Former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly went on a local talk show hosted by billionaire John A. Catsimatidis to discuss the current mayor’s plan to close Rikers Island and other current issues and parsed no words.
“Closing Rikers Island is a key piece of creating a smaller, safer and fairer criminal justice system in New York City,” de Blasio said in a statement on the Roadmap to Closing Rikers website. “It is the right thing to do, but will take time, the effort of many and tough decisions along the way”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has a 10-year plan to shutter the jail complex for good, and the City Planning Commission has begun the approvals process for his proposal to replace Rikers with smaller borough-based facilities, AM NY reported recently
“I would think it’s better to concentrate and better cover the place with cameras and monitoring devices at that site, as opposed to spreading it to locations throughout the city, which will only annoy and bother people in neighborhoods that worked hard to have a house, let’s say, and then to have a corrections facility right there in their neighborhood,” the former commissioner told Catsimatidis on radio station “The Answer” 970 AM WNYM “I think it’s just unfair. Really unconscionable.”
Kelly also discussed homelessness in the city which was exploded since the progressive mayor de Blasio has reigned over New York City the last 5 ½ years. Similar patterns of increased homelessness have occurred in other major cities ran by uber leftists, such as San Francisco, where a recent report indicated a 17% increase in homelessness over the last 2 years.
NYC has fared slightly better the last 2 years as he city’s street-dwelling homeless population has actually dropped each of the last two years — from a high of 3,892 in 2017 to 3,588 in 2019, according to Department of Homeless Services, as pointed out by the NY Post. Still this poses an important social problem. Over 57,000 currently live in NYC homeless shelters, according to DHS.
“If you walk through the city in Midtown, you get a sense of slippage,” Kelly said regarding the homeless. “It gives a bad message — a bad feeling — for where the city is… think we need public health services to be much more involved in dealing with these people on the street,” he said. “Let’s face it, you can’t have all your faculties if you’re living on the street, not willing to go to shelters, not willing to go to places that can take care of you, give you services.”, Kelly concluded on 970 AM WNYM.
The former police commissioner also discussed de Blasio’s criminal reform ideas such as eliminating cash bail and decriminalizing fare beating on the subways and bus system.
“I don’t understand some of these decisions. They’re just not based on logic,” he said. “Here we have the MTA saying that they are losing a quarter of a billion dollars to fare evasion, yet we are not arresting people who jump over turnstiles. It doesn’t make sense to me”, Kelly told the host John Catsimatidis on his program, called” Cats Roundtable”.
Catsimatidis, a well-known local billionaire who once ran for mayor recently purchased heritage radio station WABC 770 AM for only $12 million.