Bill Bratton, whose tenure as New York City police commissioner in the 1990s was marked by a steep decline in crime and clashes with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has been chosen to lead the nation's largest police force again. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced the appointment today, saying Bratton is a "proven crime-fighter" who knows how to keep the city safe. Bratton is being named to lead the NYPD as it tries to maintain a historic drop in crime and an extensive counterterrorism program, even as its tactics have come under increased scrutiny.
Bratton, who has also led the Boston and Los Angeles police departments, will succeed Raymond Kelly, the NYPD's longest-serving commissioner. "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. "We will do it by rejecting the false choice between keeping New Yorkers safe and protecting their civil rights." Bratton, known for his outsized personality and fondness for the limelight, was police commissioner under Giuliani from 1994 to 1996. He emphasized the broken-windows theory of police work: that criminals who commit small crimes, such as vandalism, also commit more serious crimes. (Read more William Bratton stories.)