Christine Quinn is one of only two mayoral candidates who remain enthusiastic about keeping NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on the job, though that position recently got her booed. Nevertheless, Kelly doesn’t seem too concerned about staying on Quinn’s good side. On Tuesday at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the renovated police precinct in Central Park, Kelly slammed her push to create an inspector general for the NYPD, saying that there’s already “more oversight of this department than any other department in America and I think it’s more than sufficient.” In fact, he believes the measure could be dangerous. “I think there’s real cause for concern,” added Kelly. “I think putting in another layer of so-called supervision or monitoring can ultimately make this city less safe.”
The NYPD’s opposition to the inspector general plan has been noted, but this is the first time that Kelly has commented on the issue since Quinn announced that she has the votes to get the measure through City Council, and override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto. The issue is already driving a wedge between Bloomberg and Quinn, who’s believed to be his preferred successor, and during his brief remarks on Tuesday he attacked the plan again. “Lately we’ve heard a lot of comments from people running for office. We know that many will saddle the NYPD with additional bureaucracy,” the mayor said. “What we don’t know is what they’ll actually do to reduce crime. We don’t even know if this is their goal.” All four Democratic candidates supported the plan last week, but the Daily News notes that since then John Liu changed his position, and Bill Thompson clarified that he wants an inspector inside the NYPD who reports to the commissioner.
Quinn’s office tried to downplay Kelly’s public grousing, saying that even close allies “can disagree from time to time,” and this hasn’t changed her plans to keep him on if elected. The Sergeants Benevolent Association has a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Daily News questioning Quinn for claiming to stand by Kelly while pushing for an inspector general, calling it “political pandering at its most reprehensible.” Apparently Kelly isn’t quite as offended, since he still isn’t ruling out taking a position in a possible Quinn administration. “I haven’t made any plans for the future,” he said on Tuesday. “I have no plans as to what I’ll be doing at the end of the mayor’s term.”