Police Commissioner Dermot Shea on Wednesday admitted he wasn’t invited to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press conference on crimefighting a day earlier amid soaring violence in the city.
Shea, though, insisted the “appropriate” officials — including his top aide, Deputy Commissioner John Miller — were there to announce with de Blasio a so-called “new” partnership with the feds to get more guns off the streets.
“Were you invited to that press conference yesterday?” NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan asked Shea during a morning appearance.
“John Miller is complaining that he doesn’t get enough camera time — that’s what this is all about,” Shea quipped before replying, “I was not. That was the appropriate people to be there.”
He added, “You know, as I said, Pat, if I’m hiding, I’m doing a very poor job. I’ve done interviews on Friday, Sunday, Monday, I think I have several scheduled today.”
Shea on Tuesday instead attended a luncheon for the New York City Police Foundation at NYPD headquarters.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, an NYPD spokeswoman said “the Commissioner and the Mayor have both been available to the press, together, on several recent occasions,” citing appearances dating back to April 27, though the top cop did not take off-topic questions during those briefings.
De Blasio on Tuesday was grilled by reporters about Shea’s no-show as he and Miller announced what they called a “first in the nation” partnership with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to combat surging gun crime in the Big Apple.
“People can ask questions in the negative, I’m going to answer in the positive,” the mayor said. “I think this is a little inside baseball, with all due respect.”
“We are doing what we’ve got to do to set the strategies in place to get past this really tough moment in our city’s history — and we will overcome it,” he added.
Asked to respond to Shea’s comments about his lack of an invite, a City Hall spokesman said, “We invited John Miller to talk about the ATF partnership he is leading yesterday. I don’t know how that wasn’t clear.”