By Rich Bockmann
Incoming Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio made one of his most closely watched appointments Thursday when he named Bill Bratton as his administration’s new police commissioner. This will be Bratton’s second turn as head of the nation’s largest police force.
De Blasio made criticism of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices one of the cornerstones of his mayoral campaign, and Bratton will be tasked with maintaining record-low crime levels while reducing the department’s reliance on the controversial policy.
“Bill Bratton is a proven crime fighter. He knows what it takes to keep a city safe and make communities full partners in the mission,” de Blasio said in a statement.“Together, we are going to preserve and deepen the historic gains we’ve made in public safety — gains Bill Bratton helped make possible.”
“And we will do it by rejecting the false choice between keeping New Yorkers safe and protecting their civil rights,” he added. “This is an administration that will do both.”Former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani originally appointed Bratton to head the NYPD in 1994, and the commissioner was credited with reducing felony crime by 39 percent during his tenure. Bratton served only two years and was later appointed as the top cop in Los Angeles, where he reportedly expanded the use of stop-and-frisk.
“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,” Bratton said in a statement. “This department will not rest on its laurels. We are going to continue making history as the safest big city in America.”Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4574