1. William Bratton has been the police commissioner in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. Now, New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has tapped him for the job once again.
2. He was Boston’s 34th police commissioner and holds the Department’s highest award for valor.
3. When he became New York City police commissioner in 1990, he and then newly elected mayor Rudy Giuliani had the unenviable task of making the city safe again. They did it.
4. There was tension between Giuliani and Bratton over who deserved credit for the plunging crime statistics and the police commissioner resigned under pressure.
5. While de Blasio has talked about concerns over racial profiling stemming from stop-and-frisk, Bratton actually expanded the program in Los Angeles. But in his final year, 30% of stops led to arrests, whereas in NYC only 6% did, the NY Daily News reported.
6. Rev. Al Sharpton, an influential activist in the African-American community, said he and Bratton used to have a chilly relationship, but that it has since improved.
He said he had a “very distant and adversarial relationship” with Bratton when he served in New York, but that their relations improved as Bratton served in Los Angeles and they worked together on gang violence and police misconduct, according to the L.A. Times.
7. One of Bratton’s major accomplishments is pioneering the use of the CompStat system of tracking crimes, which proved successful in reducing crime in New York City and is still used to this day.
CompStat is an accountability and management philosophy that is now implemented in multiple cities across the United States.
8. Bratton has taken advantage of his success in law enforcement, penning an autobiography.
9. They love him in England. He was given the honorary title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.
Bratton was excited about that.
“To be honored by Queen Elizabeth II with an award first created by King George V nearly a century ago is quite a humbling experience. When I first pinned on a badge nearly 40 years ago, my hopes and dreams were to contribute to local law enforcement. Now as a recipient of the high honour, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, I see that woven into each success are the dedication and commitment of my partners here and abroad.”
10. But that’s not all. British Prime Minister David Cameron wanted to name Bratton the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner for London in 2011, but was blocked on the grounds that the Commissioner must be a British national with experience of English law.
11. In praising Bratton, de Blasio dinged their predecessors, commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg.
“Together, we are going to preserve and deepen the historic gains we’ve made in public safety – gains Bill Bratton helped make possible,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We will do it by rejecting the false choice between keeping New Yorkers safe and protecting their civil rights. This is an administration that will do both.”
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