NYPD Commissioner William Bratton kicked off an all-day conference with his executive staff by saying the department is "in a good place" fighting crime to record lows, but added some cops who are "brutal, corrupt, racist and incompetent" must go and will be aggressively weeded out.
Bratton's remarks came as he spoke to 800 NYPD executive officers and staff at the new $800 million state-of-the-art police academy in College Point, Queens. Commanders from all police precincts and assorted commands gathered for soup-to-nuts presentations about everything from Bratton's ongoing re-engineering program to the current state of terrorism.
In his 18-minute opening statement, Bratton said the watchword under his leadership is "collaboration."
Bratton said he wants "proactive leadership," which could build trust and improve how the NYPD interacted with minority communities, neighborhoods which he said still bore the brunt of serious crime in the city.
"Too many of our poor are still living in uncertainty," Bratton said. "The bulk of the crime that is occuring is still in those neighborhoods."Bratton acknowledged the bad publicity recently following arrest videos, such as in the Eric Garner case. Clips of some of those videos were reportedly shown at the conference.
Bratton also noted there were "a very few" number of officers who have no business carrying a badge.
"The reality is that at the moment there are some in this organization who shouldn't be here," Bratton said. "There are a few, a very few in this large organization, who just don't get it, who just don't understand that when they take that oath of office . . . they commit to obeying the law."
Bratton said he planned to work with police unions, district attorneys and others to aggressively get rid of those few who he said were the "brutal, corrupt, racist and incompetent."END
In an impromptu news conference later, Bratton said there was a need to use the entire disciplinary system, including the new inspector general and court-appointed police monitor, to remove problem cops.
Despite better use of personnel through his re-engineering process, Bratton said the reality was that "We are probably going to need more officers." He said he hoped to give Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council a better idea of how large a force the NYPD needed. Current uniformed strength is about 35,000, down from more than 40,000 right after Sept. 11, 2001.