BY AMANDA GLODOWSKI AND HEATHER J. CHIN
A new year signifies a time of change and new beginnings, especially for the New York City Police Department (NYPD), as Commissioner Bill Bratton was sworn in this morning.
Bratton, who is taking leadership of the NYPD for the second time—his first tenure having been in the mid-1990s—said he will work to fulfill his promise of improving the relationship between the NYPD and minorities, focusing heavily on the highly controversial stop-and-frisk policies.
During a press conference after the ceremony, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he is going to withdraw the city’s appeal of Judge Scheindlin’s ruling that a federal monitor such as the use of body-worn cameras for some patrol officers would need to be implemented.
Now former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly have defended the city’s current implementation of stop-and-frisk as important to public safety.
de Blasio has described Bratton as “the leading voice” on community policing and a well-respected figure who will improve police-community relations while keeping the city’s record low crime rates down.
de Blasio has also stated that he supports Bratton’s focus on the “broken windows theory” of dealing with low-level criminal offenses in order to prevent them from escalating and to prevent crime from increasing.
Bratton previously served as NYPD commissioner from 1994-1996—under then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican. Since then, he served as chief of police of the Los Angeles Police Department and advisor to the British government—following an offer to become commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, which was stymied due to the fact that Bratton is not a British national. He also served as commissioner of the Boston Police Department prior to his first NYPD stint.