NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly discussed stop-and-frisk, death threats and suicide at the 9/11 Memorial in a new Esquire interview that will hit newsstands on Feb. 21st.
In the interview, conducted in December but published Wednesday, Kelly said he gets death threats as the head of the department and disclosed that he carries a gun from his days in the police academy.
"I'm a nice guy, but people want to kill me," said Kelly.
He also defended the department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, calling it a “lifesaver.”
With 6,000 fewer officers than a decade ago, he said, police were able to recover 8,000 weapons in one year through the program, which some criticize as racial profiling.
“What we’re doing is saving lives, and I think that message is, unfortunately, lost,” he said.
He also described the scope of the NYPD's involvement in fighting terrorism throughout the world, even sending police officers to Mumbai when terrorists bombings happened there in 2008.
"When the coordinated attacks happened in Mumbai, India, in 2008, we had people there right after the shooting stopped," Kelly told Esquire. "The Mumbai police welcomed us in."
He also said officers are concerned about suicides at the 9/11 Memorial, specifically people jumping into the reflecting pools. The waterfalls at the site extend three stories down into pools, according to the New York Times. The pools themselves contain less than two feet of water.
“We’re concerned about the possibility of somebody jumping in. This is what we’re paid to think about," said Kelly, adding that the NYPD "actually has a plan for when that happens."
The interview occurred before two of the most recent controversies to come before the commissioner: In late January, Kelly's son, "Good Morning New York" anchor Greg Kelly, was accused of rape, but the Manhattan DA's office said they reviewed the evidence, but deemed that a crime did not occur..
Kelly also faced criticism for “The Third Jihad,” a film that features extremist views against Muslims. The documentary included an interview with Kelly, which he later said was a mistake.