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De Blasio appoints William Bratton as Police Comissioner

Cyril Josh Barker | 12/5/2013, 2:17 p.m.
NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio appointed William Bratton back to his position as commissioner of the NYPD.

Bratton brings almost 50 years of experience as he makes his way back to New York to replace outgoing commissioner Raymond Kelly. Bratton, 66, recently served as commissioner over the Los Angeles Police Department and was the NYPD commissioner under Mayor Rudolf Guliani in the 1990s. He has twice served as President of the Police Executive Research Forum and in 2009 served as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. As Chief of the New York City Transit Police, Boston Police Commissioner, New York City Police Commissioner and Chief of the LAPD, Bratton revitalized police morale and cut crime significantly in all four posts. In New York, he led the development and deployment of CompStat, the command and accountability system which has revolutionized policing all over the world.

De Blasio made the announcement Thursday in Brooklyn at the Red Hook Justice Community Center.

I am choosing the best police leaders in the United States of America,” de Blasio said. “He’s focused on preventative strategies, proactive strategies, innovation, the use of the latest technology, but also good old-fashioned understanding that communication at the grass-roots — the cop on the beat talking to the neighborhood resident — is fundamental to protecting our city.”

Bratton said that he looks forward to coming back to the city and plans to use several tactics in making the city safer.

Who is Bill Bratton?

  • Originally from Boston, Mass.
  • 66 years old.
  • Previously served as NYPD Commissioner from 1994 to 1996.
  • Served as chief of police of LAPD from 2002 to 2009.
  • Served as Boston Police Commissioner from 1992 to 1994.
  • Married four times, current wife is TruTV analyst Rikki Klieman.
  • Father to one son.
  • Is CEO of Bratton Technologies, the first secure, global law enforcement professional network.
  • Has served twice as President of the Police Executive Research Forum
  • Served as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association in 2009

“Mayor-Elect de Blasio’s priorities are my priorities. This is the best police force in the nation, and we are going to ensure our men and women have the best technology, the most innovative tactics and the strong support of the communities they protect,” said Bratton. “This department will not rest on its laurels. We are going to continue making history as the safest big city in America.”

Rumors have been swirling for some time that Bratton was going to get the job, But other contenders for the position included Police Chief Phillip Banks.

While de Blasio was praising his new appointment, others were quick to criticize. Bratton was the city's police commissioner when stop-and-frisk was implemented during the Giuliani administration. While in Los Angeles it was used widely, however, Bratton claims the practice cut crime.

Bratton is also noted for believing in the "broken window theory" which dictates that if petty crime is not dealt with it will lead to bigger problems.

What people are saying out newly-appointed Commissioner Bill Bratton

  • The Rev. Al Shaprton: “I had a long phone conversation yesterday with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio about his choice of Bill Bratton as the next Police Commissioner of New York City, and I spoke this morning with Bill Bratton. I have worked in both adversarial and positions of alliance with Bill Bratton, and I shared my views on both with Mayor-elect de Blasio and him.”
  • City Council Member Charles Barron: “Asking Bill Bratton to come back and stop racial profiling stop and frisk is like asking an arsonist to help you put out fires,” says New York City Councilman Charles Barron. Councilman Barron further states, “for Bill De Blasio to run a campaign on a platform of stopping racial profiling stop and frisk and then select William Bratton to become the new police commissioner is hypocritical. Bratton is the architect of racial profiling. He along with Giuliani devised the concept of stopping every Black and Latino youth in in the City with the hope they will find a criminal. Bratton created racial tension and resentment with his policing methods not only in the Black community in New York, but also in Boston and Los Angeles. This is an insult to the Black and Latino community and every voter of good conscious who gave De Blasio their support.”
  • Communities United for Police Reform: “We applaud Mayor-elect de Blasio’s strong commitments to stop-and-frisk reforms, the Community Safety Act and police accountability as public advocate, during his mayoral campaign – in which they were a major part of his platform – and as mayor-elect. As his choice for police commissioner, Bill Bratton must turn the page on Commissioner Kelly’s failure to address stop-and-frisk abuses and related discriminatory policing. It's critical that Mr. Bratton rejects policies that rely on discrimination, demonstrates a commitment to true accountability, and works to ensure the department values officers’ abilities to build respectful community partnerships based on respect for the dignity and rights of all New Yorkers rather than on discrimination-based stop, summons and arrest quotas.”
  • Congresswoman Nadia Velazquez: “William Bratton is a strong choice for New York Police Commissioner. I believe he will help build relationships between our city’s diverse communities and the police force, while making all our neighborhoods safer.”
  • City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez: "With the appointment of William Bratton, New Yorkers will have a Police Commissioner dedicated to keeping our city secure while respecting our communities' constitutional rights. Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to make his selections deftly and with the insight of a true leader. I look forward to a new era in policing where officers and community members can work together to solve crimes."
  • Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer: “I applaud Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton as New York City’s next Police Commissioner. During his distinguished career — heading police departments in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles — Bill Bratton has been a national leader in reducing urban crime, as well as working productively with the communities he’s served. He knows that law enforcement must be fair and constitutional as well as tough and effective, and I am confident he will bring this crucial balance to his new duties in the nation’s largest city.”
  • Bronx Borough President Ruben Dias: "With his choice of Bill Bratton as Police Commissioner, Mayor-Elect de Blasio is poised to continue decades of progress that have made us the safest big city in America and have driven crime in the Bronx to an all time low.  Mr. Bratton knows we don't have to choose between keeping our people safe and protecting their rights. We can and will have both,”
  • Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz: "I applaud Mayor-elect de Blasio for his selection of Bill Bratton, a proven crime-fighter with a lengthy record of results, to be our city's next police commissioner. As an architect of the successful COMPSTAT system and a champion of 'broken windows' policing and community policing alike, Bill has already proven that he has everything it takes to keep New Yorkers safe."
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “Mayor Elect de Blasio has made a smart choice for New York in picking Bill Bratton, a law enforcement veteran with a proven record, to lead the City’s police force. As the former Police Commissioner of Boston, Los Angeles and New York, Bill Bratton took on and successfully reined in historically high crime in some of the nation’s largest cities. I commend Mayor Elect de Blasio on his pick and congratulate Bill Bratton on his appointment.”
  • Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance: “Mayor-elect de Blasio could not have chosen a better police commissioner than Bill Bratton. He is an innovative leader who was responsible for cutting crime in the 1990s by modernizing the NYPD. Bill Bratton already has the respect of the men and women in the NYPD, as well as prosecutors. This appointment puts an innovative veteran at the helm of the nation’s finest police department and will ensure both safety in our streets and fairness in the justice system. It’s a great choice.”