Ray Kelly. NYC’s great, tough, longest serving police commissioner. He began 1963 and followed the history of this city’s top cops — 1895’s was Theodore Roosevelt.
Ray: “We don’t even see this new police commissioner. The mayor looks like he wants to be the police commissioner. I think — unfortunately — this is the way it’s going to be for a while.
“New York’s changed but you have to forget panaceas and not turn everything upside down. There are tactics to make us America’s safest big city again. We could make things different.
“One, surveillance. Observance. Restore patrolling plainclothes anti-crime units. That’s effective in fighting street crime. Plain clothes. Don’t see those people in a crowd. They blend in. This sort of function’s been in the NYPD five decades. The last administration eliminated them.
“Two, pat-downs. Stop anyone suspicious-looking in the street. The person needn’t respond — a pat-down is not a search. An officer must be allowed to pat down even for their own protection. That’s in every officer’s toolbox.
“Three. Intensify subway control. More visible officers. We had transit system concerns back in the ’90s. It’s necessary to re-establish safety issues and again encourage subway use. Unless that comes back we can’t recover.
“Recruitment has challenges. People don’t want to be police officers anymore. The department wanted 1,000 recruits. They could only get 600. Look, we must populate Midtown. People have to be back in restaurants, offices. That’s not the case now.
“In the past, we had block watchers who registered with the police and were given a special phone number to call. If they saw something they could immediately contact the police. They had a good relationship, felt they were protecting their neighborhood and brought others onto the team. Might be something to reinstitute.
“A problem is administrations never want to do what previous administrations did. They want to solve all the problems on their own.”
A book for the young’uns — “A Real-Life Fairy Tale: Princess Diana” — comes in September.
Author Emberli Pridham: “Nothing like it on the market that I could find for my daughter. It follows Diana from childhood to teenager to young lady to the prince. I wanted to introduce her elegance, grace, philanthropy into today’s generation. She built bridges to a world people forgot. She supported 100 charities. She exemplified grace and approachability.”
Ten percent of the proceeds go to a UK youth center. Prince William’s on that board.
Next maybe a comic strip to immortalize Me-Me-Me-Meghan?
Crime drama junkie Chrissy Teigen, Mrs. John Legend, is co-producing HBO’s “The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin.”
Chrissy: “Lots of weird projects — dirty sex story things — came at me for producing possibilities. I wasn’t interested until seeing Gwen’s photo. She’d founded a cult called the Weigh Down, named it a Christian diet program, became a church leader, then died in a plane crash. I’m addicted to crime podcasts. And I thought, ‘There’s a story there.’ ”
About Gwen’s crazy cult, weight loss scam and plane crash, Teigen says: “I’m no investigative reporter. I don’t like to scare anyone away. I just like to tell a story. I’m very open. I want people to feel comfortable, not go in guns blazing.”
The series is on now. So don’t weight.
One senior trudging back to Manhattan from Miami — where ambulances meet the planes — said to his wife: “Let’s go sightseeing on Fifth Avenue. On the way back we’ll pick up a little fruit at the supermarket on Lexington.” Answered the missus: “Listen, why should we do everything in one day?”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.