Bratton also helped spearhead the use of CompStat, a data-driven system of tracking crimes that allows police to better allocate their resources to high-crime areas. The real-time system, which is still used today, “changed the game forever,” de Blasio said Thursday.
Crime immediately plummeted under Bratton, but he frequently fought with Giuliani over who deserved the lion’s share of the credit. He resigned after two years.
Bratton, who had led the Boston Police Department and the formerly independent New York City Transit Police before running the NYPD, was tapped to head another big-city police force in 2002. He spent seven years atop the Los Angeles Police Department and is credited with cleaning up the scandal-plagued department’s image. Crime dropped every year he was in office.
He has been working at private security firms since 2009. He was appointed by de Blasio almost 20 years to the day after he was first selected to run the department by Giuliani.
The choice of venue for the announcement, arguably the most important appointment for de Blasio, was intended to reflect a new approach. It was held not at police headquarters or a Manhattan office tower, but at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, a small court in a gritty Brooklyn neighborhood that deals with quality-of-life offenses through alternative means and criminal sanctions.
Many elected officials praised de Blasio’s choice, but Bratton’s appointment triggered grumbles from some liberals, including Brooklyn councilman Charles Barron, who criticized his use of stop-and-frisk. Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton acknowledged he has been both an ally and adversary to Bratton during his previous tenure, but hopes the leaders can work together “to continue the decrease of violence and crime in our community.”
Last year, New York City reported 414 murders, a record low, and this year is on pace to be lower still.
Kelly, who served as commissioner for two years under former Mayor David Dinkins and then 12 years under outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been praised as one of the most effective commissioners in the NYPD’s history.
Besides overseeing the historic reduction in crime, he dramatically bolstered the NYPD’s counterterrorism and surveillance capabilities after the Sept. 11 attacks. The NYPD has foiled more than a dozen terror plots since but has come under criticism for its surveillance of Muslim communities, revealed in a series of Associated Press stories.
Bratton hasn’t commented on the surveillance program. In a statement, Kelly congratulated Bratton on his appointment and said he was confident that the city’s “record of safety will continue.”