What kind of a police commissioner would Bill Bratton be?

bill bratton bill de blasio
Bill Bratton is believed to be the frontrunner for New York City police commissioner under Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.
Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

As rumors swirl that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will make his pick for New York City’s top cop Wednesday morning, former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s name is front and center.

Al O’Leary, spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the police officers union, worked under Bratton when he ran the New York City Transit Police Department.

O’Leary described Bratton as a “very innovative thinker.”

“He’s got a laser focus on accomplishing things and he’ll implement an idea and then evaluate it constantly, and the minute it doesn’t appear to be doing the job he’ll look for another idea,” O’Leary said. “He doesn’t get married to one specific tactic or strategy or thought.”

O’Leary recalled his days under Bratton as some of the best in his law enforcement career.

“My days with Bill at the transit police, I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder or felt better at any other job I’ve had,” he said. “You really had to put out the effort, but you always felt he appreciated what you did and gave you the freedom to do your job. As long as you were accomplishing the goals, he treated you well and took care of you.”

“He’s an incredibly effective manager, a very nice man and very approachable, easy to work with,” O’Leary added.

Sgt. Ed Mullins, the head of the sergeants union assigned to the 67th precinct, has been on the force for 32 years. He said Bratton revolutionized the department.

“Everything changed under Bratton, and for the better,” Mullins recalled.

Bratton, he said, would regularly “engage uniformed cops on the street,” asking for ideas and input.

“He inspired people to work, that was the difference,” Mullins recalled. “Bratton managed from the bottom-up, he didn’t manage from the top-down. So what occurred in the field had value to him.

“The anticipation of him coming to the NYPD has actually boosted morale,” Mullins added.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who at one point had a somewhat contentious relationship with Bratton, had nothing but nice things to say about the man at the 13th annual Thanksgiving Parade Breakfast, hosted by the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation just last week.

“He’s an exceptional law enforcement leader, so I can see why he’d be considered,” Giuliani said.

Pointing to media frustration with the amount of time de Blasio has taken in coming to his decision, Giuliani recalled the difficulty of making a pick for police commissioner.

“The mayor has a lot of things he has to consider, having gone through this choice,” the former mayor said. “On the outside, it always looks easy. On the inside, it’s very tough.

“But if you’re asking me would Bill Bratton make an excellent police commissioner — absolutely,” he added. “He already was an excellent police commissioner. And since the time he left here, he’s grown more; he’s become even more of a law enforcement professional.”

But Giuliani spoke highly of current Chief of Department Philip Banks III as well, framing Banks as the fresher choice.

“He’s a terrific candidate,” he said. “So you have a choice between someone that’s somewhat newer and has a whole group of new ideas like Chief Banks, who’s an excellent choice, or someone like Bill Bratton who’s been through New York, Los Angeles, Boston.”

“It depends on what you want,” he added. “It depends on whether you want to try someone new, someone with a lot of different ideas and theories.”

De Blasio has positioned himself as almost the polar opposite of Giuliani, who backed his opponent, Joe Lhota, in the mayoral race. Some of the NYPD’s most high-profile instances of police brutality occurred under Giuliani’s administration, including the brutal torture of Abner Louima in a Brooklyn police station in 1997.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.