I think this was a smart move by Mayor DiBlasio. It's important to have the support of the rank and file if he wants to change "stop and frisk," and bringing Bill Bratton back to the top post will make a difference:
Bill Bratton took over the reins of the largest municipal police force in America on Thursday, presenting himself in his new role as commissioner of the New York police department as a “change agent” who would tackle his predecessor’s widely denounced stop-and-frisk tactics.
Confirming his reputation as an assertive leader who does not shirk a fight, Bratton, 66, waded straight into the stop-and-frisk controversy as he was unveiled at a ceremony at the NYPD’s headquarters in One Police Plaza. He said the controversial policy that rose steadily under the previous commissioner Ray Kelly and focused on black and other minority communities in the outer boroughs had been “objected to by so many in this city”.
He added that “many in this department felt there was something wrong, it was just not happening the way it should have. I think we can find the right amount where we have a safe city, and communities and police that respect each other.”
Bratton’s outspoken criticism of a centrepiece of policing strategy in New York over the past few years echoed a central campaign pledge of his boss: the newly enshrined mayor of the city, Bill De Blasio. The Democratic politician made putting an end to stop-and-frisk at the centre of his bid for the mayoralty.
In his remarks, De Blasio thanked Kelly for having served the city with “extraordinary distinction and integrity”. But he went on to repeat his emphasis on the need for change, calling Bratton a “progressive crime-fighter who recognises that the streets will be safer, and crime will be reduced even further, when police and community work together. Safe streets and respect for individual liberty go hand-in-hand.”
Bratton has now begun his second stint as head of the 35,000-strong NYPD, following a three-year term in the 1990s under then mayor Rudy Giuliani and a later term at the helm of the Los Angeles police department. He was forced out of the New York job in 1996, reportedly because Giuliani resented his media-savvy police commissioner hogging the limelight.