THE BRONX - Mayor Michael Bloomberg is ramping up his defense of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program.

The mayor spoke to a room full of dozens of NYPD members Tuesday, where he touted a drop in the city's crime rates and spoke against a proposal to appoint an inspector general to oversee the force.

He also showed no sign of backing down from his crusade against gun violence. He mentioned the Boston attacks, 9/11 and other local instances of violence to make his case, including the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Alphonza Bryant in Morrisania.