- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said Sunday that he’s seeking funding for 450 additional police officers to fight new terrorist threats posed by the Islamic State militant group.

In a radio interview on AM 970, Commissioner Bratton cited a “significantly increased threat” from the terror group, which he said is “using social media to recruit people not only to go to Syria to fight, but encouraging people — whatever country they live in — to attack police, to attack government officials.”

“We are entering a new era where we cannot live in fear, but we have to live increasingly aware of our surroundings,” he said. “This crazy hijacking of the Muslim religion by these fanatics, twisting it into an ideology that’s all about hate and murder and killing.

“I’m going to put another 450 police officers — if we get the approval — to increase the size of the police force, and I need to do it very, very quickly into our counterterrorism operations,” he said on “The Cats Roundtable” program, Newsday reported.

The 450 number represents a midpoint between Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal of zero new police officers and the City Council’s request for 1,000 in the city budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which is still being negotiated, Newsday reported.

Commissioner Bratton said Sunday that he expects the issue could be resolved in the next two to three weeks, the newspaper said.

While Commissioner Bratton and the City Council are somewhat united in their call for more officers, the commissioner opposes council leaders’ proposals to decriminalize low-level offenses such as public urination, Newsday reported.

“I think we’re going to find common ground where I get to keep the powers my officers need. We will be able to still enforce these quality-of-life laws,” the commissioner said, “but the process will ensure that nobody is inappropriately jailed or significantly inconvenienced.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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