Bill Thompson: Ray Kelly’s ‘done an excellent job’

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Bill Thompson, like every current Democratic mayoral candidate, has criticized the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy.

Like most of them, he nevertheless says he has a favorable opinion of the NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, a consistently popular figure, through good times and bad for his department.

But in an interview with NBC New York, Thompson appeared to go further in his praise of Kelly than he has in the past.

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When asked if he'd "get rid of Ray Kelly," Thompson replied, "It's not about Ray Kelly. I think he's done an excellent job and I happen to personally like the commissioner."

In the interview, Thompson also criticized the stop-and-frisk policy, but stopped short of saying he'd eliminate it.

(Only John Liu, of the Democratic contenders, actually favors getting rid of stop-and-frisk altogether.)

Last month at the National Action Network in Harlem, a firey and energitc Thompson answered a similar question about whether to keep Kelly by saying, "I'm not keeping other people's people."

Council Speaker Christine Quinn has indicated she'd keep Kelly on as commissioner if she became mayor, while Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has said he wouldn't keep Kelly on as police commissioner, told a voter in Manhattan, "Ray's done a great job."

CORRECTION: The original version of this article didn't make clear that de Blasio has ruled out keeping Kelly.