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Mayor De Blasio Defends Crime Stats, Extols Paid Parental Leave Program

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio has responded to comments made by former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly about crime statistics in the city.

Earlier this week, Kelly had suggested that Commissioner Bill Bratton and the NYPD were manipulating crime statistics, the New York Post reported.

During an interview with 1010 WINS' Brigitte Quinn on Wednesday morning, the mayor said Kelly's comments are surprising since his administration is using the same metrics that Kelly used.

"We're using the exact same standards to track crime that Ray Kelly used," de Blasio said. "It was inherited from Ray Kelly. It's the exact same set of metrics."

De Blasio stood by his police commissioner, saying Bratton has driven down crime everywhere that he's worked.

"I don't think anyone has done more to drive down crime, not only in New York, but around the country, in L.A. and Boston. Over the last 30 years Bill Bratton is the gold standard," the mayor said.

De Blasio promised that 2016 will see the lowest crime statistics in years.

The mayor also spoke about his administration's recent move to approve six weeks of paid parental leave for non-union workers in the city.

De Blasio had announced on Tuesday that he will sign an executive order next month adding the benefit.

"And we've talked to the labor unions who will have to look if they want this benefit for their workers, which we'd love to see them take advantage of it," de Blasio said.

In an interview with WCBS 880's Michael Wallace and Debbie Rodriguez, de Blasio said the paid parent leave benefit would make New York City one of the few cities in the country to offer that much.

"When you combine in vacation time, and sick leave, and other opportunities that folks could tap into, that could mean as much as 12 weeks for new parents," the mayor said. "I think for all families it's a crucial, precious time, and it's the beginning of life for a child."

To cover the $15 million cost, the non-union employees will give back two vacation days and the city will rescind a small portion of a planned 2017 raise.

De Blasio said the program will be at no additional cost to the city's taxpayers.

"You know, with our non-union employees, we were able to take some other resources and apply it to this priority, so there's no impact on taxpayers," he told WCBS 880.

The change doesn't affect the city's 300,000 unionized workers. But officials said the benefit can be added to those contracts via collective bargaining.

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