Thanks for being here. I'm just going to say a few things – keep my remarks short, and then Mayor de Blasio will have some remarks.

And then, as has become the custom, Dermot Shea, our Chief of Crime Control Strategies – I still have to get used to that – will go over January's crime numbers for you. Then we'll take your questions.

It's been a good start to 2017. As Dermot will explain, citywide, we're down again in many of the major crime categories and up in gun arrests again. Every day the men and women of the NYPD are working hard to drive down crime and to keep people safe. And they're doing it while forging stronger bonds with residents and workers in all of our neighborhoods.

You know, it's important that we're up here in the Bronx in the 4-3 Precinct. Inspector Fausto Pichardo is the Commanding Officer here and he and his cops are doing phenomenal work. Fausto and his people have been showing us it's done since they've implemented the neighborhood policing plan here last April.

Remember, neighborhood policing is a crime fighting model – policing, first and foremost. And year-to-date the 4-3 is down more than 22 percent in index crime – 151 versus 194.

Grand larcenies dropped by 30 percent and robberies dropped by nearly 50 percent – 30 versus 55.

None of this happens by accident. It's due to the hard work of the cops on patrol who put on that uniform every day and head out to the streets. It's due to the tireless efforts of cops like Paul Tuozzolo who was shot and killed here in November while doing his job – his job of fighting crime and keeping people safe.

And I'm so thankful, every day, that we have cops like that working in all of our communities making sure New York City stays the safest big city in America.

I'm sure you might have some questions about the Karina Vetrano homicide arrest we made over the weekend. I'd just like to publicly offer my praise to Bob Boyce and his detectives – tremendous job. Thanks Bob.

There's a reason why the NYPD investigators have long been known as the greatest detectives in the world. And they are. And I want you to remember that none of these successes as a police department are achieved alone. We received many, many tips from the public on this case. And as Chief Boyce said yesterday, the entire community was an incredible partner to us as we ran down every single lead.

It's that kind of cooperation we get from the community – people calling in tips – that's what we mean and that's what I mean when I say public safety is a shared responsibility. It's a shared responsibility between cops and every resident, worker, and visitor to our great city. And that's how we're closing cases – homicide cases, shootings – and that's how we're putting a stop to gang and crew violence and much more.

And that success is reflected in these crime numbers we're going over with you today. I just wanted to say thank you again to all the working men and women of the New York City Police Department and all the members of the public who help us keep crime down every single day.

Mr. Mayor?

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you, Commissioner. And, Commissioner, congratulations to you and all the men and women of the NYPD for another strong month in January – and the continued progress on the mission.

And it is a particular pleasure to be here in the 4-3 Precinct. This is a precinct that is doing amazing work. The men and women of this precinct are definitely a winning team and they're proving all the time how much can be achieved. I want to give a special thanks to Inspector Pichardo who is clearly a rising star in this department for all he has done.

And there is – look, obviously, a bittersweet reality as we're here. We're proud of what the men and women of this precinct have achieved but we also know the sense of loss that they feel. And it was only three months ago that we lost Sergeant Tuozzolo, and the whole city grieved. But no one grieved more than his family and no one grieved more than the men and women he served with in the 4-3.

So, we're going to keep Sergeant Tuozzolo in our hearts, in our prayers. We're also going to remember his wife, Lisa, his two young children – his young sons, Austin and Joseph. Let's keep them in our thoughts and prayers always.

Now, we know it's not easy to be a cop in this city and we know there are real dangers. And that's why the progress that's being made is all the sweeter because that hard work is paying off despite the dangers. Our officers are succeeding more and more and they're getting more and more guns off the streets, which is so much to the core of defeating violence.

This is extraordinary and it's continued. And we saw in 2016, some progress beyond which I think we could have imagined just a few years ago – under 1,000 shootings being the most dramatic success.

But that is also again because of continued improvements in the work and continued improvements at gun seizures.

Well, so now, we have a whole month under our belt in 2017 and the verdict is in. We've seen continued progress on the categories that are most crucial to saving public life. Obviously, the reduction in homicides, the reduction in shootings, the increase in gun seizures – these are the things we're particularly focused on.

And January of 2017 had the lowest number of homicides and the lowest number of shootings in the modern era in New York City. So – a great month of January for any January in our recorded history.

This is further evidence not only of how the NYPD constantly innovates but it [inaudible] case of neighborhood policing, coming into its own – this is a precinct that has had neighborhood policing now since last April. So, it's really starting to have a deeper and deeper impact.

Obviously, the 2,000 more officers on patrol – as I said last month was the first month we got to feel the full impact of it. And that's going to, I think, play out in more and more positive ways going forward.

So, these are great steps forward – great examples of progress. We have some other important progress that we announced last week with the clear announcement of a timeline on body cameras that all body cameras will be in place for our patrol officers by the end of 2019 – another major step in terms of technology, another major step in terms of accountability and transparency.

And we think that combination that we're talking about here – 2,000 more officers on patrol, neighborhood policing becoming the pervasive strategy, and body cameras on all our patrol officers – those are going to synergize. Those new thrusts are going to come together to create more trust between police and community, and create much more flow of information from community to our police for the safety of all.

I want to thank everyone – the Commissioner, First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker, Chief of Department Carlos Gomez, all of the leadership up here. We're going to turn to Dermot in a moment but I also want to take a moment to congratulate Bob Boyce and all the men and women in your command. This was an extremely tough case to crack when it came to finding the murderer of Ms. Vetrano and you did an outstanding job. And all of New York City thanks you.  So, please, pass all of our compliments to the men and women who serve under your command.

Just quickly on the numbers – the good news, of course, overall index crimes this January of 2017 compared to last January are down from – I know Dermot will go over the details but from 8,011 last January to 7,991 this January.

Murders are down. Shootings are down. These are small changes in the scheme of things but they are so important if we can continue to build upon them. Being down two murders in the month of January means two more lives that were saved. Think of that progress being achieved month after month after month. That puts us on a track to going someplace we've never been before in terms of reducing murder and that's what we're aiming to do.

There have been some areas where there have been some small upticks in other categories and Chief Shea will talk to you about those. We take every one of them seriously. We're not going to rest. If we see any uptick, we're going to put extra attention and extra resources on addressing it.

But the overall progress has been outstanding and we're going to keep investing. We've gone a long way in terms of personnel – 2,000 more officers on patrol – the better equipment, the better helmets and vests as we saw. And a lot of you were there last week – the bulletproof glass on the side panels of the cars, the ballistic doors to keep our officers safe. These are all improvements and they're all going to add up year after year.

And this is how we have become the safest big city in America. This is how we will become an even safer city and continue to be the biggest safe city in America.

Just quickly in Spanish –

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

With that – in any language he's an expert – and we look forward to a report from Chief of Crime Control Strategies, Dermot Shea –

Chief of Crime Control Strategies Dermot Shea, NYPD: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Good afternoon, everyone. As you've heard, we have begun a strong start to 2017 in terms of overall crime reduction. Strategies that have been put in place to address repeat offenders, illegal gun possession and gangs are having the desired effect. We're building on the momentum of the last few years.

So, some of the highlights for crime statistics from this January – overall index crime is down 0.2 percent for the month of January. When you carry it over to this morning, we are now down 2.7 percent in overall index crime in New York City.

To note – with the overall index crime, January marks the tenth consecutive month of reduced index crime. That's the momentum we've been talking about. Currently, four out of five boroughs in New York City – all but Queens – are down to start the year.

Homicides – we recorded 20 homicides in January. That's down two from 22. That 20, as the Mayor alluded to, is the lowest January that we have ever recorded going back a minimum into the 1960s.

Shooting incidents – down 1.7 percent in January. Last January we hit the modern mark with 59 shooting incidents. We came in with 58 this January.

Talking about momentum again – nine of the last 13 months we've had a reduction in shooting incidents. Nine of the last 13.

Three months in a row we've had a reduction in shooting incidents in New York City. We have now, when you look at New York City as a whole, we now have 24-hour periods where we do not record a shooting incident in New York City. That kind of thinking was impossible in the not too distant past.

This is the new normal. We want to build on it and we feel that we will build on it but there's still plenty of work to do.

Stabbings and slashings for January – down 7.2 percent.

Robberies – down 7.5 percent. Lowest January robbery number we've seen.

Felony assaults in New York City – down 5.4 percent.

Burglaries tied the lowest mark set last year.

Transit crime – down 1.4 percent.

And housing crime – not to be outdone – down 1.9 percent.

Clearly, a wide breath of crime across New York City – property and violent crime, down.

But there is, I alluded to, there is still work to do – three categories we saw increases in January.

Rape was up 8.9 percent.

Grand larceny, specifically, credit card related skimming and forging of checks – those two drove grand larcenies. And grand larceny was up for the month of January 4.7 percent.

And lastly, rounding out the crime totals – stolen vehicles which we have seen drop to unprecedented lows saw an increase of ten cars for January. So, that's 480 versus 470 – a two percent increase.

Commissioner O'Neill: Okay, thanks, Dermot. We'll take your questions.

Question: Do you think it's possible, really to keep driving crime down further at this point? And how could you achieve that?

Commissioner O'Neill: Yes, I do think it's possible and I think it's our obligation to make sure we keep trying to do that. I think by using precision policing we've spoken about that at length and I think once we get neighborhood policing up and running in all 77 precincts, I think that will go a long way to helping us push crime down.

Mayor: Yes Rich, and I want to add – I think it's extraordinary to hear a public servant like Commissioner O'Neill answer that question with such confidence. When you think about it – you've been to a lot of press conferences in your day, Rich. You've heard a lot of hedging. There is something gutsy about saying we can and we will. And I think it's because everyone believes that. I believe it thoroughly. I remember as we talked about the kind of changes that were needed way back when in the beginning of the administration. Commissioner Bratton would talk about if we do X, Y and Z, then we can talk about going to places we've never been before. But it was quite clear we had to make a series of changes. We've made those changes. And you'll remember his last press conference as commissioner where he spoke with great confidence about what the future would hold. Commissioner O'Neill says publicly what he says to me privately that we believe we can and will do better. We got to just keep driving the strategy. Huge X-factor is the involvement of the people. And you saw how the people in the Vetrano case, the people of Howard Beach and the whole city cared so deeply and felt so much for the family – they came forward with every piece of information they had. Bob Boyce talks about that all the time. He appeals to the public for help all the time and it makes a huge difference. Part of what we had to do though was bring the public closer in a lot of communities. And we think neighborhood policing is going to do that. We think body cameras are going to help to instill more confidence in people that they can have the right kind of relationship. So there's a lot of reason to be confident. It won't be perfect linear progress all the time, but do we think we can set new records? Absolutely –

Question: Two questions: One, about the 24 hour periods without shootings – does that include the areas covered by ShotSpotter? And then secondly, for the Commissioner, you've spoken about the pressures that the Police Department has with having to protect Trump Towers and the man power [inaudible] are you seeing any kind of impact yet on your ability to keep crime down because of that?

Commissioner O'Neill: Dermot will get the first part of that.

Chief Shea: In the part of the question about the 24 hour period, I'm referring specifically to – because you can slice the data any which way. 0001 hours to 2400 hours – we could cut the numbers differently and come up with different statistics. I will put it into the easiest way to understand talking about before coming in here for this press conference.

General practice for us or in the police world, we would sleep with one eye open looking at the phone and reviewing what's happening overnight and our particular morning you would look at that beeper, or now cell phone, on what's happening in the city in the 24 hours period. It is now occurring where we will wake up on a Saturday morning and sometimes there's no shootings in New York City. That would never have happened 10 years ago. So the periods of where we are seeing lulls, no shootings in New York City. To your point of the question about the ShotSpotter, there are still shots and I think that that's what all of us up here are alluding to when we say there is still work to be done. There is still work to be done when anyone is carrying a gun in New York City or anyone should be robbed or victim of a sexual offense, but the numbers don't lie and we are seeing staggering statistics come in with the reduction in gun play, gun fire and people being shot throughout all boroughs of New York City.

Commissioner O'Neill: Azi, to the second part of your question – short term we can make adjustments but long term, we are going to need reimbursement from the federal government. It's important as we go through protecting 56thand Fifth is that if we need resources from outside the city, we have to make sure we minimize the impact on anyone command or any one person.

Mayor: I just want to welcome and acknowledge – for her extraordinary support of NYPD, the Chair of the Public Safety Committee and the City Council, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson. Thank you for joining us. Appreciate it.

Question: Just following up on the topic of the Trump Tower, do you have a new estimate for how much it's cost the City thus far and then have you reevaluated the nature of the protests that have flared up spontaneously around the city in the wake of the inauguration, how that might affect your response to the Trump Tower? Do you have new plans of how you are going to handle that re-shutdown of Fifth Avenue and outside streets?

Commissioner O'Neill: We still are in the process of working this out with the Secret Service, but when the President is not in town, the costs are a little bit lower. The demonstrations do have an impact on operations because we have to get those cops from somewhere too. So again, short term, we can handle it, but if it continues to go on it could have an impact on our operations.

Mayor: Let me follow up for you for a second, I think it was also the question of whether we anticipated more shut downs of Fifth Avenue, which I don't think has been what we've seen so far.

Question: When Trump comes to town, when he comes to town [inaudible] which he eventually will at some point when you plan for the kind of demonstration that you might see that would be different than you've seen over –

Mayor: Let me just counter editorialize before Jimmy answers –

It's interesting. I don't know. We have not heard a communication of what his intentions are. I think we all assume rightfully. I think what you said is right. We assume based on past practice that it would be definite. We don't know yet though. You see he has gone to Mar-a-Lago and other places. I would just caution that it is a good question about what might happen, but we don't have the facts yet about what his intentions are.

Commissioner O'Neill: And if that does happen, you know we are very good at handling very large-scale events as we did all year long. So then we will make any adjustments we need.

Mayor: But it might be very occasional.

Question: We're here in this precinct because the numbers are good. Can you specify what the numbers are here [inaudible]?

Commissioner O'Neill: We are here in this precinct because it is the Bronx. Let me talk about the numbers. Fausto – is to my left, he's down so far in the first five weeks, he's down 22 percent in index crime. So that's a pretty big decrease. It's actually up slightly in shootings but those are small numbers. He's got five shootings as opposed to three. There are zero homicides this year so far. So it's a testament to the hard work of the men and women of the 4-3, also a testament to Paul Tuozzolo. I think it was important to come up here.

Question: Chief Shea, as the former commander of the 50th Precinct  where car theft was rampant, what  do you attribute the decrease in car theft over the years and the recent increases of [inaudible] and the new easier electronic ignition that car theft has gone up or is it the [inaudible] as in the past?

Chief Shea: I'll address the first part of the question first, there's a number of reasons and when you look at the historic New York City crime, specifically the stolen cars, you really can't compare the numbers right now. I think at some prior press conferences, we've given estimates of thousands. We're now in the hundreds. A lot of good work, a lot of deployment, a lot of intelligence collection and turning that intelligence collection into action with our detectives. Auto-crime division part of the form of Organized Crime Control Bureau and now part of the Detective Bureau has done some tremendous work on identifying [inaudible] of individuals within New York City as well as outside New York City that we are responsible for a large number of stolen vehicles. So that work clearly played a huge role. Besides the work of the NYPD, I think you have to be honest and you have to look at technology and the technology of the automakers has played a role in that as well. I don't want to go on record and say that there is an increase. We are talking about 10 stolen cars. We are talking about a very small sample in terms of stolen vehicles. I think we have a very good handle on the stolen vehicle problem in New York City. There were always fluctuations, some precincts spiking it one time but, overall it's been one of the areas in addition to the gun violence that we've been very, very successful in rooting out across New York City.

Question: Can you provide any details into how the suspect in the Vetrano case was tracked down – this information that he was tied to [inaudible] 911 calls. When and how was he identified by name by law enforcement? And the second part, of the question is, there were reports that [inaudible] can you speak to that at all?

Commissioner O'Neill: Chief Boyce is going to come up and talk about that. I see the trick here, everyone is asking two questions at a time. I like it.


Chief Shea: I think you may have to repeat the question.

Question: The first question is can you provide any additional information to how that suspect was tracked down. We've received information that he was tied to past summonses and 9-1-1 calls, but when was he identified by name. When did he become known to law enforcement by name and do you have anything to say about the reports that he's of diminished mental capacity?

Chief Boyce: I am not going to comment on the diminished mental capacity, I gave out a lot of information on this. I spoke about the summons that he got in the area and that contributed to his identification. We spoke of a deep dive. We went to a 911 call that was from the spring of 2016. His name came up in that. We had to go to the police officers to find out who he was [inaudible]. Then it became a lead and nothing more than that. We went to speak to him once we saw the fact that he did have those summonses down at that end. Once we saw that he was down there, he was in or around that gateway park area or anything like that – that's when we went to speak to him. This happened in the last 10 days. We went to speak to him on February 2, at his home in East New York and where he voluntarily gave the DNA sample. We've taken at least 600 DNA samples on this case. And it wasn't until Saturday, the quick turn around by the OCCB that we identified him and then the case or course took off from there.

Question: Can you tell us what the court summonses were for?

Chief Boyce: Do we have park [inaudible] – I think that's the national park down there and all around there is park [inaudible], so two of them were for that. And one was for urinating in public. And that goes back to 2013.

Question: Chief Boyce, yesterday you talked about the DNA evidence which is not 100 percent. There have been cases where DNA has wrongfully convicted someone. You spoke yesterday about DNA on three things, on the body and on the cell. We noticed that – and you can correct us if we're wrong – that the suspect was not charged with sexual assault of the victim. What's going on there?

Chief Boyce: Okay, right now he is in Manhattan House of Detention remanded. The next court date is February 21. In regards to your DNA question, there is different forms of DNA. There is molecular DNA, there is mitochondrial DNA – strong profiles, we have a strong profile on him. In your statement that it is not always accurate, it is accurate when it comes to that. Okay. And that's what we have. So, and so far as him going forward, the sexual attack. I will not speak to that. Judge Brown has a grand jury process and I will honor that. That information will be given to the grand jury and they will decide what to do with this young man.

Question: Are you confident there is one suspect in this case?

Chief Boyce: I am. Everything we have revolves around one person. I spoke, we only have one DNA profile from that case and it's him. So yes, we have a singular attack and I'd say we have detail and incriminating statements. That's very factual. Don't want to go too far into what he said.

Question: Have you seen an uptick in hate crimes post inauguration or have they subsided since Election Day.

Chief Boyce: We saw a tremendous uptick, I am using the word tremendous, but quite a bit of uptick directly after Election Day. That has now since leveled off from what we can see. Most of that uptick came from hate speech or graffiti that we saw. And we continue to see graffiti so it is remarkably up since then, but we've seen it leveling off from that first point after Election Day in November.

Question: Question for the Mayor, what are your thoughts on Comptroller Stringer blocking this body cam. contract and can you comment on any problems – your thoughts on any problems that have come up with this [inaudible] other cities–

Mayor: I'll start and then I'd like Deputy Commissioner Larry Byrne to jump in on some of the legal issues here.

He's not blocking this contract. He put out his statement, but Larry will tell you how the law works. This contract is going forward. The people in the City believe rightfully that we need body cameras on our officers and we will have body cameras on our officers. And that will be done for all patrol officers by the end of 2019. I have said this to you guys publicly before, a lot of information has been put out to try and denigrate the company involved. That information has been put out largely by one of its competitor companies and I don't think it is the first time in history of the free enterprise system that we've seen one company try to smear another. But the NYPD is very, very careful in how it makes its technology choices and I think you all have seen ShotSpotter and you all have seen smartphones and a lot of other things lately that have worked brilliantly. This went through that same kind of rigorous process in determining which company would be used. So I am confident that we have the right company, I am confident that we are on schedule and the Comptroller's specific action does not change the trajectory of this action to move body cameras to all of our patrol officers by 2019.

Take it away Deputy Commissioner –

Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters, Larry Byrne: Hi. The Comptroller has raised certain questions that he's asked us whether we've considered. Those questions are policy questions. They have nothing to do with the terms of the contract. They have nothing to do with the procurement process.

This was a very vigorous, long, careful procurement process. The Comptroller's role in reviewing in all contracts including this contract is to make sure that the procurement process was run correctly and the terms of the contract are proper and fair. He's raised no questions about any of those issues.

The remaining issues he's asked about are policy issues which we've been studying now for two years. We've looked at other departments. We've looked at other agencies. We're in consultations with the monitor and the parties about those policies. But those are not a basis for the Comptroller to delay or try to delay the deployment of 1,000 cameras which in this next phase is under the supervision of the federal monitor in the stop-question-and-frisk litigation.

Question: Just to follow up on that – so the department's not concerned that Phoenix PD has cancelled this contract with Vievu and the other thing is that the Mayor pointed out the department is [inaudible] phone which [inaudible] Microsoft phones. Are you at risk of getting locked into a technology that will be surpassed? It's not the case that the department always makes the best choices.

Deputy Commissioner Tucker: We are very confident in the terms of this contract with Vievu. We looked at every aspect of their capabilities as well as all of the other competing bidders. We feel that this is the best company to service our needs. There's no department in the country that is using more different, sophisticated types of technology than we are whether it's the smart phones, whether it's ShotSpotter, whether it's body cameras, whether it's other things.

We're very confident in all of our technology decisions, and we always have backup and contingency plans. A big part of the body camera project for any agency is not the camera itself but the storage and the access, the ability to review, and where necessary, have access to that footage for court proceedings – criminal, civil, CCRB complaints.

We think Vievu will serve us in an outstanding way under the terms of the contract.

Mayor: Let me just add quickly to David's point. Look, David, no one is saying the NYPD is infallible. On the other hand, you have to look at batting average to get a sense of how an agency is doing. There are some agencies – you and I both know over the years, didn't do so well with their technology. I would say, certainly, these last three years – ShotSpotter is a great example, the smart phones are a great example – I'd put that record up against any agency anywhere. And I think it speaks to growing capacity.

Obviously, Commissioner Bratton and Commissioner O'Neill after him have put a huge emphasis on technology and getting it right.
So, I like our batting average. This was a careful decision. There is always a look given if there's concerns raised by the experience in other cities. And the situation in Phoenix was looked but it does not dissuade us. We think we're on the right track.

Question: Mr. Mayor, speaking of batting averages – what do you think have been the policies that have been most responsible for the drop in crime here in New York when other cities are experiencing just the opposite?

Mayor: I appreciate the question because I think it's something we all need to look at and make sense of. And so I would say, first of all, look, the NYPD, obviously, has always focused on having the right numbers. And we made the decision to add 2,000 officers. I think that was part of continuing the progress. That the time had come we had to do that both in terms of creating neighborhood policing and changing the relationship between police and community but also so we could have a specialized unit to fight terrorism.

I think there are places in the country where that would be part of the solution to look at the right number of officers needed so you can get that neighborhood policing philosophy to really work. I think the neighborhood policing philosophy is part of the difference – that we've really doubled down on developing those relationships between police and community. That's also leading to a flow of information that's stopping crimes from happening.

I think precision policing which has developed here more than, I would say, anywhere as well as any place in the country. This was the place that started it with CompStat and has built upon it. I think there's still lessons for other places to learn in how to deepen those strategies.

And then the final factor, I think it's a big one – our community – the strength of our communities, our non-profit organizations, our faith organizations that have put a big emphasis on reaching young people before they go in the wrong direction.

We obviously have a huge commitment to afterschool programs, summer jobs. A lot of cities don't have that. And this is part of how we keep kids from going on the wrong path, and we give them some hope that there's a better direction.

Some of the cities have been plagued by gangs for a long time – in L.A., legendarily, Chicago – just don't have as rich a non-profit sector, a community-based organization sector to do that kind of work and reach so many young people.

We've actually deepened that commitment. You know, every middle school kid in New York City now gets afterschool for free, for example. That's the kind of thing I think would really help in a lot of other places.

Question: Two questions – first, just to go back to Trump Tower. I'm wondering if you could characterize the reimbursement, the amount that you requested from the federal government, is that all due to money that's made for overtime for officers or are officers from other precincts from outer boroughs [inaudible] being deployed to work that shift. And is that reimbursement needed to hire more officers?

And then the second – just back to Vetrano case [inaudible] I'm just wondering what came about to [inaudible] –

Mayor: While Chief Boyce walks over – he's getting his exercise today – I'm going to start on the first one and then pass to the Commissioner. So, I want to emphasize – we put in an initial request for the $37 million which is the amount we spent from election night to the inauguration. We got $7 million back as you know. We're still going to work to get more of that back.

The next decision point is in April by the Congress. We're working right now to prepare an update to go and get more resources. But as the Commissioner said, the situation has changed. The minute the President left Trump Tower as a resident, the situation changed markedly. And that's good for obviously the ability for people to get around in Midtown and it's good in terms of the impact it's having on PD.

The Commissioner can tell you how this – the costs were derived.

Commissioner O'Neill: That's the cost associated with bringing personnel down to 56th and 5th not just overtime. It's a tremendous amount of people between Election Day and the day of the inauguration. Again, as the Mayor said and I've said before, when he's not here we can take that number down a little but the cost is still significant.

Bob's got part two –


Chief Boyce: It's one of those cases that has dominated a lot of our thoughts in the Detective Bureau and we've talked about it constantly to a great end. As I said, we have 250 leads. Each time a lead comes in we have to send a team out to investigate it and a lot of times we will take DNA samples from that person we get the lead on.

A big case – 1,700 investigative reports filed. I told you, 600 samples of DNA taken.

We did a deep dive as far as data that comes in. This case was very similar to a needle in a haystack. That's the best way I can describe because this individual had no prior arrests.

So, the people of Howard Beach have been very good to us [inaudible] crime scene. One of my lieutenants who works in my office lives there, lives in the community, I should say. And we came to him and he remembered a stop that happened in April. He's right over there by the way. John, just put up your hand because you deserve a lot of credit for the case – great job.

He followed up on a memory of his when someone was stopped for suspicious behavior in that community. We drilled down on that. The [inaudible] came, they took his name down. John went back and got the name and we started to look at Chanel Lewis even tighter and we started to see some things that disturbed us – as I spoke about, the summonses and other things.

That happened in the past week or so. Six-month case. If you remember Carey Gabey, that was a ten month case. These things take time. Difficult cases but you don't stop. There's a resilience and a vigilance here every day that they did and that's what solved the case.

Question: [Inaudible]

Chief Boyce: Hazel, can you speak a little louder?

Question: Just a follow up question on that. [Inaudible] off-duty at the time and just happened to notice this –

Chief Boyce: He's never off-duty. None of us are ever off-duty. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. We're all 100 percent. To answer your question – at that moment he was not on-duty but again it's in your head.

Question: The protests – the anti-Trump protests that have come up a couple of times. Does the City plan to ask the federal government for money for policing the protests as well as security at Trump Tower? [Inaudible] meet at some point [inaudible] Tower?

Mayor: I'm just going to start and the expert will speak after me. I think those are two very different things. Trump Tower is, you know, a public, accessible space with the obligation to protect the President – then President-elect – his family, his staff, all the people who work in the building, the surrounding area, and the building itself which had become a symbol. I think the protests are something that we're much more used to dealing with and that occur regardless of where a president lives. But –

Commissioner O'Neill: I don't have too much more to add to that. This is a – demonstrations is something that comes around a lot for the NYPD and we do it well and so I don't think that's something we'd be looking for reimbursement.

Question: [Inaudible] Vetrano. Did law enforcement ever have any contact with the suspect pertaining to his alleged threats against women?

Chief Boyce: I'm not going to comment on that. I said we had three police incidences with the summonses down at that park. As far as the other things that his [inaudible] that may give a profile psychologically, that's for the grand jury.

Question: Were the park summonses related to women at all in the park?

Chief Boyce: I don't believe so. No.

Question: [Inaudible] additions to the 170 offenses by which the City would cooperate with immigration [inaudible]. Is there an update to that –

Mayor: We'll have an update soon. This is what I would say to you. We feel the process for deriving those offenses as a very thorough one. We worked closely with the NYPD, our Corporation Counsel, Zach Carter – our chief lawyer for the City who is deeply involved.

I think we got it essentially right. A couple of offenses – literally a handful of offenses have been raised that we should take a look at. We're going to go that. I think we'll be able to come back in the next couple of weeks and be able to say more.

But I would expect – first of all, I would not expect a lot of change in that list because it's pretty comprehensive and I would urge everyone who has not yet looked at it to look at it and see how comprehensive it is. But if there is a few, I have no problem saying, "Okay, we've heard some good feedback, we want to add a few."

Question: Any policy changes to Broken Windows or stop-and-frisk as a result of the executive order?

Mayor: I appreciate the question but I think that the second question helps clarify the first question which is really important. The offenses on the list – 170 offenses – by a vote of the City Council and by my signature were a consensus – certainly again, with crucial input from the NYPD – consensus of the kinds of things where we thought it was appropriate to fully cooperate with ICE because they were the kind of serious offenses, violent offenses that to us made that the right thing to do.

The line that we have to draw is on things that are typically minor, quality-of-life offenses, for example, where the impact of those individuals being deported and their families being torn apart of kids being left behind without parents, far disproportionate to the offense; and also, because we're constantly thinking about the relationship between our police and our immigrant communities which is important to public safety overall.

So, we came to a balance point and I think it's an instructive balance point that could be helpful in the national debate. It's really a third way compared to the two extremes that might exist in the national debate.

I think the point about connecting it to Broken Windows, this is what I'd say – we think, and I've felt from day one, that quality-of-life policing is one of the reasons New York City became the safest big city in America, and it's derived from complaints from community residents. The community wants our officers to follow up on these things because the community is calling them in.

In fact, in many communities, including a lot of poorer communities, there used to tremendous frustration back in the day that a number of offenses they felt didn't get the kind of follow up they wanted because there was so much more serious things going on that deserved and needed officer's attention.

So, what I find and I've been all over the city for years and years is people want quality-of-life policing. They want it to be fair. They want everyone treated equally. They want it to mindful and I think the Commissioner said something so important repeatedly about officers have discretion now. They can give a warning if that makes more sense. Sometimes it's a summons or sometimes it's an arrest but you choose.

I think that's about keeping us safe and about neighborhood policing working. That is our job. That's, first and foremost, our job.

We also have this backdrop of the immigration concern. I don't see any contradiction. We're going to stay focused on quality-of-life policing but we're not going to use quality-of-life offenses as a reason to cooperate with ICE. And that separation means there's no reason to change our approach on something that is working with quality-of-life policing.

Unknown: Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, folks.

Commissioner O'Neill: Actually, let me add one thing to that. As far as quality-of-life policing is concerned, you need to talk to Fausto about that. He's a Precinct Commander. We were all precinct commanders up here. If you didn't do that, you wouldn't be a precinct commander very long.

Mayor: Amen.

Unknown: Thank you, folks.

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