One Police Plaza

Communicating at Intel

April 7, 2008

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly boasts of having set up a world-wide communications pipeline by posting detectives from Tel Aviv to Santo Domingo.

Alas, there appears to be a communications glitch right at home — inside his vaunted Intelligence Division.

Check out the following e-mail, which comes to us from the deepest recesses of the NYPD.

“So Governor Paterson made his first trip to NYC since taking over the state house. He meets with Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall. PC Kelly is nowhere in sight. Kelly gets wind that Paterson is at the Hall and he wasn’t notified. He immediately calls Cohen and rips into him.” [Cohen, of course, is Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence David Cohen, known to readers of this column as “Confidential Cohen.”]

“Intel/Cohen still has the Dignitary Protection Unit and has an NYPD detective assigned to the governor’s office in Manhattan, and is by the Governor’s side whenever he is in the city. Cohen then rips into Chief Galati.”

[That’s Deputy Chief Thomas Galati, who made his bones with Cohen last fall when he provoked a diplomatic flap by detaining the Iranian delegation, including its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at Kennedy airport for 40 minutes, demanding that the dignitaries all submit to a weapons check. He backed off amid protests from the Secret Service, the State Department and the Diplomatic Security Service — and after the Port Authority contacted chief of Department Joe Esposito. He’s also the same Chief Galati who couldn’t get anyone to come to Intel’s Dec. 6 Christmas party at the Chelsea Brewery, forcing the party to be postponed until after Christmas.]

“Galati calls the detective assigned to the Governor down to 1PP. He explains the situation to the detective. Tells him that Kelly and Cohen are pissed. Tells the detective he has to go inside and take an ass-chewing from Cohen. Tells the detective that he can pick anywhere on the job he wants to go, but he is out of his detail and out of Intel for not making the notification that the Gov. was in town.

“The detective then tells Galati that he’s not going anywhere and that he’s not talking to Cohen. Galati shakes his head and says, ‘What?’ The detective then removes his NYPD-issued Blackberry from his hip and proceeds to scroll through his sent e-mails.

“The detective tells Galati, ‘Look, there’s the sent message to my sergeant, my lieutenant, and oh, look, there’s a sent e-mail to you, Chief, notifying you of all of the Governor’s trips to NYC.’

“Galati takes the Blackberry from the detective and analyses it for himself.”

The person who sent the e-mail then concludes: “I guess e-mails from detectives in the field are not important enough for the Chief to read. And you wonder why morale in Intel is in the toilet.”

Galati did not return a call at Intel for comment.

So is there any significance to the fact that Kelly was not invited to Mayor Mike’s meet with Governor Paterson at City Hall? Your Humble Servant is not the first to notice some recent distance between Kelly and Bloomberg. Maybe the mayor regrets the six-year free rein he has given Kelly, allowing him to become not just the most powerful commissioner in the department’s history but the most autonomous agency head in his administration.

We note, too, that Bloomberg has donated half a million dollars to state Republicans. Maybe he is helping Kelly on the sly, but publicly he has done nothing to advance his mayoral ambitions.

Then there is Mayor Mike’s tepid response to Kelly’s most recent Ground Zero power grab from the Port Authority.

Of course, merely the suggestion of a rift will probably cause Kelly and Bloomberg to hold a joint news conference at which they will profess their love for each other.

A “Letter” to the Commissioner
. From Valerie Salembier, Publisher of Harper’s Bazaar/ Chairwoman of the Police Foundation.

“Dear Ray, How thrilled I was to read in yesterday’s Daily News that last week’s seizure of Nike sneakers and handbags from a Queens warehouse was the largest in the history of the city.

“I know that people who advertise in Harper’s Bazaar will be impressed that you used eight tractor trailers to load the merchandise. Obviously, the “buy money” that the Police Foundation gave the NYPD was put to good use.

“And wouldn’t you know that, as the article said, those counterfeit goods most likely came from China!

“I was disappointed, however, to see there were no arrests. Maybe the Police Foundation should provide enough money to station a detective, maybe two, in Shanghai and/or Hong Kong. I’m sure you will agree that fighting high-end counterfeit goods is every bit as important as fighting terrorism.”