T he NYPD will soon be under the leadership of a familiar face.
Earlier in December, Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio selected Bill Bratton to head the New York City Police Department.
Bratton, 66, who served as police commissioner under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, vows to create stronger bonds between New Yorkers and the police department.
“In this city, I want every New Yorker to talk about ‘their police’, ‘my police,’ ” says Bratton, who will succeed Raymond Kelly, the incumbent police commissioner since 2002.
Political commentators note that De Blasio chose Bratton, in response to criticisms from conservatives who warned that the city will return to the days of disorder under his mayoralty.
Bratton, who lead the NYPD in 1994, was instrumental in bringing down crime rates in New York City, following years of violence. He later stepped down in 1996.
De Blasio has argued that the NYPD`s use of stop and frisk under Mayor Bloomberg and Raymond Kelly was unconstitutional. However, critics point out that Bratton heavily used the tactic while he led the Los Angeles Police Department.
Student Sagar Sharma says, “Bratton was the one who established stop and frisk in the first place. De Blasio, when he campaigned, said he was against it. It would be a poor start as a mayor he if does not follow through on his campaign promise.”
According to the New York Daily News, 875,204 people were stopped in Los Angeles in 2009 under Bratton, most of who were Hispanics. In New York City, 53 percent of New York’s 540,302 stop and frisks were African Americans.
On Stop and frisk, CCNY student Tahsin Choudhury says, “It fringes on civil liberties and I don’t appreciate that it perpetuates negative images and stereotypes of the black and Latino communities. Part of the reason why gangs form and gain popularity is because of community discontent with police and a need for their own form of security. So increasing this barrier may perpetuate such crimes.”
Bill Bratton will become the NYPD Police Commissioner on January 1st, 2014.