- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton is defending his comments that morale in the nation’s largest police force is “awful.”

Bill Bratton told reporters Wednesday he stands by what he said in an interview on WABC over the weekend.

He said then that under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, the police tactic known as stop-and-frisk was overused and the department had become “beat down.”

On Wednesday, Bratton praised his predecessor for bringing down crime to record levels. But he said focus groups with officers of every rank and meetings with union officials made it clear that morale was a problem.

He said the comments were not “meant as a shot” at Kelly.

The top union official for patrolmen also said Wednesday morale was bad.

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