Kelly Staying At NYPD Helm: “Where The Action Is”


Raymond W. Kelly built the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism program from scratch, and helped drive the crime rate down further, against predictions and beyond national averages, says the New York Times. He has improved relations with the city’s black and Latino populations. A decade after an abbreviated term as police commissioner, he did it all with a shrinking number of officers. The Times says that as the man widely seen as the second most powerful person in city government, Kelly’s allies say he will not be satisfied at having gone from underestimated to vindicated. He is intent on cementing his successes of in fighting terror and in working to bring the department’s technology into the 21st century, among others. Kelly, rumored as a future mayoral candidate, insists that he has no political ambitions. Kelly, 64, said that the last reason for him to leave would be for fear that “things would turn bad; that would be reason I would stay, quite frankly.”

After serving as a Marine commander in Vietnam and in law enforcement, he is unaccustomed to the sort of compromise that comes with elective office. “Maybe I don’t have enough flexibility in my DNA,” he said. He is staying as police commissioner for a combination of reasons: a sense of duty, the thrill of a challenge, the idea that he is well suited to deal with whatever may befall the city, and the prospect of codifying changes to the department that aim to prevent or prepare for terrorist attacks. “I have no desire to declare victory and move on to something else – I think this is the greatest job in the world,” he said. “And I’m going to be where the action is.”


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