Howard Safir, New York City’s police commissioner between 1996 and 2000, argues in the WSJ why Mike Bloomberg should not apologize for fighting crime while he was Mayor. Instead, he insists, Bloomberg should be proud of how he and NYPD implemented stop, question, frisk.
Mr. Bloomberg was a very good mayor. In the 2000s, he and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly kept up the work that had begun in the 1990s under my boss, Mayor Rudy Giuliani. No one would have predicted in the 1970s and ’80s that New York could become—and remain—the safest large city in America. While I was commissioner, the NYPD made fewer than 100,000 annual Terry stops. Under Messrs. Bloomberg and Kelly, use of stop and frisk multiplied as crime continued to fall. In 2011, the NYPD recorded 685,724 Terry stops.
Mayor Bloomberg Did a Good Job
Activists and critics have pointed to these numbers as evidence of police wrongdoing, but activists and critics aren’t responsible for keeping people safe. In New York, that job falls to the mayor, his police commissioner and the roughly 38,000 uniformed NYPD officers. Mr. Kelly did his job well. So did Mr. Bloomberg. As the former mayor tries to secure the Democratic nomination for president, he should embrace that record, not run from it.