Seems like Ray Kelly's days as our police commissioner are numbered. Bill de Blasio vowed to replace him if elected mayor.
Before you say, "It's about time," think about this: If you are for getting guns off our streets, Kelly has probably done more for you than anyone in city history.
And this: Post 9/11, the dread of knowing our city remains the No. 1 terrorist target has been replaced by a sense of security.
A recent New York Times-Siena College poll on the major concerns of New Yorkers shows jobs and education at the top, with terrorism barely making a blip. Kelly's anti-terrorism campaign has helped provide a sense that we are in good hands, as was evident in the relaxed, happy crowd of spectators around me at the NYC Marathon in Central Park on Sunday.
Yet there are those who speak of Kelly in terms once reserved for bigoted Southern sheriffs. Most of the criticism centers around stop-and-frisk, which was in force before he became commissioner.
I wouldn't be happy if my teenagers were stopped repeatedly on the street, and a strong initiative is needed to make stop-and-frisk less random and adhere to strict constitutional principles.
But with the program understandably concentrated in high-crime areas, it is not a contradiction to say that while a disproportionate number of people of color have been unjustly stopped and frisked, a disproportionate number also have been protected from gun violence in their neighborhoods. In 2012, there were 414 homicides in NYC -- the lowest number since police started keeping track in 1963.
To demonize the commissioner about stop-and-frisk is to simplify a complex issue.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened to Kelly last week at Brown University.
Invited to speak on the subject of proactive policing, he was shouted down and driven from the stage by about 100 students and outside activists. "This was a powerful demonstration of free speech," boasted one of the protest organizers, not realizing the irony of her ignorant words.
But whatever you think of Kelly's reign, there is no doubt the city became safer with him as police commissioner. Hopefully we won't miss him too much.