De Blasio Says He's Looking at Bratton, Banks and Pineiro for NYPD Chief

By Colby Hamilton on November 20, 2013 7:06pm 

 Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said he's met with Bratton and other top candidates for police commissioner during a press conference in Manhattan on Wednesday, November 20.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said he's met with Bratton and other top candidates for police commissioner during a press conference in Manhattan on Wednesday, November 20.
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

SOHO — Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio revealed the top candidates he's considering for the NYPD commissioner job — but wouldn't say which of the accomplished lawmen has the lead.

Speaking at a press conference at the Talking Transition tent in SoHo Wednesday, de Blasio confirmed he had met with former New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton to discuss the job, saying, “It was a very productive meeting.”

De Blasio hastened to add that he'd also met with Police Chief Philip Banks III and First Deputy Commissioner Rafael Pineiro, both of whom have been mentioned as leading contenders for the job.

“I am impressed by both of them. I am impressed by Commissioner Bratton,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio declined to give details of the meetings.

De Blasio has been an outspoken critic of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's use of stop-and-frisk, and emphasized Wednesday that his goal will be to improve community-police relations while also keeping the city safe from terrorism and continuing to lower crime.

While de Blasio said his preference for NYPD commissioner would be a New Yorker or someone with New York experience, “There are some cases where the best person for the job doesn’t meet those criteria but has such outstanding characteristics otherwise that we would favor them,” he said.

De Blasio also announced his 60-person transition team, praising them as a “group of people who share a progressive vision for the future of this city.

The diverse group includes representatives from the business, non-profit, religious, labor and cultural communities. The list includes the actress and long-time de Blasio support Cynthia Nixon; AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong; 1199 SEIU rep George Gresham, whose earlier backing in the primary buoyed de Blasio’s campaign; and real estate mogul Douglas Durst, chairman of the Durst Corporation.

De Blasio said the transition process was moving along smoothly, adding, “We feel great about where we stand in the timeline."

De Blasio will be sworn in as mayor on January 1.

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