Bill Bratton, New York's original tough-on-crime cop who rose to prominence during the Rudy Giuliani administration in the 1990s, will once again take the helm of the NYPD. In making the announcement on Thursday, Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio said he had "absolute confidence" in Bratton.
But let's let the man speak for himself. WNYC was there throughout Bratton's tenure, and today we dug into our archives to hear first hand from the once-and-future commissioner, on everything from working with Muslim communities after 9/11 to how having "a big ego" can be a helpful quality at times.
In clip above from a 1996 press conference announcing his resignation, Bratton engaged in a moment of levity when asked what characteristics would best qualify his successor at the NYPD. Mayor Giuliani jumped in with the suggestion of “a big ego.”
On October 2, 2013, Bratton, then the CEO of The Bratton Group, spoke at NYU’s Stern School of Business. He explained how he came of age during the Civil Rights movement and how the election of John F. Kennedy and the Kent State shootings spurred political change during that time. Bratton added that public opinion was pushing police forces to focus less on controlling behavior and more on the root causes of crime: racism, poverty, and economic instability.
Here, Bratton talks about his joining the Boston Police Department as a young man during that time and how that opportunity allowed him to pursue a college education.
Bill Bratton at NYU, Oct. 2, 2013
In 2006, a few days before the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Bratton spoke with The Brian Lehrer Show about balancing federal funding spent on domestic and international terrorist threats. As the head of the LAPD at the time, he spoke about working with Muslim communities in the U.S. as one step in preventing terrorism.
Bill Bratton on The Brian Lehrer Show, Sept. 8, 2006
Bratton resigned from the NYPD in 1996 to join the private sector. Here, he answered one reporter’s question on why he decided to leave.
Bill Bratton Resignation Press Conference, March 26, 1996
To hear more tape from the WNYC vaults, follow @WNYCarchives on Twitter.