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NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton to step down




File: New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Bill Bratton attends a press conference after witnessing police being retrained with new guidelines at the Police Academy  on December 4, 2014 in the College Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of in New York City.
File: New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Bill Bratton attends a press conference after witnessing police being retrained with new guidelines at the Police Academy on December 4, 2014 in the College Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of in New York City.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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After 45 years working in public service from coast to coast, New York City's Police Commissioner William Bratton will step down next month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

NYPD's top chief, James O'Neill, is set to succeed Bratton, according to the Associated Press. 

Bratton said he's leaving the post "with great reluctance" in September to accept an undisclosed offer in the private sector, AP reports. 

Bratton served as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department from 2002 to 2009 before returning to New York in 2014. 

During his tenure as New York's commissioner, Bratton was regarded for keeping crime numbers down and navigating tensions between police and minority groups, AP reports.

"He is a change agent, that’s what he likes to do, that’s what he’s good at," Joe Domanick, associate director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice, told Take Two. "Stop-and-frisk is no longer an issue in NYC."

Bratton's career began on the streets of Boston as a police officer, and he quickly rose through the ranks.

"Bratton was a boy wonder in the Boston Police Department," Domanick said. Before long, he was the No. 2 in Boston PD, looking for a top spot. That led him to his position at the New York police force in the mid-'90s under then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani where he introduced the very tactics, like stop-and-frisk, the department has worked to scale back in recent years.

Known as "broken windows policing," Bratton's style is marked by aggressive crack-down on low-level crime, which he defended to NPR despite criticism that it disproportionately targets minorities.

"It's what made this city safe in the first place," Bratton told NPR in 2015.

The announcement comes one day after The Guardian reported protesters affiliated with Black Lives Matter filled a park next to New York's City Hall demanding that Bratton be fired and broken windows policing end. 

Between his two different runs as NYC's police commissioner, Bratton had his seven-year run as L.A.'s chief of police despite initial hesitations from the city, Domanick said.

"They didn’t want to hire him. They felt that he was a Broadway bill, publicity-seeking guy who made his mark just doing that," Domanick told Take Two.

In 2002, Bratton entered the LAPD at a height of allegations of police brutality and cops' code of silence but turned things around by doing things like firing Metropolitan veterans.

"When he was hired he was so savvy about the police," Domanick said. "So savvy about how to counteract any revolt in the ranks, particularly in the command staff, that he quickly took hold of the department and put them on the road to reform."

But Bratton is not a young man anymore, and it has been "an exhausting haul" since his re-appointment as New York's police commissioner in 2014, Domanick said.

At the same time, Domanick suggested the nation's top cop may have political reasons for his resignation.

"He's not a guy who loves being in the private sector either, I don’t think," Domanick said. "What I do think is that he’s very, very close with the Clintons, always has been since his tenure in New York City."

Audio coming soon.