Brooklyn lawmakers on Thursday in Red Hook praised Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s selection of former Police Commissioner William Bratton for the top job at the NYPD.
Some of them, however, using the occasion to slam the “Stop-and-Frisk” tactics of the Bloomberg Administration.
Elected officials issued statements within minutes of de Blasio’s big announcement on Thursday.
Borough President Marty Markowitz, for example, said, "I applaud Mayor-elect de Blasio for his selection of Bill Bratton, a proven crime-fighter with a lengthy record of results, to be our city's next police commissioner. As an architect of the successful Compstat system and a champion of 'broken windows' policing and community policing alike, Bill has already proven that he has everything it takes to keep New Yorkers safe."
Compstat refers to the process where, in weekly meetings, ranking NYPD executives meet with local precinct commanders from one of the eight patrol boroughs in New York City to discuss the problems. They devise strategies and tactics to solve problems, reduce crime and ultimately improve quality of life in their assigned area.
“Bill Bratton is a tried-and-true law enforcement professional with a record of dramatically decreasing crime,” Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights) said. “I commend Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio on appointing Bill Bratton as our next police commissioner. Indeed it was a very wise choice,”
Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Greenpoint-Williamsburg) said Bratton has the necessary experience to ensure that de Blasio’s policies are carried out.
“Mayor-elect de Blasio has been clear and committed to bringing back community policing and ending the era of unconstitutional stop-and-frisks. Bill Bratton has the leadership and experience necessary to lead the NYPD and to ensure that Mayor-elect de Blasio’s vision and policies are implemented effectively and collaboratively,” Levin said.
Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Coney Island/Gravesend) said, "Mayor-elect De Blasio has made a wise and thoughtful choice in naming Bill Bratton as the next New York Police Department Commissioner. Over his many years in public service, I have seen Commissioner Bratton demonstrate a strong regard for civil liberties, transparency, community relations, and an impressive track record in lowering crime.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Borough Park/Midwood), considered a conservative Democrat, had high praise for the selection of Bratton.
“William Bratton has a distinguished record. He played a key role in the 1990s in New York, bringing law and order back to our city. His reputation for working with communities was impeccable and our community is delighted to have him back at a time when crime is becoming a concern again. Personally, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather see in this position,” Hikind said.
However, Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-East Flatbush) was the most critical of the officials whose emails poured into the Eagle after de Blasio’s nomination of Bratton.
"I congratulate Commissioner-Designate William Bratton on his reappointment as police commissioner. ... One of the most pressing issues facing Commissioner-Designate Bratton is the need to take the best of what was done during the Dinkins and Bloomberg/Kelly administrations, and repair the damage done during the last twelve years due to the arrogance and seeming indifference to community complaints, such as the NYPD's abuse of `Stop-and-Frisk’
"By many accounts, Commissioner-Designate Bratton had a mixed tenure during his previous role as commissioner. While violent crime dropped, many communities of more color felt that Commissioner-designate Bratton was not responsive to their needs. While CompStat was ingenuitive in focusing on areas of high crime, this race-to-the-bottom, hyper-focus approach led to the quota system, which is a central problem in Stop-and-Frisk,” said Williams.
In an email to supporters, de Blasio called Bratton “a proven and progressive crime-fighter,” and wrote that he has directed his new police commissioner to continue the NYPD’s success in keeping the city safe from terrorist threats, continue keeping the NYPD at the cutting edge of innovation and pioneering police strategies, and repair relations between the police and the communities.
De Blasio also wrote in his email that he has instructed Bratton to stop the NYPD’s “overuse of Stop-and-Frisk.”
Bratton ran the New York City Transit Police Department (now part of the NYPD) and the Boston Police Department before being appointed by Mayor Giuliani in the 1990s. While crime dropped dramatically under Bratton, he and Giuliani quarreled, most notably over who should get the credit for anti-crime initiatives. Bratton resigned after two years.