Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, December 6, 2013

What The Bratton Pick Could Mean For Schools

I know there have been some people who were disappointed by de Blasio's pick of William Bratton to be NYPD Commissioner, but I see the Bratton pick as a  positive for both the city and the NYPD.

The NY Times provided some analysis on where Bratton may take the NYPD that leaves me feeling hopeful on a number of fronts:

Speaking at the news conference where Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced his appointment, Mr. Bratton said he would conduct an examination of the department’s resources, a process that one person familiar with his thinking said would be part of the kind of broad review that he undertook at the outset of his earlier tenure in 1994. 

This review is intended in part to look at the department’s priorities and resources and how they are allocated. 

Mr. Bratton’s management style could not be more different from his two-time predecessor, Raymond W. Kelly, who has overseen sharp declines in crime over his 12-year tenure and has won both praise and criticism for the counterterrorism units he built from the ground up after the Sept. 11 attacks. 

Mr. Kelly has concentrated almost all decision-making power in the 35,000-member department in his own hands. Mr. Bratton, on the other hand has been the quintessential delegator, pushing down authority to precinct commanders and giving more discretion to officers, both in his earlier time in New York and during his leadership of the Los Angeles Police Department. 


At the news conference, Mr. Bratton also provided some broad outlines of his plans and priorities, echoing his new boss’s pledge to “bring police and community back together.” 

One of the people familiar with his thinking, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mr. Bratton’s plans have not been made final, said one goal of the planned assessment was to determine how to reconfigure the department to rebuild relationships, with the community, with other agencies and with the media.

Reaching out to the community, building relationships to stakeholders outside the NYPD, delegating authority to precinct commanders and giving more discretion to individual officers sounds like some pretty good reorganization ideas to me.

If we got a chancellor in the DOE to do those kinds of things - reach out to the community, build relationships with stakeholders outside of Tweed, delegate authority from Tweed to others, give more discretion to individual teachers - that would be a good thing.

While I understand why some people are upset with the Bratton pick, connecting it to the Bad Old Giuliani days, I think that there are leadership qualities that Bratton brings that will be a refreshing change from Kelly's "My way or the highway" style.

We'll have to see what de Blasio decides to do at Tweed.

If we got someone who was ready to change as much about how Tweed operates as Bratton says he wants to do at the NYPD, we'll be doing okay.


  1. If, by giving officers more discretion, Bratton means a reduction or end to arrest quotas, then it's a good thing.

    We shall see, though I remain skeptical, since an axiom of neoliberalism is tight control over urban life and development.

    1. Your second point is absolutely true, Michael. But I do think he mans to end the arrest quotas, the stop and frisk quotas, and the ticket quotas and that will be an important development. We'll see how the outreach to communities goes.

  2. I knew from the first debate that Bratton was his choice. deB always talked about a return to community policing. And the only one in the city who did that was Bratton.

    People are upset by this? Bratton worked collaboratively while Kelly was top down. So what other selections were people hoping for?? NYC still needs someone tough on crime and anti-terrorism.

    1. That's how I felt about the pick. Bratton worked collaboratively in L.A., he says the right words when it comes to outreach and stakeholders. Kelly is like "Screw you, I do what I want and you can go to hell..."

  3. For another view of Bratton read Jim Dwyer in today's NY Times.

    1. Anything coming out of the Times lately is crap. The job they did on trying to make deBlasio look good and the praise they gave Bloomberg and Walcott each and every week either through articles, columns or editorials was so biased they just should have said that wanted Bloomberg for mayor for the rest of his life.
      I read a lot of the comment section when Bratton was first announced, and many from LA liked him a lot. He used S&F is LA, but the majority led to arrests which IMHO means a lack of profiling and more good policing.

      The truth is crime was coming down because Bratton put a lot into place. Bloomberg bought it a step further by declassifying many felonies and turning them into lesser charges. Much as he and Klein did with test scores.

    2. I did see that. Bratton has press flunkies to carry water for him. So does Kelly. Sometimes I find it hard to figure out which is which. The Dwyer thing felt a little like a Kelly flunkie flacking for Ray. But Bratton is full of crap about stuff too, so there may be some truth to it.