NYPD commissioner: New York hasn't returned to the 'bad old days'

Police Commissioner James O'Neill is taking aim at sensational headlines claiming the water dousing of police officers is a sign the "bad old days of disorder" are back in New York City.

In an exclusive interview with FOX 5 News, O'Neil said the city and the residents of today are "so much better" than those of the 1980s and 1990s.

"I was here in the '80s. I was here in the '90s. New York in 2019 is not that. We are so much better and I'm not talking about the NYPD, I'm talking about all 8.6 million New Yorkers," O'Neill said.

He said a recent tabloid headline that screamed "Total Anarchy" was totally wrong.

"Total anarchy was 2,245 homicides," O'Neill said, referring to the number of killings in 1990. "Total anarchy was 5,000 shootings and 600,000 part-one crimes."

O'Neill says the latest incidents of disrespect deeply disturbed him but said that police have always faced anti-police attitudes among some people.

The commissioner says the recent cases should not overshadow the positive work that is going on and no matter what, the department will continue to push crime down.