N.Y. post reportedly won't go to Norris

Newspaper reports Baltimore commissioner bypassed for top police job

November 12, 2001|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris reportedly was on the short list of those being considered for New York City police commissioner, but it appears that someone else has been offered the job.

Raymond W. Kelly, who has held several senior federal law enforcement positions and served as New York's police commissioner in 1992 and 1993, has accepted the offer, Newsday reported yesterday, quoting an unnamed source close to Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg.

Speculation about Norris returning to his roots increased last week when New York residents elected a new mayor and the city's top police official announced his retirement. Norris could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Bloomberg, who will take over as mayor Jan. 1, declined to say yesterday whether he had offered Kelly the job. "Well, I did read that in the papers today," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. "Stay tuned."

Kelly, who advised Bloomberg about public safety and criminal justice issues during the campaign, was frequently mentioned in media accounts as the front-runner for the post. Norris and two others also were mentioned often as potential candidates.

Norris met with Bloomberg in August while in New York to attend the funeral of his friend Jack Maple, the designer of the city's crime-fighting strategies.

Norris spent 20 years as a New York City police officer, becoming its deputy commissioner of operations before joining the Baltimore force early last year.

Under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, New York witnessed a historic drop in crime.

But the 40,000-member department was criticized for maintaining poor relations with the black community, especially after two high-profile policing shootings involving unarmed men and the torture of Abner Louima in 1997. Kelly told The New York Times last week that Bloomberg believes the department needs "more community outreach."

The department also must cope with the potential of numerous retirements while continuing to reduce crime and prevent terrorism after the attacks Sept. 11 on the World Trade Center.

New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik announced his resignation Friday, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and work in private industry.

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