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De Blasio Says NYPD is 'Moving in Right Direction' Towards Ending Slowdown

 Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's "confident we're moving in the right direction" following the NYPD's arrest slow down.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's "confident we're moving in the right direction" following the NYPD's arrest slow down.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

QUEENS — Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday he believes the NYPD is getting back on track after what Police Commissioner Bill Bratton acknowledged last week was a work slowdown following the murder of two NYPD officers in Brooklyn.

“I’m confident we’re moving in the right direction,” de Blasio said. “Every public servant needs to do their job. But I think in the interest of moving us forward, they’ve taken the right approach and we’re seeing good results.”

Bratton admitted there was a slowdown in an interview Friday with NPR, but insisted that it would be fixed.

“We’ve been taking management initiatives to identify where it’s occurring, when it’s occurring,” Bratton told NPR. “I think the officers themselves have… been beginning to return to normal patterns of work. So we’re coming out of what was a pretty widespread stoppage of certain kinds of activities.”

Arrests dropped more than 90 percent in the first week in January, police said.

Bratton also said officers were returing to "normal" activity, and that arrestest increased during the first full week of January.

"We are still concerned with the levels of activity, but they are returning to normal, with each passing day, with each passing week," the commissioner said during a separate press conference at police headquarters Monday.

Summons were down about 70 percent the first full week in January, compared with 2014, according to CompStat numbers. 

Summons were down by about 90 percent the week before. 

The slowdown came following the shooting deaths of Dets. Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on Dec. 20.

Hundreds of officers turned their backs on de Blasio at the funerals for the officers, claiming the mayor did not support them.

The mayor was also booed by spectators at the NYPD's academy graduation late last month.

De Blasio praised Bratton’s handling of the apparent slowdown and said he is confident in the city’s 35,000 uniformed officers.

NYPD slowdown notice

“I think our men and women in the NYPD are actually motivated to do good,” de Blasio said. “The vast majority of our officers are here for the right reasons and are doing their job very well.”

Bratton was reluctant at first to call the drop in the number of arrests a job action and said that further study was needed.

He also said that he would respond "very forcefully" to any confirmed job action.

Sources said that signs were placed in certain precinct stationhouses saying that no sick days and other time off were permitted going forward.

Other types of time off had to be approved by top ranking police officials, according to the flier.

It was not clear who created the flier.

The commissioner denied that commanding officers were denying sick or vacation days. 

“We have not, despite the reporting in several of the news outlets, we have not been canceling vacations," Bratton said. "By contract we cannot, unless in terms of an emergency situation. What we are dealing with is not an emergency situation."