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Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's Statement Before the City Council Public Safety Committee, February 21, 2002

Good morning. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.

Policing in America, especially policing in New York City, was forever changed by the terrorist attacks of September 11. The enormity of the attacks cannot be overstated. The immediate costs of the attacks include almost 3,000 lives lost, billions in property losses, and a dramatically weakened economy. The attacks also had an incalculable emotional impact on the survivors.

A large share of the burden to restore both the sense and the reality of security in New York falls upon the Police Department. The Department was certainly not immune from the devastation of the September 11 attacks. We lost 23 of our members, and we continue to struggle with that loss. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of officers still suffer from the emotional impact of witnessing the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. The crisis put a strain on them and on their families, and many still struggle with its physical and emotional effects.

Every member of the department will attend a half-day of stress management education, and counseling will be available to those who need it. Through the Employee Relations Section, the Early Intervention Program and other entities, we've begun to identify officers who need our help, and we're making sure they get the help they deserve.

No city has ever faced an attack of this enormity, and no police department has ever responded so well. The men and women of the Department rose to the occasion, putting aside their own safety to save innumerable lives and to become a national symbol of strength and courage in the face of the most daunting adversity.

There is no question that the Department's response was heroic. That doesn't mean, however, that we can't learn lessons about our response. For that reason, we have retained McKinsey and Company to give us an independent assessment of our response and assist us in identifying those lessons. We will incorporate those lessons into policy and practice.

In the last decade alone, New York City has been the target of terrorism plots on at least four occasions that we know of. First, the truck bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Later the same year a plot was uncovered to destroy several high-profile sites, including the United Nations building and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels. In 1997, New York City police officers foiled an attempt to bomb the subway system, arresting two men in a Brooklyn apartment they used as a bomb factory. Then, of course, there was the horrendous attack on September 11. Two of the four attacks were successful and two attacks were prevented, but the fact remains that New York City is an attractive symbolic and actual target for terrorists.

The Police Department strengthened its response capabilities immediately following the September 11 attacks, and we continue to strengthen them today. For example, we are working closely with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, looking at its facilities and infrastructure to identify and rectify its vulnerabilities and to harden potential targets in the transit system. We have also taken a leadership role in the New York Metropolitan Committee on Counter Terrorism. That is the inter-agency task force created to ensure that federal, state and local public safety agencies work together in a coordinated cooperative effort to deter, prevent and respond to terrorist activities. Mayor Bloomberg will preside at the Committee's next meeting in March.

The Department went to its highest state of alert - alert status Omega - on September 11, and we remain at that level. Target hardening and other security improvements have allowed us to scale back the number of officers assigned to Omega Posts and special security details, and this had tended to ease some of the strain on our officers and on our resources as s whole. Because the level of threat remains high, we continually assess and monitor the staffing of our security details. This level of alert is one of the new realities we face after September 11--- the "new normalcy" of life in New York City--- and both the Department and the City must be committed to this investment of resources over time.

Be assured that additional steps will be taken, and that our restructuring is very much a work n progress. We have a number of strategies and initiatives underway to further refine and improve our capabilities.

First and foremost on our agenda is ensuring a coordinated response. Federal, state and local law enforcement must be involved, taking a more active--- a more proactive--- role in combating terrorism. This administration has assembled a leadership team of the most qualified and capable experts in policing, in counter terrorism, and in the intelligence area. We are mobilizing the experience and expertise that already resides within the Department, but as a reflection of the new realities of policing we have reached outside the agency to create new positions and bring new talent on board. We're changing our organizational structure and our policies to maximize the NYPD's potential, and we're changing our strategies and our training to ensure that our officers recognize terrorist threats and respond to them effectively.

Retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Frank Libutti recently joined us as Deputy Commissioner for Counter Terrorism. He brings a wealth of military and strategic experience in defending our nation from external enemies, and he is applying that expertise in restructuring the Department. The Deputy Commissioner for Counter Terrorism will be assisted by a Medical Advisor, who will provide recommendations concerning the health and safety of officers responding to terrorist incidents. The medical advisor will coordinate Police Department activities with the Department o Health. This will help ensure that we are as prepared as possible to deal with the threat of Anthrax and other biological or chemical agents.

Deputy Commissioner Libutti's Office of Counter Terrorism is charged with the primary responsibility to prevent, disrupt and defeat terrorist groups. To this end, the Police Department portion of the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force has been placed under the Office of Counter Terrorism, and a new Counter Terrorism Division has been formed. The Joint Terrorist Task Force combines the best enforcement and investigative attributes of federal and local law enforcement in a unified offensive against terrorist organizations, giving priority to issues that affect New York City. Under Deputy Commissioner Libutti, the Task Force will be enhanced with additional personnel and resources to secure the highest levels of cooperation and the greatest flow of information between our agencies. The Counter Terrorism Division is a strategic command structure comprised of a Training Section and a Terrorism Security and Analysis Section.

Training is essential if we are to prevent, detect and respond to terrorism. Training provides officers with the knowledge, the skills, and perhaps most importantly the attitudes to recognize and respond to terrorism. Our goal is to create a new mindset among officers--- a mindset in which an awareness of terrorism is always foremost.

We are revisiting every element of the training we currently provide our officers, and revising it to incorporate new knowledge, develop new skills, and shape new attitudes. We will develop and provide state-of-the-art simulation training using the latest technology and training modalities.

The Training Section will conduct research and analysis of terrorist-related matters; it will assess the delivery and course content of the training we provide to officers, and it will create a Regional Training Center for multi-jurisdictional terrorism training. It will also focus on delivering training to corporate security and other private industry contacts who are so important in responding to emergencies in the workplace throughout the city.

The Training Section's mandate includes evaluating and field testing the protective equipment we provide to First Responders and specialized units, researching and assessing the latest devices to detect biological and chemical agents, and ascertaining the best training methods for Department use.

The Terrorism Security and Analysis Section will conduct comprehensive security assessments and analyses of potential threats in the New York City region. Security assessment teams will survey sensitive and high-risk locations, making them harder targets. An Incident Response Team will be poised to respond to requests for assistance at suspected terrorist events, and a Global Terrorism Analysis Section, staffed by intelligence analysts, will serve as a global watch center to monitor events of concern to us.

We've also brought David Cohen on board as the new Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence. He brings more than 35 years of experience in the intelligence community, serving a the Central Intelligence Agency's Director of Operations between 1995 and 1997. His experience, expertise, and insight into intelligence gathering, analysis and operations is unsurpassed.

We've moved the entire Intelligence Division to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence to better coordinate their activities. We're refining the Intelligence Division's abilities to collect and analyze terrorist intelligence and to quickly disseminate that information internally and externally. Intelligence is often the key to preventing and responding to terrorism, and we plan to work with local as well as state, federal and foreign law enforcement agencies to collect, analyze and share information. A number of initiatives are underway to facilitate that sharing.

Both the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and the Deputy Commissioner for Counter Terrorism report directly to me, ensuring that the entire agency responds in a coordinated fashion at the highest levels.

As in our other initiatives, we've stepped outside the department to establish liaison with other agencies that have extensive experience in dealing with terrorism. We're learning from them and sharing our resources with them.

We've established closer liaison with foreign and domestic law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and we are looking to adapt some of their training and their operational experience. These cooperative relationships must exist across the spectrum of law enforcement, and they are absolutely essential if we are to protect the public from terrorists.

Old rivalries and old lines of demarcation that once separated agencies and prevented the free flow of information can no longer be tolerated. The USA PATRIOT Act was a good first step, but we are seeking an amendment to require greater sharing of information between federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as state and local agencies.

For all the effort and resources we've put into preventing, deterring and responding to terrorism, we have not ignored our mission to fight crime. In the year-to-date period ending February 17, overall crime declined 8.5 percent from the same period last year.

The number of Murders declined almost 38 percent, Felony Assaults fell more than 15 percent, and Burglaries are down by almost 10 percent. Clearly, our crime strategies and initiatives continue to work effectively, and we continue to implement new initiatives.

A case in point is our new initiative against identity theft. Working closely with the New York State Police and the Department of Motor Vehicles, the initiative targets individuals who produce, obtain or use fraudulent documents to conceal their true identities. Fraudulent documents are widely used by terrorists as well as by more traditional criminals to commit or conceal their crimes.

Finally, the department faces a number of challenges in the area of personnel and funding.

We are actively seeking grants and other external sources of funding for some of our initiatives, but overtime costs related to the current state of alert remain high. We also face a loss of experienced personnel through attrition and retirement.

We will be developing more specific strategies and legislative initiatives to meet these challenges, and we'll be seeking your support during the upcoming budget cycle.


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