With his department under scrutiny for allegedly falsifying crime statistics, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is still landing high approval ratings, besting Mayor Bloomberg and matching the top cop's highest figures of all time. A new study found that 70 percent of New York voters approve of Kelly's performance, while earlier this week researchers revealed that only 60 percent approve of Bloomberg. Does that mean Kelly's could be a contender for Mayor in the next election?

According to a Daily News piece on the Quinnipiac study, Kelly said his popularity is based on the work of his officers. "I have the benefit of the great work that the men and women in the department are doing," said Kelly. "They've reduced crime and prevented another terrorism event." The second-term commissioner's popularity differed between voters of different races, with 80 percent of white voters approving of his work, 64 percent of Latino voters saying he does a good job, and 58 percent of black voters giving him the thumbs up.

Kelly's relatively high marks come at a time when barely one-half of New Yorkers said they trust the NYPD's crime statistics, which whistle-blowers have said are manipulated in order to make crime rates appear lower. An NYPD spokesman insisted more New Yorkers would have said they trusted the figures, had the backlash against the Compstat system not emerged so recently. "The confidence level would have been significantly higher if the poll was not taken during a week when people were not casting aspersions on Compstat."