July 25, 2016
Police Commissioner William Bratton: Okay. Good morning. Relative to the heat, we will try to move through this very quickly. There will be a second press availability inside. The one out here will be the focus – very specifically on some additional safety equipment that the Mayor has authorized, and we have begun to order, and we’ll speak very specifically about that – Chief O’Neill.
In 2014, I was privileged to be appointed as Police Commissioner by Mayor de Blasio as he entered office. We immediately began putting together something you are all familiar with which was our plan of action. That plan of action was based on what we call the five “Ts.” You all have copies of this document. It can be made available to you. Focus on building trust, dealing with a terrorism issues, and trying to tackle the crime situation in New York, which, while down dramatically, continues to still plague certain neighborhoods. To deal with those issues of terrorism, crime and trust building, we are going to place increased emphasis on training enhancements, improvements, as well as technology and equipment acquisition. Over the last three years now, less than three years and 30 months, the Department, with the Mayor’s authorization and City Council approval, has spent or has allocated $1.9 billion to the acquisition, improvement of facilities, training initiatives, overtime, and equipment acquisition for the purposes of ensuring that our offices have what they need to do their job safely and to protect the public to the greatest degree possible.
I certainly want to thank the Mayor and the Council for their expenditure of huge amounts of money. In the last 18 months, we have spent close to $320 million or advocated that for the acquisition or very specifically, the equipment, and the training on that equipment. On the table to my right is an example on just some of the equipment that we have been acquiring over these past 18 months. And that will be available to our officers over the next several months. Equipment for the new SRG, equipment for the CRC units, equipment for all of our officers on patrol including ballistic doors and windows on our police cars assigned to precincts. Trauma kits to assist if they are dealing with bleeding individuals – you name it, we are buying it.
There is not a police department police department in America that is spending as much money and has as much thought and interest on this issue of officer safety. Today, we are going to specifically introduce you to the latest acquisition that we are in the process of acquiring. Last Tuesday, I talked with my head of budget, Vinnie Grippo, and spoke to him about acquiring heavy duty vests – vests that would be capable of stopping rounds fired from weapons like we saw in Baton Rouge and Louisiana; the traditional vests that our officers wear under their shirts. And as you know we’ve been issuing all new vests to our personnel. They have the latest state of the art, but will not stop unfortunately some of the weaponry that American policing has been experiencing – attacks against them with these types of weapons. So, today, the Department will be announcing acquisition of new vests that will be used in certain circumstances that are capable of dealing with that type of weapon and that type of round. Chief O’Neill will speak to that in a few moments.
We are committed to protecting the safety of the public in the City to ensuring the safety of our officers to the best of their ability – understanding that they must always go in harm’s way no matter what the incident. And to the best of our ability as they go in harm’s way to equip them with the training, leadership and the equipment necessary to protect their lives so they can protect the lives of New York residents.
With that, I’d like to introduce Mayor de Blasio, who has a number of issues that he will speak to, and then he will be followed up to the podium by Chief James O’ Neill, who will introduce you to the latest addition of equipment to the items that we are providing to our personnel. Thank you. Mr. Mayor?
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you very much, Commissioner. I want to thank you and all the leadership of the NYPD for the action that we’re taking today. It’s so important to recognize the threats our officers face, and to act on them immediately. And the Commissioner and I stayed in touch in the course of this last week, and came to the decision that we wanted to get this additional equipment – we wanted to get it fast to protect our officers.
Obviously, all over the country people have been deeply troubled by the attacks on our officers. It’s the kind of thing – I always say, an attack on our police officers is an attack on all of us. And we have to make sure we’re taking every measure available to protect our officers with the latest gear, the latest technology given the horrible scourge of guns in this country, and how we’ve seen these guns turned against law enforcement.
So, we made this decision quickly in light of the new challenges we face. The good news is the NYPD has the ability to act quickly. We have the resources – and again want to thank the City Council for their constant support of these investments so we can take action quickly to protect our officers.
Now, we were reminded the situation we’ve seen around the country on Wednesday in Times Square. And we were reminded of the dangers that our police face every day. And I ask all New Yorkers to try, for a moment, to think what these two brave officers were thinking the moment an object was thrown into their car – had every reason to believe it might be a bomb or an incendiary device – and think about the way they handled that situation, the professionalism, the bravery. Their first impulse was to immediately drive away from a crowded area to protect the lives of others with absolutely no regard for their own lives. All they thought about was protecting others. This takes extraordinary courage and strength. And we have to reward that by making sure our officers have the very best equipment to protect them.
We all know now that, thank God, the object that was thrown into the car was not a bomb. It was a hoax. Thank God our officers came through safely. I think the gratitude of all New Yorkers for this selfless act is very intense at this point, and I want to express it personally. I want to call up Sergeant Hameed Armani. Sergeant –
Well done. Well done. I think there are about eight-and-a-half million people who’d like to be doing what I’m doing right now in shaking Sergeant Armani’s hand.
Well done, sir. Thank you. Thank you.
Stay here for a moment because I want to tell this story. Sergeant Armani is not only an extraordinary public servant, he happens to be an immigrant to this country from Afghanistan, who has chosen to serve his new country with love and devotion as a member of the NYPD. He happens to be a single dad with an infant daughter, and nonetheless was willing to put his life on the line to protect all the New Yorkers around him at that moment. Think of the extraordinary split second thinking. Think of the decisive action that this man and his partner took under duress. It’s really an example to us all.
And I want to thank your partner, Officer Peter Cybulski, who could not be with us because he is on a well-deserved vacation. And I think if anyone deserves a vacation at this point it’s you and Officer Cybulski. So, you are an example to all of us, and you make New York City proud.
Thank you. Well done.
So, it’s our duty to keep our officers safe. We’re proud of the investments we’ve made whether it’s the equipment you see here – up-to-date equipment – whether it’s the training or the everyday technology that our officers have that give them the information they need in a split second so they can know how to protect the community and protect themselves.
These new helmets, the new vests, the new ballistic armor for the police cars will all provide much more attention to the men and women who protect – much more attention and much more protection to the men and women who protect us every day.
Again, I want to thank Commissioner Bratton, First Deputy Commission Tucker, Chief O’Neill, Deputy Commissioner Grippo. We made this decision quickly in light of what we saw happening around us, and I think it’s absolutely the right decision. And we’ll be moving quickly to implement it.
I also want to say we are blessed to have many leaders in public service who support this work. One of them you’ll hear from in a moment – Borough President Eric Adams, who has the unique perspective as a public servant of both, now, an elected office and previously as a member of the NYPD.
Now, it’s very important to recognize that this department never rests on its laurels – continues to succeed at driving down crime. The statistics we went over with you a couple of weeks ago were extraordinary – continues to innovate. But we have to be aware of what’s happening around us in the world. That’s why we created the Critical Response Command. That’s why we depend on the SRG and the ESU, all the units that are so advanced to protect us. We keep updating them in light of what we see happening around the world. That’s why we have to add equipment and training as we see new developments.
And we know it works. We’ve seen it work already. The Commissioner talked about the $1.9 billion that we’ve invested over just 30 months. We’ve already seen tremendous results in terms of officers being able to keep themselves safer and serve the community better. The training, the smartphones, the tablets, and the cars, new Tasers, new trauma medical kits, better rifles – all of these are part of the equation for keeping community safe and officers safe, and on top of that 2,000 more officers on patrol by the end of this year.
It all adds up to a capacity that’s unsurpassed in this nation. We will keep making those investments. And my message to all the members of the NYPD, and especially to their families, is we value the safety of our officers, and we will put the resources in play to keep our officers safe.
Just a quick couple words in Spanish –
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
With that, we’d like to bring Commissioner Bratton back up again, and we’ll hear from our colleagues.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams: Thank you. And just briefly – I think that as we said – it’s hot out, but it’s also hotter on the streets of our country.
And if you would go back to 1994, as we had to transition in the type of firepower our police officers carry – it was Commissioner Bratton that understood that it was time to move from the traditional .38 revolver to the 9-millimeters that we have become accustomed to in the city. And people thought that it would be abused and misused, but just the opposite – it gave our officers the necessary firepower that they needed. And now we move to a new level.
When an officer loses his or her life while responding to a call of duty, it is a painful encounter. But when an officer is intentionally assassinated – that traumatizes the anatomy of policing throughout the entire country. And that calls for an immediate, expeditious response. It is one thing to cover a coffin after a funeral. It’s another thing to cover our police officers with the equipment that they need to carry out the right law enforcement practices across the country. This is the smart and right thing to do. Bridging technology with state-of-the-art equipment ensures that we have not only smart phones, but smart police officers, smart tactics, smart equipment, smart methods used to protect the public.
And just as a subscript – I want to talk about that officer – the sergeant, immigrant of Afghanistan. As we shape the conversation about out immigrant populations who come to America to participate in the American dream, he embodies that spirit and that energy – of coming to America, of donning the blue uniform, wearing a bullet proof vest, standing on street corners, protecting the children and families of this city – sending a message that once you come here, you come here with the spirit and the energy of what red, white, and blue represent. We are great because of we protect the hyphen that brings us together as one entity. And so his call of action – being able to respond to save the public is part of the everyday conversation we should have as we talk about the need to open our doors to those who want to part of the American dream. He ensured those individuals in that location could continue to dream even if it meant turning his life into a nightmare. And that needs to be commended.
This is a great moment for the men and women of the New York City Police Department. It’s a great moment for the people of the City of New York. And it shows that we will continue to adapt. We will not have a Police Department that will bring a knife to a gunfight. We will bring the right equipment to fend off anyone that endangers the public.
Thank you. Thank you, Mayor. Thank you, Commissioner.
Commissioner Bratton: We’re bringing Chief O’Neill up to basically display the additional equipment that we are in the process of purchasing. Just a reminder – the reason we are here at the 8-4 – the symbolism of this precinct – that Detectives Liu and Ramos who lost their lives in December 2014. We believe that was the beginning of the period of time in which we have seen significantly increased attacks and assassinations on American police officers – necessitating the acquisition of some of this equipment to protect them as they seek to protect you. So when you come inside for the second portion of this press conference, you’ll see on the wall of the [inaudible] room, the plaques dedicated to the memories of Detectives Liu and Ramos, killed on the streets of Brooklyn in December 2014.
Additionally those of you in the press – if you’ve not gotten this brochure from the Public Information personnel, I’d suggest pick it up. It lists much of the equipment that is in fact displayed on this table and what its intent and purpose is. With that, I’d like to introduce the Chief of Department James O’Neill who will speak specifically relative to the new helmets and vests – 20,000 helmets and 6,000 vests that we have already ordered and that we anticipate will start arriving shortly.
Chief of Department James O’Neill: Good morning, everyone. Before I talk about the vests and helmets – I just – so the incident in Times Square took place a couple days ago – on Friday. And all weekend along, I’ve been thinking about – I’ve been a cop a long time. I’m trying to gauge what my reaction would have been. And I’m not sure it would have been the same. I would like to think it was. And I’m sure everybody standing over here wearing a blue uniform has been thinking about it all weekend too. So Sarge – you and you partner – thank you for what you did. You made us all proud. It’s an incredible amount of courage and guts to do what they did – to think that they had a real bomb in their bomb and to drive a block-and-a-half away so other people wouldn’t get hurt. That goes a long way to making everybody in this Police Department very proud.
So just to talk about the helmets and the vests – we strongly believe that the new equipment, the training, and the technology that NYPD officers have received over the last 31 months is making the job safer for them, their fellow cops, and most of all for the public that we serve. As I’ve said, I’ve been a cop for nearly 34 years now. The Commissioner has been a cop for over 40 years. We know law enforcement is a – it’s a great job, it’s a fantastic job, but it can also be a dangerous job. But we continue to be committed to making sure we keep all of our members as safe as possible. It’s absolutely a critical priority.
As the Commissioner said, we know that street cops, patrol cops would be the first on the scene in the event of an active shooter situation. That’s just the reality of it. If something happens in Midtown, Brooklyn, up in the Bronx – it’s going to be the [inaudible] cops that roll up first. And we have an expectation that they’re going to go to the danger; they’re going to go the fight, they’re going to go where the issue lies and that’s with the person doing the shooting. So if we have that expectation, we have a responsibility that we keep them as safe as possible. We’ve said before we want the cops to engage the active shooter or shooters in order to stop the threat as quickly as possible and in order to save as many lives as possible. Of course we want our cops to be as safe as possible when doing so. And we want them to have the confidence that their training and their equipment is the best in the business. So by beginning of September, our cops will begin carrying ballistic vests and helmets in their patrol vehicles. We actually have two cops from their 8-4. They’re going to demonstrate.
Chief O’Neill: So, just to continue, these items will be at their immediate disposal all throughout their tours and can be put on quickly if the officers feel it is warranted. We will put 6,000 ballistic vests – two in each 3,000 patrol vehicles in all precincts, transit districts, and PSA’s. And 2,000 cops will be given ballistic helmets. These helmets have the same level of protection as the one – I’m sure, as many of you saw – that probably saved the life of one of the cops in Orlando during that mass shooting last month. The vests we’re getting are rated a step higher than the bullet resistant vests our officers already wear under their uniforms. So, this will be even greater protection. With heavy vests worn on top of the regular vests, our cops are [inaudible] every day. It’s all about having added protection so that the overall risk is minimized. This is a job full of risk, but it’s up to us to make sure we minimize that risk. This was a prudent and necessary step for us to take. In terms of technology, training, and tools, the NYPD has seen more positive change over the past two-and-a-half years than it has seen in a generation. With the public’s support and help, the NYPD continues to do what it does better than any other department in the country or the world – prevent crime and disorder, all while remaining vigilant amid the constant threat of terrorism. This all adds up to true public safety for you, for me, for our communities, and for our cops. Thank you very much.
Commissioner Bratton: We’re available for questions on topic, and, as you’re aware, there will be a second event in a few moments to go into other issues, and we’ll do that inside where it is air conditioned.
Question: How much is the new equipment that you’re talking about today going to cost?
Commissioner Bratton: The total expenditure for the 20,000 helmets and 6,000 vests is about $7.5 million.
Commissioner Bratton: I’m sorry?
Question: How much are the vests going to cost? How much are the –
Commissioner Bratton: We’ll be able to give you the specifics on the individual breakdown of costs, but, total expenditure for this purchase – we will probably be making additional purchase farther down the line for the rest of our patrol – police officers. What the issue – the manufacturer can only make so many, but we anticipate we’ll start receiving them by September. CRC, ESU, and our SRG personnel are already equipped with these vests and similar-type helmets, now it’s expanding into the patrol force that are responding to the shots-fired, active-shooter calls.
Question: Just another follow-up – does that mean that because the budget already closed – does that mean you guys are [inaudible] emergency contracting so that it’s going to be in the modification for this fiscal year?
Commissioner Bratton: We actually have the funds for this in terms of – between [inaudible] we have in our budget another $2.5 million that OMB is going to line up for us. So, once again, the specificity of that we can get for you.
Commissioner Bratton: The vests that we’re acquiring, we believe, based on what we’ve looked at in the events in Paris, the events in our own country, most recently down in Baton Rouge, as well as Dallas, that these vests would provide significant additional from and rear coverage for our officers. Understand that these vests are on top of the vests that they already wear under their uniform shirts. Similarly, for the helmets – the helmets are very similar to those that are worn by U.S. soldiers in combat.
Commissioner Bratton: Part of the decision making going into this was a video I reviewed of a shooting incident that occurred in our 9-4 Precinct – one of our public housing developments – about a week ago, Sunday. And that video showed tow off our officers responding to an individual who had been reported to 9-1-1 as a man behaving erratically with a gun. Two responding officers, immediately upon exiting their vehicle, came under fire from this suspect. And watching that video, and what those officers were dealing with, that reenforced – based on what we had already been looking at in terms of what had happened in Dallas and Baton Rouge – the decision to move forward with the quick acquisition. So, I had Vinny Grippo, our budget person, put the cost together, basically called the Mayor, gave the figures to the Mayor on Wednesday. On Thursday, we were ordering the vests. So, it moved that quickly, reenforcing that we have an obligation for – Ford motors used to have a slogan, Quality is Job-One. Safety of officers and the public is job-one for the NYPD and the City government, and that’s reflected on, again, the almost $320 million of investment over the last 18 months on officer safety.
Mayor: Just to be clear, we’re going to stay on the new equipment for this part of the press conference. We’ll take other police and other types of questions inside. So, I think you’re talking about the broader relationship between police and community, so we’ll hold on that.
Commissioner Bratton: Here, and then over here, okay?
Question: [Inaudible] sometimes high-tech equipment has been supplemented by the Police Foundation, or the Police Foundation had sometimes supplemented the NYPD. Did this represent a change from that?
Commissioner Bratton: [Inaudible] a question about Police Foundation. Police Foundation has been able to provide for years, for example, the money to allow us to expand the 13 detectives we have overseas dealing with terrorism issues, have jump-started the body camera programs, so instead of spending two years on basically working on the initial procurement, design of that, we’re able to get it out within a few months. So, no, this is all City funded. The bulk of officer public safety equipment is City funded.
Two questions back over here –
Commissioner Bratton: I’ll leave that up to Chief O’Neill. That – again, the rollout will take several months, as you might imagine – 20,000 helmets, 6,000 vests. All of our vehicles in those precincts will be equipped with those vests when the officers are on patrol. But in terms of prioritization, how it’s assigned out, I’ll leave that up to Chief O’Neill and his people.
Commissioner Bratton: There will be training that – as you saw, the officers – the ability to get there, put that vest on very quickly – as you saw, it’s fairly easy to put on, but it is the idea that training associated with – the active-shooter training – almost 5,000 of our officers have already had the multiple-day training. This will be incorporated into that, as well as the refresher training when they go to the range twice a year. So, the training is all designed to be more comprehensive and continually expanding and changing to meet the new needs that we’re – and the new threats we’re experiencing.
Mayor: Let me jump in on that one. I want to emphasize this point, because I think it’s something that people haven’t heard enough about. This police department is now in a constant state of training, re-training, and I often make the point – we think of a lot of professionals in our society – doctors, and lawyers, and airplane pilots who get refresher courses all the time – but, previously, the NYPD did not get enough of that, unless you were in a specialized unit. The only thing you got was regular visits to the firing range. What Commissioner Bratton and his team have instituted is a much more rigorous training regiment that can constantly change with new developments. So, if we give, for example, the smart phones – you get trained in how to use those most effectively. You get new vests, new helmets – you get training in how to use those. Every piece of the equation is updated – the training on how to diffuse situations and deescalate situations in the community. This is such a change that it’s taken a while for people to get the totality of it, but this'll be ongoing. All of our officers will regularly get retrained and updated. And look at what we’ve seen just in the last few years – a few years ago, we were talking about a very different picture in terms of terrorism, for example. It’s necessary to constantly improve the training of our officers and to make it an every-year kind of thing because we’re in a different world now.
Commissioner Bratton: Enforcing that over the last 18 months, we have provided hundreds of thousands of days of enhancement training to our personnel, and that number is constantly growing. The bicycles that you see – we’re [inaudible] almost 400 of those bicycles for our SRG group. They will be intimately trained on the use of those bicycles – three to four days of training on that piece of equipment alone. So that with equipment comes the need for training – constant refresher training, and we are making every effort to provide that training – historic in terms of the amount of training we’re giving our personnel. And arguably my sense is they’re probably doing much more than most of contemporaries in American policing at the moment.
Question: I just want to clarify in the bullet-proofing of the cars, you’re doing just the doors not the glass, right? And what’s the cost? And also, I believe it’s something you were testing earlier the year – do you have the results of those tests?
Commissioner Bratton: The question is relative to the ballistic panels on our patrol vehicles – you see an example of one of those that’s attached to the vehicle – also, the testing of ballistic windows. This vehicle has both. That is something that we have field tested on a number of vehicles. We have made the decision to go forward with the ballistic doors. The windows are still under consideration. We’re waiting for feedback from the officers as to that particular piece of safety equipment – its feasibility. The exact cost of the equipping is in flux. We know the cost for the doors but it depends on windows – how many windows do we actually end up putting in, and what vehicles we put them into.
Question: [Inaudible] last year that you thought that bullet proofing the windows was too costly. Do you still feel that way?
Commissioner Bratton: [Inaudible] basically the question you’re asking – that I made a comment about a year, year-and-a-half ago when discussing the idea of bullet-proof windows. That was to bullet-proof all the windows in the police vehicle – not feasible, not practical, and the cost would be phenomenal. What we are doing is effectively a hybrid which we think will significantly increase the safety of our personnel. And that’s the [inaudible] that we’re actually testing at the moment.
Question: [Inaudible] active-shooter situation is something different. And what is seen as an otherwise peaceful protest – will some of this heavier equipment be a matter of –
Commissioner Bratton: No, these vests are designed strictly for active-shooter – threats against our officers scenario. So, these types of vests would not be routinely worn by our officers. They’re not intended for long-term wear – one, the weight of them on top of the other vest. The helmet – the helmet itself weighs about seven pounds. And so, that being worn for a long period of time – not practical. And the reality is that the vast, vast demonstrations we deal with don’t require that.
The enhancement that we’re going toward with American policing is moving toward the bicycles. The bicycles – again, we’re requiring almost 400 of those for our SRG unit which deals with crowd management. Those bicycles can serve as barriers. They have special plates that attach to them. So, they’re an evolution of policing. [Inaudible] the old adage, everything old is new again – Teddy Roosevelt, when he was President Board of Commissioners, introduced the first bicycles to the NYPD back in the 1890’s and here we go again.
Thank you all, and we’ll see you inside.
Mayor: So, we’re going to do other police topics – any and all police topics. We’re then going to talk about the weather situation, and then we’ll take general topics. So, let’s first do questions on police topics. Yes?
Question: In light of the [inaudible].
Commissioner Bratton: Let me ask Bob Boyce, Chief of Detectives, to come up. What we know about that situation – nightclub down there – it’s certainly [inaudible] in Orlando – very different motivation apparently. But we put a lot of focus on nightclubs, as you know, as a result of the increase in stabbings that we had experienced early in the year; some of them being involved in nightclub type activity. So, Bob – I believe you are here.
Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce, NYPD: Yes, I am. In the Fort Myers area – we’re in touch with their police department there. That appears to stem from an ejection from the bar earlier over some gang issues. Right now, it’s still emerging so it’s hard to say. So, we’ve talked to them and they are totally different from the Orlando situation a couple weeks ago. In New York City, we reinvigorated our Vice division and went out and visited different clubs. As the Commissioner said, we have a slew of stabbings earlier in the year at nightclubs. We’ve had basically none since. So, with those visits to make sure everything is fine – collaboration with the club owners to make sure that if they have a problematic person to call immediately or don’t let them in. So – and then that’s handled on a borough level. So, each borough commander specifically tasked with coming up with a problematic club location and those are visited quite often by both borough personnel as well as the Vice Division. So, we’ve done well recently by concentrating on that problem we had earlier this year.
Commissioner Bratton: [Inaudible]
Mayor: I have said it before, I will say it again. I think Bill Bratton is doing an extraordinary job as police commissioner. And we are truly unified in our vision for safety in this City. And, as long as I am Mayor, I welcome him to continue being police commissioner. That’s all we have to say about it.
Commissioner Bratton: I think well over a year ago that question was asked and I responded then as I did in the most recent interview with the Times – that I would not intend to stay into a second term – one, if the Mayor decides to run, and, two, if he is elected, which I’m confident he will be. So, the idea is that’s still a year-and-a-half way. Throughout my career, ‘94 to ‘96 here, 2002 to 2009 – Los Angeles – and literally since my appointment in 2014 – there’s always speculation about how long I am staying anywhere. There’s never a good time to leave something that you love doing, but there is a right time; when I find that right time, that’s when, with the consultation with the Mayor, I’ll decide to go. But fortunately [inaudible] no worry about getting kicked out of the place fortunately. And things are going very well I think as you aware that crime numbers looking good, continuing to look good going forward [inaudible]. We just showed you what was going on the last 30 months here. We’re in a good place and my expectation is we’re going to get to an even better place with all of the equipment and training we’re working on.
Commissioner Bratton: Certainly, we are constantly evolving to beat the evolving threats, so that when Commissioner Miller and I came [inaudible]. So, they very quickly supported the request [inaudible] CRC, Critical Response Command and that group you’ve reported widely on. They are backed up by the SRG. Both of those groups back up the already in place Emergency Service Unit. [Inaudible] runs intelligence and Chief Waters Counterterrorism. Commissioner Miller is constantly changing and modifying what they do [inaudible]. The Mayor has really supported everything we’ve done over these periods of time to [inaudible]. It’s incumbent upon us to protect our officers. So, we are requiring that equipment for them to meet the new [inaudible] threats.
Mayor: I would add – when you look at the tragedy in Nice, the type of attack had been considered previously by the NYPD. And measures are put in place at major public gatherings to protect against that kind of attack whether it’s a vehicle with a bomb in it or without. So, that’s where you see a lot of checkpoints; you see a lot of the blocks and other physical barriers in place; and obviously a huge amount of personnel. And this is something that is really for me an article of faith about how we prevent terror is to have sufficient personnel available and well-trained personnel, and particularly the specialized units that the Commissioner referred to. I think we – we’ve watched each incident and tried to make adjustments, but in some cases we’re seeing things that the NYPD had long assumed would come to pass that had already put in measures to protect against.
Commissioner Bratton: An example of that evolution that John Miller is left [inaudible]. I’ll be down there on Thursday continuing into Saturday. Top terrorism experts in this country and indeed from around the world will be there for a week talking about what’s going on around the world. And that will be both from the military perspective, the intelligence perspective and the [inaudible] perspective. So, I think you’ve heard me talk frequently that as Commissioner this time I spent 30 to 40 percent of my time on terrorist-related types of activity versus back in ’94, ’96 – it was pretty much crime all the time. So, that’s how that’s involved since ’94, ’96.
Commissioner Bratton: Training – active shooter training – we have trained close to 5,000 officers – I think it’s 4,900 – and we are prioritizing, certainly, our patrol force, transit officers, housing officers and that training is moving fluid on a very accelerated schedule. Additionally, that we are giving many of our personnel one day training when they go for their firearms training twice a year – that training will be enhanced to encompass active shooter issues. Additionally, I think we’ve put out either three or four training bulletins – video bulletins on our smartphones. The officers on their smartphones now have apps where they can go on to the training app and receive special instructions. So, we have the capability of – when they access that app we know they accessed it; we know they stayed on for the length of time that the training video plays. So, we’re seeking to use every medium at our disposal to give them the training necessary to deal with the constantly emerging situations. And as we learn something new – that we modify very quickly. Again, watching what happened in Dallas and Baton Rouge that the decision of the Mayor last week to authorize $7.5 million was a direct response to concerns that we saw down there.
Mayor: Hold on, one second.
Commissioner Bratton: There’s – in life there’s [inaudible]. If things are going well – there’s never a good time to leave when things are going well, but there is a right time. And whether its personal life, professional life – that’s something in my life I’ve tried to always to do – in other words, to find the right time that to cause a minimum disruption, if possible. I think when I left the Los Angeles police department in 2009, that was the right time. And I don’t know about ‘96 – when I left in ‘96 that might have been the right time for something else.
Mayor: In the back. Yes?
Commissioner Bratton: Yes, Bob Boyce has the particulars on the several murders that we had overnight that you might have interest in. So, Bob if you could just a quick summary on those please.
Chief Boyce: We had a double homicide about 5 o’clock in the morning on Weeks Avenue in the Bronx in the 46 Precinct. A male and a female were shot. They are known to each other. We don’t believe there are – it is a romantic relationship right now; singular weapon in which we recovered from the seat – from the area. It was recovered from a tire [inaudible]. So, right now we have that – the young lady’s husband in the precinct. He is described – we showed him the video and he says he knows the individual from the neighborhood. So, right now it’s right in the midst of a couple of hours into this. We think it is going very well – the investigation – we’ll find out what happened. Additionally, in the Bronx last night in the 47 precinct on Barker Avenue had a domestic stabbing homicide on the site where a husband stabbed his wife to death. He soon thereafter turned himself into the 49 precinct. So, he is under arrest and he admits to such and he left a note at the scene. Those are the incidents in the Bronx in the overnight.
Commissioner Bratton: Can I point out that as July comes to a close that the shootings in the City are down still about 20 percent. Similarly, homicides as of this morning are down also about seven percent; overall crime is down about half-a-percent. So, as we’re now two-thirds of the way through the summer that are number are still trending very well overall.
Chief Boyce: A young lady was found in Brower Park in the 77th Precinct. We have identified her. There was another male who was found in the Lower East Side in the housing development there. We have connected those two individuals. They are known to each other – they are boyfriend, girlfriend. So, now we’re trying to figure out exactly what happened. The male was found in the 9th Precinct. He had a syringe still in his arm when he was found on the third floor hallway. She was found in the park covered up as if she was placed there. So, we believe that both overdoses from heroin, which we speak about often. So, right now, we’re peeling that back. We do have some baggies there – they’re not stamped. So, we’ll do phone records to [inaudible] exactly what happened. The other young lady – the other woman, I should say, who was found in McCarren Park – it looks like to be a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol. That’s what we have right now. She has a medical condition – I think it was affected by alcohol use. It’s not an overdose, but, again, we’ll know more when the autopsy’s done and the toxicology afterwords. So, we may not know immediately what happened, but they all seem to be that way right now. They’re not connected – two females.
Mayor: Well, so the difference is that in the streets – obviously are the City’s responsibility, and that’s why we have HOME-STAT, so it’s a much more aggressive effort to constantly check on any homeless who are on the streets to the point that we literally know, in the vast majority of cases, their name, their history, why they say they’re there, what they might be willing to consider as a reason to get off the streets, etcetera – that’s literally the level of detail we have on each individual in the vast majority of cases. Where there may be any instance of wrongdoing, or illegality, NYPD [inaudible] that works with the homeless that comes into play. Inside Penn Station, of course, it’s State jurisdiction, and the State has been working to address it. We’ve offered to help in any way we can. But what we do now any time we see any uptick, we put additional personnel, whether it’s police personnel, or the HOME-STAT personnel on the situation.
Chief Boyce: Well, it appears right now, from what he said, he [inaudible] shot by the police. There was a long history with this fella. So, right now, it appears he was asking the police to shooting him – that’s what we figured out from that. The bombs are really rudimentary. It looks like it’s severe psychological problems. That’s where we are right now with that.
Chief Boyce: [Inaudible] he asked to be shot.
Commissioner Bratton: [Inaudible] this morning, the Mayor took the opportunity to acknowledge certainly the work of the sergeant and his partner, but at the Columbus Circle scene, there were a significant number of emergency service officers who were in very close proximity to the individual while we tried to determine if, in fact, he had devices that were potentially active in that vehicle. And with that motivation, looking to be shot by the police – that part of the attention was focused appropriately on the sergeant, but the departments [inaudible] in handling that situation – the bomb squad and ESU – was also exemplary. The numbers times as I was watching them, watching him, there may have been the potential to shoot him, and they did not. They showed extraordinary restraint in dealing with that situation.
Mayor: Let’s – we’ll do that after we do police topics. I’ll come back to you on that. Go ahead.
Mayor: Let me take the privilege of rank to jump in first. I don’t know anyone more mature and experienced in public life than Bill Bratton, and we all sign up for lots of criticism, we know it’s going to be part of the landscape, and I’ve never seen him flinch in the face of criticism. So, I think he can speak for himself, but, I’m just going to say, I – although I respect that every question is trying to get at different things, I’ve been in so many discussions about what the right thing to do is regardless of criticism, regardless of political pressure with this Commissioner, and I have never seen him dissuaded by any kind of criticism when he thinks he’s doing the right thing.
Commissioner Bratton: The criticism drives my wife crazy. Being quite frank, it doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve been in the business 45 years – twice as long as probably you’ve been alive – and during that time suffered a lot of slings and arrows, and still here standing. It comes with the territory. Abe Lincoln’s old [inaudible] – you can please some of the people some of the time, but you’re not going to please all of them all of the time – that’s the reality of public life today. I remain true to my principals, what I believe about the professionalism of policing and advancing it. I’m very fortunate that in this stage of my career to have teamed up with this mayor, and have had, I believe, significant success at a time of great controversy in this country, continuing to advance the professionalism of American policing, and its sensitivity to the constantly changing issues and priorities. So, criticism comes with the territory, and, fortunately, I think the critics are in the minority versus the majority. And there are 8.5 million people in New York City who are the majority that I’m basically sworn to serve, and there’s some that will never like me, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.
Mayor: Amen. We’ll do a few more on policing, then we’re going to go into the heat situation, and to general topics. Yes?
Commissioner Bratton: That issue is a new one to me. It will be dealt with. I don’t have the particulars on it. My understanding – it involves one woman in the Department. We have many women in the Department who have children, as you know [inaudible]. So, we’ll take a look at her particular circumstance, but the Department tries in every way possible to accommodate pregnancies not only of the pregnant woman, but the families that are involved also.
Mayor: So, I think the bottom line on that is, we’re going to find an appropriate way to accommodate her and other women who need that time.
Chief O’Neill: [Inaudible] my job is apolitical. I love what I do. I love being a cop. I love this uniform, so [inaudible] serve the City well. But I enjoy this, and I enjoy seeing what the courageous women of the NYPD do every day. So, I love my job.
Mayor: Let me cut off the line of questioning with a simple statement – we’ve said very, very clearly, my point of view is this commissioner is doing a great job. He’s made clear he’s not prepared to stay into a second term. I absolutely respect that, and especially after all he’s given to the City over the years, and that’s all there is to say at this moment.
Alright, we’re going to weather issues. Let me give you an update. We’re going to bring Joe Esposito, our OEM Commissioner. Welcome, Joe.
So, it was a hot weekend for sure. Now, we’re going to see temperatures climb to 95 degrees today, and it will probably be similar tomorrow – that’s what we’re hearing at this moment. So, today, we have a combination of heat and humidity that will produce a heat index above 100 degrees. So, very important to let the people of the City know, this is going to be exceptional heat today. And very important that we look out for those who are in particular need – our seniors, children, people with pre-existing health conditions – respiratory conditions, for example, really flare up in this kind of environment. Asking all New Yorkers – look out for your family, look out for your neighbors that might be in any situation where this heat causes them particular duress. I also wanted to emphasize, as a parent, to my fellow parents – never leave a child unattended in a car in this kind of heat. It could be a very, very dangerous situation. We have seen some power outages around the City. Joe can go into that, but, generally, the power outages have been resolved quickly. But it is imperative that all New Yorkers understand we all have a role to play in avoiding power outages. That’s why we really want people to take heed of the instruction to set thermostats to 78 degrees. 78 degrees will keep you cool enough, it will keep you safe, but it will allow us to protect against blackouts and power outages, and no one wants to go through that. So, this is a situation where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – asking everyone to set their thermostats to 78 degrees. We are going to be very vigilant around homeless individual throughout the street who may be in danger – there’s a Code Red alert now for the Department of Homeless Services. So, extra care will be taken, looking out for any homeless who may be in duress – or, distress. Key ideas for the day – if you don’t have to be outside, don’t be outside; drink lots of water – real basics. We have 500-plus cooling centers around the City for anyone who does not have a cool environment of their own, they can go to one of them – they’re open, they’re free. Again, keep an eye on neighbors. We’ve talked about this before, if you are inspired to use a fire hydrant to cool off, the only way to do that appropriately is with a spray cap from the FDNY. They will give you one. Don’t do it yourself or you could actually undermine the water pressure and make the situation dangerous on your block. And we’re going to have a lot of the Water-On-The-Go fountains available across the five boroughs. You’ll see a lot of those out and about. Anyone who wants to know where those are can dial 3-1-1. And if you feel you’re in danger, seek help. Again – heat – the danger of heat can sneak up on people. If anyone feels they’re unsafe, it’s important to seek help. Also, last but not least. Keep an eye out for your pets. They go the same exact conditions that we do. Quickly in Spanish, and then we’ll take questions and Joe will help me out with that.
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish.]
With that, we’re going to take questions on the heat wave and then we’ll go to general topics. Anything about the heat wave? Questions – yes?
Question: This may be for the Commissioner. Could you elaborate more on what efforts are being taken to ensure there aren’t black outs or brown outs?
Commissioner Joseph Esposito, Office of Emergency Management: Sure. Con-Ed and PSE&G should be monitoring the situation citywide. We have people – my shop has people in their command center, monitoring the conditions every minute. Over the weekend, some of the actions they took was voltage reduction, which means – if you get a five percent voltage reduction, usually you won’t notice any type of results. When you go to an eight percent – which we had in couple of areas over the weekend, you might see your lights getting a little dimmer, your air conditioner may not work as well, and you could have some issues with some elevators because it’s a lot of juice to run the elevators. So Con Ed is on it – constantly monitoring it. And if they need to, they can shed some loads or a reduction, and they have extra crews on hand to address anything that does come up. Over the weekend, we had almost – over 4,000 customers without power – the majority of them were in Staten Island and Upper Manhattan, and that was adjudicated by late Saturday, early Sunday. So Con-Ed, PSE&G – they’re on it constantly. Right now, there are about 51 customers citywide that are out. We’re staying on top of it.
Question: And is there greater concern now that [inaudible]?
Commissioner Esposito: Well there’s always a concern when the weather is this hot. The heat index is going to be over 100 today. So we know that people are not going to listen to some of the recommendations that we make. They’re going to crank their air conditioner up. We ask them to listen to what we said. But yes – look, and it runs in cycles. The Financial District, the areas where you have a lot of businesses – Manhattan, Lower Manhattan – on the weekends, there’s not that big of strain. There will be a bigger strain today. And then ultimately – normally when you go at home at night – people what do they do? They crank up their air conditioners. So we monitor all of those situations.
Mayor: Yes, I just want to [inaudible]. Really, this is a common sense thing. No one wants to go through another blackout. And no one wants to have their building without power. You can do something about it. It’s really important. Put up with a little less comfort – 78 degrees, you’re still going to be okay. If it was a normal outside day – it was 78 degrees – everyone would say what a nice day. So 78 degrees inside – you’re going to be okay. But you’re going to also help because imagine if every single human being cranks up the air conditioning the way Joe just said – you’re unfortunately running a big risk of a blackout for all of us.
Anything else on the weather? Questions related to the weather situation, the heatwave – going once, twice, three times.
Okay – someone in the back had a question earlier. Go ahead.
Mayor: Debbie Wasserman Schultz – yes, it was time for her to go. There obviously were a number of revelations that were very troubling. And I think it was important for her to move on so that we can focus on Hillary Clinton and electing Hillary Clinton – focus on the unity of the Democratic Party. I certainly understand the frustrations that a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters felt about her. And if we’re going to have unified party, that takes some real work. And it can’t be done with someone who unfortunately is seen as compromised.
In the back?
Question: You talk about a unified party [inaudible]?
Mayor: I’ve said many times – I think when it comes to getting the work done, we’re getting done what we need to in New York City constantly – lower crime, higher graduation rate, more affordable housing – you name it. When it comes to Albany – the challenges we face in Albany are unfortunately a bit historic – a Republican State Senate that’s not sympathetic to the city and there’s often been differences between governors and mayors. So I’ll always look to work with the Governor whenever we can. And when I think he’s doing something right for New York City, I will commend him, I’ll work with him. When I think he’s doing something wrong, I’ll call it out. I just think that’s the reality we face. We’ll keep working on it. But I think that’s a different question than when the Democratic Party and Democrats in this state are united in terms of electing Hillary Clinton. I think the notion that Donald Trump has put forward that New York State is competitive is preposterous. This is a Democratic state, this is a state that has tremendous respect for Hillary Clinton – and all of us, even when there’s differences on some other issues – all of us will be working shoulder to shoulder to elect Hillary Clinton.
Mayor: I think it hurts city residents when the Governor or the Senate don’t support the interests of New York City. And it’s my job to protect the interests of New York City. And when they do the right thing for New York City – that’s very important, that’s very good, that can do a lot of good for us. But I think, respectfully, I just don’t agree with the premise of the question. There’s not a sort of perfect world where everyone can agree on everything. It is a reality – we go issue by issue, and by job is to defend the interests of New York City. When that is being done properly, when New York City is being supported properly by Albany – that’s great. We saw some instances – pre-K is a great example. It took some struggle, but we got there. And we’ve certainly seen that on school aid as well. There have been other areas where we haven’t seen that like affordable housing and 421-a. So this unfortunately to me is the way things are right now in Albany because of the positions of the Governor, because of the Republican State Senate. And my job is to fight issue by issue to get the best I can for New York City.
Question: Governor – sorry –
Mayor: [Laughter] Well, I appreciate the promotion.
Mayor: Is that all it took?
Question: What’s your plan to help support people in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and points further out, with that 18-month L train closure [inaudible] dedicated bus lanes [inaudible]?
Mayor: So, we’re looking at that very seriously. First of all, I’ll remind everyone the MTA is run by the State of New York. The amount of time that they have projected – the 18 months – is a very big concern for me and for the City government. We’re going to have some very serious conversations about the MTA, about whether it has to take that long and how it’s going to be handled. I want to make sure there’s a lot of redundancy in place. By the time it happens, one – small but important factors – we’ll have the citywide ferry service in place, so that’ll be helpful, but we’re going to need a lot more than that, obviously. So I want to press the MTA to show us that 300,000 riders really will have good and consistent alternatives. And we’re certainly going to look at what we have to do in terms of the bridge as part of that. We’ll have an answer on that after those discussions with the MTA.
Question: Mr. Mayor, I’m wondering if there are other high-level commissioners, deputy mayors you’re expecting to leave on the same timeline as Commissioner Bratton and whether you have a search commission going or what’s your plan –
Mayor: Wow, you got here really early today. It’s – we’re in the 31st month of the administration. There’s a presidential election coming up. Then there’s a mayoral election. We’ve got a lot of things we have to think about in the here and now. So no – there’s not any such apparatus in place. And we’ll cross all those bridges when we get to them.
Question: And none of those others have given you notice of any kind?
Mayor: Again, I think you’re at a very premature place.
Mayor: It can – sometimes yes, sometimes no. But that’s not the point. It’s 31 months in. Right now, we have a huge amount of work to do for this city. That’s what we’re focus on. Each individual has their own life, their own timeline. We’ll deal with that at the time. But it’s something we do all the time. There’s plenty of good talent out there. Yes?
Question: Donald Trump, Jr. said that he wouldn’t rule out running against you next year. How do you feel about that? And would you welcome [inaudible]?
Mayor: I would say it this way. First of all, the broad point I make – I’m very proud of the fact that crime has gone down in this city. I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve increased graduation rates, that we’re producing more affordable housing. We’re doing the things the people of this city demand. And I’ll put that record up against anyone. I’m very comfortable with anyone and everyone who wants to challenge me coming forward. And in terms of Donald Trump Jr. – I will predict something right here and now – that his father and his values will be rejected soundly by the people of New York City in November. So, if after that he thinks it’s a great idea to run against me – be my guest.
Question: Mayor, what do you think about former Mayor Michael Bloomberg supporting Hillary Clinton? And also Melissa Mark-Viverito [inaudible]?
Mayor: On the first one – I think it’s fantastic. I commend Mike Bloomberg for publicly supporting Hillary Clinton. He’s obviously a very important voice in this country because he is an Independent. And it’s good for him to speak to his fellow Independents and say – this is a very stark choice, and I think it’ll be helpful, so I’m very happy he’s doing that. I think Melissa Mark Viverito is an extraordinary leader in general – as a leader of this city – but I think she has an important role to play and has been playing nationally. So I certainly would’ve liked to see her speak, but I know there’s many pressures on that schedule, and I know it’s a tough set of choices for them to make.
Question: Are you pleased so far with the changes [inaudible]
Mayor: I’ll speak to it unless my colleagues want to join in. Of course, they’re welcome. This has become the ultimate broken record. Any changes made to NYPD and Pat Lynch says officers aren’t going to their jobs. I’d like to understand therefore why our officers are doing better and better work all the time. Anyone with eyes can see crime going down, violence going down, order improving. Complaints against police going down, gun seizures going up. The statistics are unbelievable. They’re so consistent. They’re so strong. I think our officers are very devoted to doing their job. What I think was a very valid concern among our officers was two things – CCRB process used to take a very long time. We’ve got that down now to an average of nine months. We want to drive that down further. And we want it to be fair to officers and community alike – a speedy process is very important there. Second, there used to be lawyers who unfortunately – I think in an unscrupulous manner – went after our officers for the flimsiest reasons, and it was the habit of the Law Department for many years to settle those cases rather than fight them. We made a decision – and we put resources behind it – to fight those inappropriate lawsuits, to kind of break the pattern and show those lawyers who were trying to take advantage that they would be met with the full force of the New York City government, and we believe that will end that trend substantially. Those kinds of initiatives – I think a lot of officers recognize are there to make sure they don’t go through unfair treatment, but if you look at the results, clearly our officers are very assertively doing their jobs.
Commissioner Bratton: Looking at the fact that gun arrests – one of the more significantly dangerous activities for police officers – are up by 12 percent in the city. So the representations somehow or another that New York City police officers aren’t going in harm’s way is totally false. And the idea that they’re not going in harm’s way because they’re concerned about law suits, I’ve yet to see during my time a single New York City police officer lose their home or pay a dime out of their own pocket for any of the lawsuits filed against them. Many of which we’re now determining are frivolous as the Mayor has increased by almost 50 attorneys in the city law office to fight those lawsuits and help defend the rights of police officers when they’re doing the right thing. So this is one of those tales that the Mayor can talk about – a broken record that just keeps spinning and spinning. Crime is down in the city dramatically. Shootings are down. We are consciously seeking to issue fewer summonses. We are consciously seeking to make fewer arrests. That’s the stated policy of the New York City Police Department. So what’s the problem? The City’s a lot safer. I use the medical analogy all the time. If a doctor has cured you of cancer, is he going to keep increasing your chemotherapy and radiation after you’re been cured? That would be malpractice. It’d be malpractice on our part to keep increasing enforcement when we have decreasing crime. You adjust it based on the need. Thanks for the question.
Mayor: I don’t have a concern. I think Tony Shorris is one of the finest public servants I’ve ever worked with, and he has an immense amount of material he has to deal with. I think he deals with it very well in a very organized fashion. I think the problem here as we’ve indicated is we had an underlying policy that should’ve been reevaluated. In other words, by trying to look at terms of the specific deed restriction requests, what we should’ve done better – I take full responsibility as the leader of the administration – we should’ve understood that the underlying policy did not represent our values. When we came into office we changed a number of policies related to the NYPD. We changed a number of policies related to the Department of Education, and I could go down the list. I think DCAS – by definition – is a less front and center agency. It’s work is more obscure, more bureaucratic if you will. And we missed this one, and we shouldn’t have missed it, but we did. Now that we’ve caught it we’re going to have a very, very different approach that values things entirely differently than how they were evaluated over the previous 25 years.
Question: Have you spoken to the First Deputy Mayor about [inaudible]?
Mayor: I think if you look across the whole range of issues he deals with, the fact that this is one of the only ones you can raise – I don’t mean this as a criticism of you – but I’m saying we’ve all been together now 31 months this is one of the only things you can say like this. It’s a pretty damn good batting average on his part.
Mayor: Let me say that we’re trying to address legitimate needs of ferry riders. I’m not sure, and I’ll let my colleagues speak to how big an issue is. I’m not sure it’s the biggest problem that there have been some altercations over use of USB ports. I think the solution is to try and provide more and try and help accommodate more people.
Commissioner Bratton: With more outlets, I think that will assist in reducing confrontation, but in significant fashion we will rely on the well-known genteel and courteous behaviors of Staten Islanders as they go back and forth into Manhattan to address that issue with more electric ports open to them, so I think let’s see how it goes with additional electric ports open to them. We’ll deal with it as necessary if there’s any confrontation.
Question: Mr. Mayor what were your thoughts on Donald Trump [inaudible]?
Mayor: Profoundly troubling. Profoundly. And I think the most troubling part of it was that he denigrated the law enforcement community of this country by suggesting that the country is wracked by violence and chaos when in fact our men and women in uniform working with communities have driven down crime for decades. I think it was just such a horrible disservice to this country, and to the men of women who do this work. And I don’t understand anyone who trashes their own country, which is what they’re doing in the eyes of the world. He was trying to tell the people of countries all over the earth that this nation is out of control. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I do think it will hurt him in the long term. I saw he got his traditional short term poll bump. It will hurt him in the long run because there’s too much dishonesty in one speech to be sustained.
Question: [inaudible] have you talked to the First Deputy Mayor. Has he explained to you how that happened? And also why is DOI in a fight with the Law Department over access to -
Mayor: I think it’s totally normal. Two different institutions with two different jobs to do. The Law Department obviously is always going to judge what they think is appropriate. DOI is an investigatory agency. I’m very comfortable that that’s normal. They’ll work it out. Again, I’m very happy for days, weeks, months to keep answering questions about Rivington. I want to make very clear – it was a mistake. It shouldn’t’ve happened. It will not happen again. I don’t see anything systemic in it. I don’t see anything untoward in it. I think it was a situation where something got missed. Again, I have tremendous faith in Tony Shorris. And look at the results. You know, he has had amongst the agencies that he works with directly – the NYPD and the Department of Education – both of which have done extraordinary things under Tony’s watch. And many others – for those of you, for example, the genteel people of Staten Island who like repaving – what DOT has done with repaving, what DOT has done with vision zero – all that has been with Tony’s leadership. So you put up all those successes, and then one mistake was made on a matter that on the scheme of things was obscure. I put things in perspective. I’m very comfortable with the way he’s handled things, but I can tell you one thing – there will never be another Rivington because the reforms we’re putting in place will never allow it and because the buck will stop with me very specifically.
Okay. Thanks, everyone.