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DeBlasio gives Giuliani’s top cop a second shot

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William Bratton will be take the reigns as the city’s top lawman once again, Mayor-elect Bill DeBlasio announced Thursday at the Red Hook Justice Community Center.

Bratton served as police commissioner under former mayor Rudy Giuliani from 1994 until 1996, when the police chief resigned while under investigation by the city for a book deal and accepting free flights from a billionaire tycoon. The two butted heads over who should take credit for a drop in crime and Bratton said the ethics probe was politically motivated. Before he skedaddled, Bratton implemented Compstat, the numbers-driven approach to law enforcement that critics say pushes cops to downplay serious crimes and proponents, such as outgoing commissioner Ray Kelly, hail for driving the dramatic drop-off of violence around the city over the past two decades.

This time around, Bratton said he will try to maintain low crime rates, fend off terrorists, and fine-tune the controversial stop-and-frisk program, which allows cops to put anyone they deem suspicious up against the wall.

“Stop and frisk is essential to every police department in America,” Bratton said. “But it’s also essential that it be done constitutionally and respectfully. And that is my commitment to this mayor and to the city that it will be done that way.”

A representative from the Red Hook Justice Community Center said that the experimental courthouse was a fitting choice for the ceremony.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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