Responding to questions about a dramatic increase in violent assaults downtown, NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters yesterday that police are "aggressively investigating" the crime wave, while acknowledging that "there also has been a bit of a hate crimes element in some of those crimes, so our Hate Crimes Task Force is doing an investigation." But Kelly also stressed that "the rise in those assaults we believe emanated from clubs," and that insisted that overall crime is down in the Village. The remarks came after a City Council budget hearing, during which he warned that the impending $20 million in NYPD budget cuts could mean less cops on the street, because the department will have to fire 395 civilian administrative aides who type and file reports. At first they'll be replaced with cops on restricted duty, but Kelly predicts that officers will eventually be pulled off patrol to help with paperwork. The police force is already down to 35,571 cops, from 40,000 in 2001, and one source points out the obvious to the Daily News: "Anyone pulled in to type is a dead waste of people."