Hailed as a conquering hero who once tamed the city’s wild streets, crime fighter Bill Bratton was sworn in Thursday as New York’s new police commissioner.
Bratton, who served in the same post a full generation ago, thanked old time “guardians at the gate” who served with him in ‘90s and the new recruits who are just learning their way around the Big Apple.
“Who says you can’t come home again,” Bratton said to loud applause at a 1 Police Plaza ceremony. “And it is home, and it is great to be back.”
Bratton, who has been the top cop in Boston and Los Angeles pledged to put his full energy behind community policing.
“I love this profession,” Bratton said in his trademark Boston accent. “But I’m not blinded by the love. It’s extraordinarily difficult to be a cop in America today.”
But he reminded the elected leaders, district attorneys, cops and citizens who filled the police headquarters’ auditorium that cops can’t do the job alone.
“Policing of any community is not the sole responsibility of the police,” Bratton said. “It’s a shared responsibility. It’s something we all benefit from and something we must all contribute to.”
“You cannot arrest your way out of the crime problem,” Bratton said, discussing a planned overhaul of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy.”Our commitment, my commitment, is that we will do all we can to ensure a collaboration unlike any we’ve ever seen in this city.”
Bratton later revealed that he does not have security clearance yet to be given access to all NYPD information.
Bratton was introduced by Mayor de Blasio, who called the new police commissioner “the greatest police leader anywhere in the land.”
“The city of New York is in good hands,” de Blasio said. “You will always have the respect and support of leadership in this city for all you do to protect us. It’s our job to have your back.”
Bratton was officially sworn in a minute after midnight, on New Year’s Day. But as Bratton, began his speech today, a picture of his predecessor, Ray Kelly, remained on the NYPD web site.
The picture had been replaced by the time Bratton finished his speech. Bratton praised Kelly, who left the new police commissioner a bottle of champagne.
“I get a lot of credit for a lot of the things that have been done over the years,” Bratton said. “But that credit always has to be shared. Always. I am fortunate in my life to have been surrounded exemplify men and women collaboratively together who have done great things.”
Among those Bratton singled out was former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, who appointed him as police chief there. Bratton said nothing about former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who fired Bratton despite his success.
Republished with permission of The New York Post