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Former NYPD commissioner: De Blasio has 'sapped the strength of the department'

Former NYPD commissioner: De Blasio has 'sapped the strength of the department'
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Former New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Ray Kelly said in an interview broadcast Sunday that New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioOn The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck De Blasio mum on whether he'll block sale of Mets to controversial investor De Blasio says New Yorkers should avoid holiday travel: 'It's sad. It's very sad' MORE (D) has done significant damage to the department during his tenure. 

“This mayor is atrocious,” Kelly said on John Catsimatidis’s Sunday radio show on WABC in New York. “If I had a magic wand I’d remove him. But, unfortunately, what’s waiting in the wings is no better.”

"His so-called billion-dollar defunding effort of the department … that’s kind of kabuki financing.… We have de Blasio here for another 18 months. And that’s very, very discouraging."

Kelly said de Blasio’s proposed $1 billion cut from the police department’s $6 billion budget, which progressive activists have argued tiptoes around their demands for a reduced police presence, was an example of him caving under pressure. 

Kelly, a proponent of the department’s former “stop and frisk” policy, said the mayor has “sapped the strength of the department” and will ultimately make the city less safe. He said the NYPD officers, who have received criticism for their response to recent protests in the city, are backing off at the request of Democratic leaders. 

“Crime is raging out of control here in New York City,” Kelly said. “I don’t see anything that’s going to change the trajectory of that continuing to rise. There are disorderly groups all over the city challenging police officers… Police are generally backing off. … because their political leaders, the mayors… are telling cops to back off.”

Kelly, a Democrat who also served in former President Clinton’s administration, said that the party has moved too far left when it comes to issues of law enforcement.

“It’s such a change from years ago. You just don’t hear anything from [Democrats]," Kelly said. "They’re sitting on their hands. Or they’re being very supportive [of] taking down the statues… That’s what they’re interested in. That’s what they’re supporting. Rather than, ‘Hey, let’s get some good old basic law and order.’ What about everyday citizens?”

--This report was updated at 9:04 a.m.

John Catsimatidis is an investor in The Hill.