After leaving the New York City Police Department as commissioner nearly 18 years ago, Bill Bratton was officially sworn in as Mayor Bill de Blasio's new police commissioner Thursday. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
As the saying goes, there's a new sheriff in town, but in this case, Bill Bratton is the New police commissioner.
Sworn in at police headquarters Thursday by the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, Bratton said that bringing police and community together is a top priority.
"We will all work hard to identify why is it that so many in this city do not feel good about this department that has done so much to make them safe," Bratton said.
De Blasio rode into to City Hall with the promise of changing the department's stop-and-frisk policy. He agreed with many who felt that the tactic was essentially racial profiling. Bratton said he will make changes but won't abolish the practice.
"I think we can find the right amount where we have a safe city and communities and police that respect each other," he said.
Police commissioners from around the country showed up for the swearing in. Bratton said that he will work with them on finding ways to improve community relations and keep crime down.
"Public safety is not the total responsibility of police," Bratton said. "The public have an obligation working within their communities, with their kids, with their families to help us."
Bratton said that there will be crime spikes, but the New York City Police Department's CompStat program, which he started during his first tenure as commissioner in the '90s, will track it, and it will be addressed.
He praised former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's program of Operation Crew Cut, saying it will continue. It targets small violent gangs known as crews.
Kelly was also praised for turning the NYPD into a counterterrorism force.
Although Bratton says he's hit the ground running when it comes to fighting crime and terror here in the city, he still has to have a few background checks done in order for him to do his job at the NYPD.
"There is a room in the building I can't go into because I don't have the appropriate clearances," he said.
That room deals with getting confidential information from the federal government. He expects to get that clearance soon.