Mayor de Blasio, police union heads meet amid rift

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NEW YORK (PIX11/AP) — New York City's police unions are saying "only time will tell" if relations can be improved with Mayor Bill de Blasio in the wake of rancor brewed over the shooting deaths of two police officers and City Hall's response to protests over police conduct.

De Blasio, Police Commissioner William Bratton and union leaders met privately for two hours Tuesday afternoon.

A rift between de Blasio and much of the New York Police Department's rank and file has widened. Union leaders have said the mayor fostered an anti-NYPD atmosphere that contributed to the officers' deaths.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch said the unions raised safety concerns and that the mayor's "actions will speak louder than words."

A spokesman for de Blasio the meeting was to begin a dialogue to improve relations.

Following the meeting, the mayor's office issued the following statement:

“Today’s meeting focused on building a productive dialogue and identifying ways to move forward together. The Mayor and Police Commissioner remain committed to keeping crime in New York City at historically low levels, supporting the brave men and women in uniform who protect us every day, and finding ways to bring police and the community closer together.”