William J. Bratton reestablished his position as top cop in the New York Police Department today when he was named Commissioner of the NYPD by New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. The appointment was not a surprise, the likely possibility of William J. Bratton being appointed to the post has been floating around the media for months.He previously held the position of NYPD police Commissioner in the mid-1990s.
Bratton’s appointment appears to be supported by other local leaders as well. Former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani expressed his support for William J. Bratton as the NYPD’s next Commissioner several weeks ago despite the fact that he often clashed with Bratton as police commissioner during his time as Mayor. Likewise, both the current and former Manhattan district attorneys expressed their approval of the choice made today.
Mayor-elect de Blasio, who will take office January 1, 2014, campaigned on issues relating to proper police procedures, in particular the “stop and frisk” procedure and is looking to turn the tension that has developed in recent years between New York citizens and the NYPD around. He hopes that William J. Bratton will be the man to do just that.
William J. Bratton’s return to serve as New York’s top cop is under very different circumstances now than it was during his first tenure as Commissioner in the 1990s. Today the city has much lower crime rates overall, a record low murder rate, and its citizens have become much less tolerant of aggressive policing procedures, including specifically the “stop and frisk” procedures which many claim are unfairly targeting minorities. Bratton expressed great confidence in his ability to get the job done and stated upon appointment, “I will get it right again in New York City.”
Bratton is known for his confidence and big personality and he is not one to shy away from the spotlight. He is also known for results. In addition to having served previously as Commissioner of the NYPD, he also led the previously independent New York Transit Police. He has also served as a leader in the Boston and Los Angeles police departments. During his previous tenure in New York, crime rates plummeted, as they did in Los Angeles under his direction as well. William J. Bratton has also been credited with cleaning up the image of the previously scandal-laden Los Angeles police department during his time of service there.
William J. Bratton is a native of Boston and began his career as police officer with the Boston Police Department in 1970. He credits his career in law enforcement to a book he checked out of the public library as a child titled “Your Police.” He describes the theme of the book as being about police officers being friends who are there to protect.
He is also a veteran of the United States Army and served in Vietnam. Today he is known for lecturing and writing on many law enforcement topics and is the Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He is also the CEO of Bratton Group LLC, a company which offers “consulting, leadership, management and public safety networking services to both the public and the private sector in the United States and abroad.”
Today, as William J. Bratton reflects upon all that he has accomplished and resumes his position as top cop in the NYPD, leading the largest police force in the country, it is safe to say that a young boy’s dream rooted in a simply library book has truly been achieved.
By Michele Wessel