In today’s edition of Mike Bloomberg brushing off criticisms relating to the New York Police Department, the mayor dismissed allegations that his office is purposely hiding a damaging report on 9-1-1 response times.
Yesterday, the New York Post reported that Bloomberg’s office is waging an “all-out battle” to suppress a scathing report called “911 CPR” — which has apparently determined that the city’s emergency-dispatch system is on life support. The tabloid, which references a source that calls the report “nuclear,” said that the document, originally called the 911 Call Processing Review, charges that response times to emergencies have slowed, despite more than $2 billion shoveled at the problems.
The 216-page report, written by a consulting firm, was actually commissioned by Bloomberg after the city struggled to respond effectively to the 2010 blizzard — but because it’s damaging to the NYPD, the mayor is making efforts to hide the report, the Post said. No matter what’s in the report, his refusal to release it has certainly raised some suspicions and offered some fuel to loud critics of the mayor and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
On Friday, a state Supreme Court justice ordered the city to release the document, but that directive was postponed after city lawyers made a last-minute appeal.
Today, when asked at a press conference whether he would release the report, he said, “No.”
“It’s a preliminary report, and we’ll put it in when…we get a final report that pulls together all of the relevant data,” he told reporters. “As you know we always release those and we’ll do that.”
“People have to understand, you can get tired of this,” he continued. “These agencies are run for the public, not for the people that work there, and temporary reports that we’ve asked to look at things are working documents, and you have to get those and get them together. And when everything’s clear…what we’ve done and what we have, I’d be happy to release it.”
He went on to defend the 9-1-1 system.
“I might point out that response times are better than they’ve ever been. Deaths from fires and accidents are the lowest they’ve ever been. I think in both cases we started keeping numbers back in 1910 and they’re lower today than they have ever been and the city’s population has doubled so obviously things are working. Can we always do it better? Sure…Anybody that’s got suggestions, we’d be happy to take them,” he said.
Two pols looking to replace Bloomberg as mayor have already jumped on the news, with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer holding a press conference today — alongside the Uniformed Firefighters Association president, and members of the Fire Department of New York — calling on the mayor to release the report. Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson also said the mayor must release the report, adding that “flaws” must be “acknowledged and immediately fixed.”
City Councilman Jumaane Williams, chair of the Council’s Oversight and Investigations Committee, and also a frequent critic of the NYPD, sent out a statement today as well, saying, “The question should not be whether the report has damning results; the question is whether the information is owed to the public. Considering that these are taxpayer dollars and lives at stake, I believe it should go without saying that every New Yorker deserves to hear the unbridled truth about our city’s emergency response system.”