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New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to join Council on Foreign Relations

By Deborah Brunswick, CNN
updated 4:38 PM EST, Mon December 23, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will focus on counterterrorism at think tank
  • The Council on Foreign Relations credits him with modernizing the department
  • Controversial stop-and-frisk policy -- which Kelly defends -- is part of his legacy

New York (CNN) -- New York City's longest-serving Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will join the Council on Foreign Relations after he leaves his post at the end of the year, the organization announced Monday.

Kelly -- who served at New York's top cop for a total of 14 years -- will join the council in January as a distinguished visiting fellow. He will focus on national security issues, including counterterrorism and cybersecurity.

"Ray Kelly spearheaded the modernization of the New York Police Department. The result is that crime is down and the NYPD's counterterrorism capabilities are second to none. We are excited and proud to have his experience, expertise, and judgment at the Council," said CFR President Richard N. Haass.

During Kelly's time as commissioner, 16 terror plots were thwarted, including a plan to blow up New York's subway system -- which was foiled by the FBI -- and a close call in Times Square when a lone wolf failed to detonate a car bomb, Kelly told CNN in April.

Kelly's lasting legacy, however, may be New York City's highly controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which Kelly continues to defend.

"Stop, question, and sometimes frisk is a practice, it's a tool that exists throughout law enforcement," Kelly told CNN's Susan Candiotti. He added, "People say, 'Oh, there are 670,000 stops in New York City.' It amounts to less than one stop a week per patrol officer."

During his 43-year career with the NYPD, Kelly served in 25 different commands before being named commissioner.

He will be succeeded by William Bratton, who was New York's police commissioner from 1994 to 1996 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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