Former New York City Police chief William Bratton is coming back to take his old job again, replacing Ray Kelly as Commissioner under soon-to-be-Mayor Bill DeBlasio, according to The New York Times.
Bratton previously served as NYC's police commissioner in the mid-1990s, after being hired by Rudolph Guliani. Bratton was credited for instituting "broken windows" policing, a zero tolerance tactic against minor offenses, that helped launch a new era of crimefighting in New York. He's also run the police departments in Boston and Los Angeles.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio ran as the anti-Bloomberg candidate, heavily criticizing his controversial stop-and-frisk policing tactic, but the selection of Bratton could be a move to assuage some city-dwellers fear that de Blasio won't be sufficiently tough on crime. From the Times:
With his hard-charging, press-friendly style, Mr. Bratton managed to garner considerable acclaim for the drop in crime on his watch, even as crime was falling in many other big cities as well. Now, Mr. Bratton returns to a city where crime has continued to fall and where there is less acceptance of some of the most aggressive and confrontational policing tactics. He and Mr. de Blasio will most likely be judged on whether the city can continue to be kept safe from crime and terrorism while quieting criticism over the excesses of policing, especially in minority communities.
The two may have to come to a compromise over the city's future crime-fighting technique, as Bratton has defended stop-and-frisk in the past. ABC reported his statement of support in a story announcing his role as a police consultant for the city of Oakland in March of this year:
"To be quite frank with you, there's not a police department in America that's going to be effective without it. It's a basic tool of policing. But with the responsibility of police, the leadership, the officers themselves, the training they're given, is to always do it constitutionally," [Bratton] said. "Do it compassionately, you are dealing with human beings and to do it consistently."
De Blasio will formally announce Bratton's new position during a press conference in Brooklyn on Thursday morning.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.