Lew Leone is the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5. He is taking to the airwaves with his thoughts on current affairs. It's called "Lew's View." In this commentary, Mr. Leone says he is disappointed in Bill Bratton's editorial on crime.
Bill Bratton was an excellent choice to be police commissioner of New York City, and I think he has done a good job. That's why I was so disappointed to read Bratton's editorial in the New York Post which downplays the significant rise in shootings and murders in the city during his tenure.
In his editorial Bratton chastises the media for "verging on hysteria with their predictions of impending doom."
Well, we in the media are used to being constantly blamed for many things and scapegoated as the cause of the problem. However, I know that here at Fox 5, our viewers like to make up their own minds. So you decide: is a 20 percent increase in murders a "relatively minor increase" as Bratton says or is it something to be taken seriously?
Bratton does not want you to decide for yourself what the numbers mean and his editorial feels like a political maneuver to provide cover for his boss Mayor Bill de Blasio.
He is going out of his way to avoid using the increases in murders and shootings as a reason to add 1,000 officers to the police force which is something he really wants.
It seems obvious that de Blasio suggested this editorial and ordered the commissioner to deny any connection to the decrease in stop and frisk and the decriminalization of marijuana to the uptick in crime in return for some payback for Bratton down the line.
The safety and security of the citizens and tourists in New York City should be Bratton's prime concern as none of us want to return to the bad old days. Well, the bad old days don't just happen overnight. They come in waves and surges and steady increases over time.
Bratton should stay out of the politics, quit blaming the media, deal with the frightening increases in shootings and murders and stop covering for his boss.