Public Safety & Justice

William Bratton to Lead NYPD Again

December 6, 2013

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has chosen former NYPD commissioner William Bratton to lead the department again.

De Blasio announced the appointment Thursday, saying Bratton is a “proven crime fighter” who knows how to keep the city safe.

“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 grassroots — the cop on the beat talking to the neighborhood resident — is fundamental to protecting our city.”

Bratton is arguably the most important administration appointment for the incoming mayor. Bratton will succeed Ray Kelly, the NYPD’s longest-serving police commissioner.

“You’ve heard me quote Commissioner Bratton over the last year or two, and as I came to know him, I knew that we were kindred,” de Blasio told reporters during Thursday’s announcement. “I knew it in my soul that we were kindred, that we shared the goals, the same beliefs and that we’d work well together.”

Bratton is being named as the NYPD tries to maintain a historic drop in crime and an extensive counterterrorism program, even as its tactics have come under increased scrutiny.

“Together, we are going to preserve and deepen the historic gains we’ve made in public safety – gains Bill Bratton helped make possible,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We will do it by rejecting the false choice between keeping New Yorkers safe and protecting their civil rights. This is an administration that will do both.”

Bratton ran the NYPD from 1994 to 1996, when he worked for Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Their tactics are largely credited with beginning a sharp decrease in the city’s crime rate.

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