Representing dozens of countries the graduating class of police recruits filed into the Apollo Theater last Wednesday to complete their final curriculum, a four-day sensitivity training course called Advancing Community Trust.
It was created under Kelly 6 years ago.
"In terms of this notion that there is a schism between the police department and the community, it's just not so," he said.
But Kelly's critics blame him for straining community relations. He became a lightning rod during this year's mayor's race, with candidates zeroing in on the high number of blacks and Latinos being stopped by police.
"I think if we had to do over, a campaign to explain to the public the nuance of stop question and frisk," adds Kelly.
The numbers don't lie, this year the city will see fewer than 400 murders for the first time in recorded history.
Under Kelly's watch, 16 New York City based terror plots were thwarted thanks in part to the creation of the counter-terrorism unit.
Kelly credits some of his success to the NYPD embracing new technology. One of the tools, a network of public and private cameras.
"We've come a long way. The world has come a long way as far as technology is concerned. We are using it, but I would like to use it more," adds Kelly.
The city may be the safest it's ever been, but Commissioner Kelly knows all too well that any gain could be temporary.
"It's difficult to project what's coming down the pipe. The important thing is to do the best you can do on your watch," he adds.