A legend returns- Bratton back to NYPD E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Bill Bratton, who pioneered the crime-fighting techniques that helped make New York the nation’s safest big city 20 years ago, is back in the familiar saddle of NYPD Commissioner.
Incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio knows he lucked out with Bratton agreeing to take his old job back. "He knows what it takes to keep a city safe, and make communities full partners in the mission," de Blasio said at a press conference in Brooklyn this morning.

"He understands that residents are safer and communities are safer … when you have a partnership."

As for the stop and frisk controversy that dominated parts of the mayoral campaign recently, de Blasio said if there was someone that could make improvements to the practice it was Bratton
De Blasio said Bratton was the right man to "reform" the practice.

As for Bratton, he sounds like kid at Christmas.

"I love this department," said Bratton. "I have had a love affair with it since 1956."

Bratton, 66, served as NYPD commissioner from Mayor Rudy Giuliani from 1994 to 1996, where he was widely credited for innovation and massive reductions in violent crime.
During his tenure as commissioner in New York, Bratton implemented strategies that helped cops take guns off the street and reduce so-called “quality of life” crimes using what’s known as the “broken windows” policing model.

The street-level drug dealing, muggings and squeegee men which came to define the Big Apple as a high-crime locale were brought down to levels many thought impossible.

But now that New York is the safest big city in America the task at hand for the city’s top cop has been altered.

With crime largely under control and less than 400 murders annually in a city of eight million the challenge now is to engage communities in aggressive crime fighting. Luckily for de Blasio that’s arguably Bratton’s strongest suit.

In a statement released at the press conference de Blasio said Bratton would "bring police and communities closer together by ending the overuse and misuse of stop and frisk.
Bratton said, "every member of the public deserves respect. We must do this respectfully."

Seasoned observers of city politics and policing say if anyone can make “stop and frisk” work better it’s the incoming Commish.

“I think it’s going to send a message to the cops and to the community that you can keep crime down and you can do it in a just way,” said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a national nonprofit that advises law enforcement agencies. “Bill Bratton is one of the most experienced police chiefs in the world. This will be his seventh police chief job. New York is lucky to get him.”

“The challenge back when Bratton came in to New York in the '90s was it had over 2200 homicides,” Wexler went on to say.

“Today it has less than 400. Back then it was getting crime down. Today it is keeping crime down. And doing that in a way that insures the cops that he has their backs and the communities that he understands and respects their needs.”

“I think from my view of the challenges that the NYPD has before it, primarily the public perception of stop and frisk and its impact on minority populations, he is a perfect pick,” said Michel Moore, assistant chief of the LAPD. “He is an insider and an outsider, he has never left New York or that department in his heart.

editor's note: Ray Kelly and Bill Bratton have been excellent friends of American Police Beat over the years. We would like to congratulate Ray Kelly for a job well done and offer Mr. Bratton our best wishes for success going forward.


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