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Bratton: Slowdown in arrests, citations ending

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton answers questions along with

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton answers questions along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during a news conference at One Police Plaza Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in the wake of the shooting deaths of two NYPD officers. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

Police Commissioner William Bratton Friday said a weekslong "slowdown" in arrests and summonses by NYPD officers is ending.

"They never stopped totally working," Bratton said of officers. "Arrests continue to be made, crime continued to go down. . . . Public safety has not been impacted."

His remarks to reporters at police headquarters came after he and other top officials huddled earlier in the day with borough commanders, as well as heads of transit and housing police, to discuss the slowdown.

Bratton said the dip in arrests and citations mostly involved "self-initiated enforcement actions" aimed at protecting the city's quality of life.

In a two-week period ending Jan. 4, officers made markedly fewer arrests and wrote on average 90 percent fewer parking tickets, moving violations and criminal summonses, Bratton said, declining to provide specific numbers.

But he stressed that the drop in police activity appears to be over, based on the latest statistics. "I anticipate early next week it will be probably to normal levels," he said.

De Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak said the mayor is "encouraged" by the trend.

Bratton noted that serious crimes have continued to decrease. Through Jan. 8, there were four homicides compared with 9 during the same period in 2014. There have been 21 shootings this year, compared with 25 last year, he said. Bratton said he had no plans to discipline any officers for engaging in a work slowdown. He said one cop was suspended for insubordination but had no details.

Bratton also gave short shrift to the idea of bringing in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo or someone else to calm the rancor between the city's police unions and Mayor Bill de Blasio. "There is no need at this time for any intermediary," Bratton said.

De Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak said the mayor is "encouraged" that arrests and summonses are expected to return to normal levels soon.

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