Bloomberg says he didn’t read the 911-response report but he takes it seriously

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Bloomberg on the set of SNL. (Dan Rosenblum)
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While acknowledging some criticisms of the new 911 system were legitimate, Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the $2 billion system against doubts about whether it had reduced inefficiencies and improved response times*.

“Keep in mind, this is all stirred up by one union who isn’t happy because another union is taking their business,” he said, at a press conference on the set of "Saturday Night Live" to announce increasing spending by film companies in the city. “Let’s put it in perspective and hopefully some of the journalists will look and see where it comes from.”

The city was involved in a legal battle to keep private an unfavorable report conducted by an outside consulting firm on a new 911 dispatch system, after its existence was revealed in a report in the New York Post. The administration, which commissioned the report, fought to keep the results from being made public until a judge forced the city to make copies available. The Mayor’s Office provided abridged copies of the report to reporters on Friday.

Speaking today, Bloomberg said the process of coordinating responses of the police and fire departments, each of which have “enormous history and pride and a belief that they can do everything,” is going surprisingly well.

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“Yes, the report has some things and we’re looking at every one of them and some of the things are valid, some of the things are things you’d like to do someday if you can get to it, some of the things perhaps we can do right now," he said. "We take it very seriously.”

Asked if the report was incorrect, Bloomberg said he hadn’t read it.

“I didn’t say that, I didn’t even bother to read it,” he said. “So, I can’t tell you that. I just tell you in all these things where you stand depends on where you sit, and if you want to think things are good, you can come up with numbers to say it. If you want to think things are bad, that's fine. I don’t want to get involved in another union dispute.”

Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser clarified afterward the city's position that the current 911 systems can't be compared to the old one, which required two separate pieces of data to be accessed to determine response times.

"You can't do an apples-to-apples comparison, because we have a system that used to have two apples that we've taken to one apple, if you would," he said. "We had a system that was duplicative. You can't compare the times now compared to the times then because ... they are not the same system."

Asked whether Bloomberg really hadn’t read the 911 report, he shrugged.

*language amended from the original