Top cop James O’Neill is glad AG Jeff Sessions is a ‘big admirer’ of the NYPD
“I’m a big admirer as I’m sure you are of the New York Police Department,” Jeff Sessions said.
The city’s top cop is glad U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to have seen the light when it comes to the NYPD.
Sessions has been walking back the bizarro comments he made last week when he claimed New York was “soft on crime” as he announced efforts to pull federal funds from law enforcement agencies in “sanctuary cities” like the Big Apple — despite record low crime statistics.
“I think probably upon further review by the Attorney General’s office they took an objective look at what’s happening in New York City and they see that our words ring true,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Friday. “Crime is down — homicides and shootings, overall crime. Our gang violence is down. And none of that happens by accident.”
On Friday, during an appearance in Long Island to address the ongoing battle against the street gang MS-13, Sessions had nothing but love for New York’s Finest.
“I’m a big admirer as I’m sure you are of the New York Police Department,” Sessions said. “They’ve led the way in community based policing. They’ve proven broken windows strategy works. (They’ve) been very successful in reducing crime and making this nation safer.”
Police Commissioner James O’Neill noted that AG Jeff Sessions seems to have changed his tune.
The recent bitter back and forth came in the wake of the feds warning they will withhold money distributed through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program if city officials don’t prove they’re complying with the Trump administration’s hardline new immigration policies.
O’Neill, who at an April 21 press conference blasted Sessions for his “soft on crime” comments, noted Friday that Sessions seems to have changed his tune.
“I think somebody got to (Sessions) and said, ‘Wait a second, the NYPD does a terrific job. Maybe we need to say something different,’” O’Neill said.
O’Neill said he wasn’t particularly gratified by Sessions’ turnaround.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance (pictured) invited Jeff Sessions to come to his office and “talk about the great work that is being done.”
(Alec Tabak/for New York Daily News)
“I know what the New York City Police Department does every day,” O’Neill said. “I don’t need anyone else to validate that."
Outrage continued to spread Friday over Sessions’ initial remarks.
"I thought the comments were offensive and they were off the mark,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance told the crowd at the National Action Network’s annual New York convention. "The Justice Department described the city as essentially falling into gangland hell, murder after murder.”
“When I was a young ADA in Manhattan there were 600 homicides a year in Manhattan alone,” he added. “Last year we had too many, but it was 49.”
Vance invited Sessions to come to his office and “talk about the great work that is being done.”