Police officers stand in the rain near the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York during the funeral service for slain New York City Police (NYPD) officer Randolph Holder in the Queens borough of New York City on Oct. 28, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Raymond Kelly, former commissioner of the New York City Police Department, called for a stricter vetting process for immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries, defending the city’s controversial surveillance program that President-elect Donald Trump’s potential Muslim registry system could eventually reflect.

The former top cop, who currently serves on the Council of Foreign Relations, said on his AM970 radio show Sunday morning that the city’s demographics unit surveillance program was "very effective" in finding terror leads. The secret program was uncovered by the Associated Press in 2011, before eventually being disbanded in 2014 by Kelly’s successor, Commissioner William Bratton. Kelly maintained the surveillance of Muslim communities was simply "misunderstood" and similar "pro-active policing" would be needed to prevent attacks such as the one targeting a Berlin Christmas market last week that killed 12 people.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly speaking at a press conference May 25, 2012. Reuters

"We wanted to find out more granular information about who lives in New York City, the most diverse city in the world," Kelly said Sunday. "Its purpose was ... to gather information about the citizens and the neighborhoods, to determine where people might go who came to New York, came to our city, to do us harm."

There is no evidence the NYPD’s demographics unit surveillance program uncovered any terror plots throughout the city.

"There was not one actionable piece of intelligence that came out of that unit," Bratton said in 2015. A federal court later determined New York’s police department had a "systemic inclination" to obstruct first amendment rights, including freedom of religion.

Like Trump, Kelly has continued his support for some of the Big Apple’s most controversial legislation in recent years, including the city’s stop-and-frisk program which was later ruled unconstitutional in 2013 and disbanded. Trump has denied stop-and-frisk was deemed unconstitutional, claiming the program was "taken away" by a "judge who was a very against police judge."

Members of Join MoveOn and DRUM march past the White House during a protest to shut down the existing Muslim registry program NSEERS in Washington U.S., Dec. 12, 2016. Reuters

Kelly does not have a position on Trump’s White House transition team, nor has it been reported he is advising the president-elect on fulfilling any of his most controversial campaign promises, including a Muslim surveillance or registry system. It’s been reported in recent weeks, however, Trump’s initial ban on Muslims policy has now evolved into a system that could mirror a registry for immigrants traveling to America from predominantly Arab regions of the world. President Barack Obama fully shut down the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System last week, though it has not been used since 2011.