Despite an increase in New York City crime for the first time in more than two decades, support for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly reached an all-time high, with city voters saying they approve of his job performance by a margin of 75 percent to 18 percent, says a new survey quoted by the Wall Street Journal. The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said 63 percent of all city voters (and 53 percent of black voters) said they would be inclined to support a candidate who promised to ask Kelly to continue as police commissioner.
At a forum on Tuesday night in Harlem, a largely black audience booed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic mayoral nomination, when she said she hoped to keep Kelly; Quinn is the only major Democratic hopeful who is in favor of retaining the commissioner. Kelly's approval is 81 percent among white voters, 63 percent among black voters and 76 percent among Hispanic voters. Overall, voters approve 70 percent to 23 percent of the job the NYPD is doing, the highest score since February 2002, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Voters disapprove of the police's use of the stop-and-frisk tactic, 50 percent to 46 percent.