By Paul Bisceglio
Bill Bratton served as New York City’s Police Commissioner from 1994 to 1996, when he was forced because of disagreements with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani over credit for the city’s decrease in crime. Now, he is interested in returning to the position.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Bratton has met with mayoral hopefuls Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and media executive Tom Allon to talk about the job.
“I’ll be quite frank, if that position were to be offered, I’d have to seriously consider it,” Bratton told WSJ. “I fully intend, at some point in time, to return to the public sector.”
The city’s current Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, is expected to step down when Mayor Michael Bloomberg leaves office in December 2013, though Kelly has not announced officially whether he would consider serving under Bloomberg’s successor.
Bratton has been Police Commissioner in Boston and Los Angeles in addition to New York, and was even considered for the position as head of Scotland Yard. He currently works as chairman of Kroll, an international intelligence and information management company.
“Bill Bratton is recognized as one of the finest and most respected people in law enforcement in the country and around the world,” Thompson’s campaign said in a statement. “He did an exemplary job as police commissioner of New York City and Los Angeles and his innovative strategies produced a significant reduction in crime.”
Some mayoral candidates have told WSJ that they are speaking with numerous law-enforcement professionals about the position, including John Timoney, who has served as Commissioner of Philadelphia’s and Miami’s police forces, and Garry McCarthy, Chicago’s Police Commissioner.
Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told WSJ that Bratton is greatly admired, but there is a “strong case” to bring in an outsider with a “fresh set of eyes.”
“No knock on Kelly, no knock on Bratton,” he said, “but there’s more than a couple of people who can run the police department and run it well.”
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