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Bratton Says He Won't Be Around Through Another De Blasio Term

By Murray Weiss | July 23, 2015 1:52pm
 Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton speak at NYPD headquarters.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton speak at NYPD headquarters.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

NEW YORK CITY — NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said he won’t be around through a second de Blasio term if the mayor wins reelection.

"I will not be commissioner for [another] six-and-a-half years — that's the reality,” Bratton said, responding to a question Thursday morning at a meeting with the publication City & State. “I'd be 75 years old by that time.”

Bratton, 67, became the city's police commissioner for the second time in January 2014 following de Blasio’s election, and by any measure his first 18 months have proved a trying time.

After the breakfast, Bratton elaborated to "On the Inside" that he has "no intention of retiring for years to come, and I’m around as long as the mayor wants me.”

From the moment Bratton returned to the NYPD in January 2014, observers started handicapping how long he would want the most challenging police job in the nation, considering his age and the fact he was forced out of office in the mid '90s by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who was annoyed Bratton was receiving too much credit for the city’s historic crime turnaround.

At the breakfast, Bratton explained that at his age it would be unlikely he would stay much beyond the next mayoral race in 2017, regardless of who is elected.

“I've set for myself, and responding to the mayor's goals, where we need to be over the next several years," he said.

Not long after his remarks circulated in the media, he was surprised the prediction attracted attention.

With the exception of his predecessor Raymond Kelly, who recently served for 12 years, the average stint of an NYPD commissioner is historically less than four years. Kelly's first stint atop the NYPD lasted 14 months.

Bratton has committed to keeping crime down in the Big Apple, while improving fractured relationships between the police and minority communities, many of which have been the recipients of the greatest crime declines in city history but have felt victimized by over-usage of stop-and-frisk during the previous administration.

This week he has turned the focus of his commanders' efforts toward quality-of-life issues, particularly the proliferation of homelessness. He said he will enlist other agencies to assist the police as they deal with the complex issues, particularly mental health, facing the homeless.

"I'm in for the long haul, just getting started and not leaving any time soon," Bratton concluded.

Bratton previously served as the city's NYPD commissioner from 1994 to 1996.