Despite the Associated Press' extensive documentation of the NYPD's anti-terror efforts aimed at New York muslim communities--which involved spying and a questionable partnership with the CIA--and recent news that the department was screening a radical anti-muslim film for trainees featuring an interview with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly himself--and about which Department spokesman Paul Browne initially apparently lied-- a new poll shows New Yorkers still have a favorable outlook on their boys in blue, and are still ambivalent over cops' surveillance of Muslims.
In what is likely a huge point of relief for the NYPD, a new Quinnipac University poll finds 60 percent of voters think the NYPD has acted appropriately in investigating Muslims, while 24 percent said it hadn't.
Additionally, by a 77-16 percent margin, voters said the Police Department has been effective in combating terrorism.
When it comes to Ray Kelly, whose celebrity son was recently accused of rape before the DA dropped the investigation, voters gave the Commissioner a 62-24 percent approval rating, down slightly from the 66-24 vote of confidence he got in December.
And as for the NYPD in general--despite countless stories of corruption, scandal and controversy--62 percent of voters said they were pleased with the way New York's finest are doing their job, compared to 30 percent who weren't. Two months ago, the margin was 62-33.
Of course, 2011 was another year of lower crime in the city and the 10th consecutive year the murder rate has stayed below 600. Also, New Yorkers were shown the perils and difficulties of patrolling the city streets this year after the tragic shooting death of officer Peter Figoski.
Meanwhile, more than 30 Muslim and legal advocacy groups are urging New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to begin a probe into the NYPD's treatment of Muslims, and city councilman Brad Lander has called for the creation of an inspector general's office to oversee the police department.