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De Blasio Not Surprised By Bratton's Request To Hire More Cops

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio seemed unfazed Tuesday by his police commissioner's request for 1,000 more police officers.

De Blasio told reporters, including WCBS 880's Rich Lamb, that NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has said many times internally that he might ask for more resources.

At a City Council hearing Monday, Bratton said he wanted to hire more officers.

"I think Commissioner Bratton was expressing the same kind of view that every commissioner expresses: that he ideally wants more personnel," de Blasio said. "We're certainly going to have a full process around the city budget."

De Blasio Not Surprised By NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton's Request To Hire More Cops

Meanwhile the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association's president argues New York City actually needs 6,000 additional officers, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported.

"We're the only police department in the country that has downsized since Sept. 11," PBA President Patrick Lynch said. "So in order for us to continue to do the job of keeping traditional crime down, but also the added burden of terrorism, we're going to need thousands more police officers."

Bratton's request comes at a time of increased gun violence across New York City.

In response, the NYPD put more cops in high crime areas and housing projects by paying overtime, Kramer reported. The move resulted in a drop in shootings from 13 percent in mid-August to 7.4 percent by the end of the month.

"That does reinforce the idea that we need more police," Bratton said.

And while Mayor de Blasio has suggested that Bratton's request was only a wish list, PBA President Lynch feels the move is imperative, Kramer reported.

"It's more than a wish list, it's a necessity," he said. "Our police officers can only stand up on their feet so long, filling it on overtime where they're going to burn out our police officers when we're 6,000 too short."

Bratton's comments came as he announced plans to provide annual training to cops on the use of force following the police custody death of Eric Garner on Staten Island.

De Blasio also backed Bratton on his opposition of a law to make chokeholds illegal. The tactic is currently against NYPD policy, but not against the law.

The mayor said police will be trained to only resort to chokeholds in "exceptional circumstances," such as when an officer's life is in danger.

Garner, a 43-year-old asthmatic father of six, died July 17 after being placed in a chokehold by police. He had been stopped for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

In cellphone video of the incident, an officer is seen placing his arm around Garner's neck and then taking him to the ground after Garner refuses to be handcuffed.

Garner is heard saying repeatedly, "I can't breathe!" He died a short time later.

The New York City medical examiner's office ruled Garner's death a homicide caused by the officer's chokehold as well as chest and neck compressions and prone positioning "during physical restraint by police."

A grand jury is set to hear testimony in the case this month, with the possibility of criminal charges.

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