Bratton open to keeping NYPD overseas

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Bratton. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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Bill Bratton signaled on Thursday that he may keep a program that stations NYPD officers overseas, even though the program costs more than $1 million each year, and has yet to yield a single tip that prevented a terror attack.

After a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony at One Police Plaza, the new police commissioner said he was grateful for the years-long funding provided to the department by the New York Police Foundation, a non-profit foundation.

Bratton thanked the foundation, which started by paying for officers to get bulletproof vests, and continues today, he said, “paying totally for the many members of the department who are around the world, ensuring the efforts that commissioner [Ray] Kelly has created to keep this city safe, continue."

"We thank you for that continued support and we encourage that you continue to give it, because I will continue to ask for it," Bratton said.

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The program, started in 2002, reportedly costs more than $100,000 per officer, per year.

During an interview with Reuters at the 92nd Street Y last year, Kelly was asked if there were “any actual tips about potential attacks in New York that you picked up overseas in any of these offices” were NYPD officials were stationed.

“No,” Kelly replied.

The interviewer, Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler, then asked if the goal was more about “getting a sense of what’s going on out there and then applying it” here.

“Yeah," Kelly said. "But also—we also used it for conventional crime as well. It helps with perhaps extradition or just people who may be traveling back and forth.”

Bratton and de Blasio held a press conference after the ceremonial swearing-in event, during which Bratton was asked if he would keep certain aspects of Kelly’s controversial anti-terrorism tactics, like a surveillance program that targets Muslim communities.

Bratton said he could not say for sure, because he was still becoming familiar with the details of the program. He previously said that he was uncomfortable with similar programs, and, as I reported earlier, he quickly abandoned a surveillance program when he was police commissioner in Los Angeles, citing local resistance.

A spokesman for the administration did not immediately respond to an inquiry about Bratton’s plans for stationing officers overseas.