Pundits weigh in on possible return of Commissioner Bratton

Sweet pumpkin noodle kugel. ( Nov. 12, 2013)
Sweet pumpkin noodle kugel. ( Nov. 12, 2013) Photo Credit: Handout Handout/ Joaquin Simo

Former police commissioner Bill Bratton yesterday reiterated his interest in being the city’s top cop again if Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio came calling.

Pundits and crime experts say Bratton has the personal qualities for a second stint, though he would have to face a different set of police challenges than those posed during his last tenure and Ray Kelly’s run as top cop.

“It’s a completely different world compared to 2002 or even four years ago,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who chairs the Public Safety Committee. “The next commissioner will deal with a whole lot more political issues than ever before.”

Bratton, 66, who served as the NYPD commissioner from 1994 to 1996, told reporters at a news conference that mayor-elect Bill de Blasio hasn’t contacted him about taking up the police commissioner position and he hasn’t “submitted an application” for the job. However, Bratton, who also was the commissioner of the Boston and Los Angeles police departments, added that he would consider it if asked.

Andrew Moesel, a political consultant, agreed that the next commissioner will have his or her hands full with a whole set of issues beyond crime fighting.

In 2002, Ray Kelly had to deal with the immediate threat of terrorism when he assumed office, and in 2013 the NYPD now has to navigate the political and social fallout from the stop-and-frisk uproar, according to Moesel.

“Bratton’s challenge would be to continue to keep the city’s streets safe and making sure the NYPD was less controversial than his predecessor,” Moesel said.

A spokeswoman for de Blasio’s transition team wouldn’t comment on their candidates for commissioner.

Vallone, a major supporter of Kelly, said he fears that the extra scrutiny from the public and the recent Inspector General bill would make it hard for Bratton or any other serious candidate to seriously consider the position.

“Unfortunately that bill and the other public safety laws will handcuff the next police commissioner,” the councilman said.