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Bill Bratton

Bill Bratton

  • Top Ten Stories of 2016 in New York Politics

    Bratton departure NYPD 1PP

    Bill Bratton departs (both photos: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Gotham Gazette's Top Ten Storylines of 2016 in New York Politics:

    10. Bill Bratton Leaves ‘On Top’
    In an extraordinary send-off -- his own mini-parade -- Bill Bratton departed 1 Police Plaza on September 16, 2016 for the final time as NYPD commissioner. For about two-and-a-half years Bratton was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s police commissioner and the arrangement worked mostly well for both: Bratton had the job and power in it that he wanted, de Blasio had

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  • De Blasio Fails to Explain His Support for Limits on Groups Like Campaign for One New York

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    Bill de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The City Council will pass a bill this week to put significant limits on the donations that political nonprofits aligned with elected officials can accept from entities with city business. Mayor Bill de Blasio intends to sign the bill, sponsored by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, into law.

    While she has been a close ally of the mayor, in crafting the bill Mark-Viverito condemned one of the most controversial aspects of de Blasio’s tenure, The Campaign for One New York. And in supporting the bill, de

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  • 7 Things De Blasio Asked New Yorkers To Do in the Face of Trump’s Election

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    “We have a special obligation in New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told New Yorkers from The Cooper Union on Monday, giving a formal speech to reassure and rally the city after the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

    De Blasio indicated that he had decided to give the speech because of all the fear that Trump’s campaign and election had created. More than two years ago, in April 2014, de Blasio spoke from the same Cooper Union stage, delivering remarks

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  • A New Challenge for De Blasio: Balancing Re-election Campaign and Governing

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    De Blasio at NAN (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s municipal party primary elections are ten months away, and though he does not yet have a formidable challenger in the race, Mayor Bill de Blasio is not sitting back unprepared. De Blasio, a first-term Democrat, has kickstarted his reelection campaign, raising funds and formulating a campaign message around his achievements. In part, he is trying to preempt a significant challenger from entering the fray. But, as de Blasio himself has said, being Mayor is a 24/7

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  • In Communications Move, De Blasio Chooses Campaign Over City Hall

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    De Blasio, center, & Walzak, to the mayor's right (Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    There are few people Mayor Bill de Blasio trusts when there is a lot on the line. One of those people, Phil Walzak, has been a top aide to the Democratic mayor since de Blasio’s 2013 campaign, for which Walzak was communications director. This past week, de Blasio’s reelection campaign announced that Walzak is moving from City Hall -- where he had been de Blasio’s press secretary then senior advisor -- to the campaign.

    When it comes to a Mayor

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  • A Big Bet on 'Revitalizing Downtown'

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    Officials announce the Far Rockaway plan (photo: @DRichards13)


    With individuals constantly moving in and out of the state, New York’s population remains one of the most dynamic in the country. This fluidity changes the makeup of communities and the character of neighborhoods - lately, more people are leaving New York than coming, even leading the state to ...

  • Council to Hear Bill Mandating Publication of NYPD Patrol Guide

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    City Council Member Garodnick, in NYPD hat, & colleagues (photo: William Alatriste)


    A bill introduced by City Council Member Dan Garodnick to require the NYPD to publish its patrol guide online will be heard for the first time by the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety next week. The hearing, set for Thursday, September 15, follows shortly on the recent controversy over the Right to Know Act, a package of police reform legislation that Council Speaker Melissa

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  • Full Interview: City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

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    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alatriste)


    Gotham Gazette's Ben Max interviewed City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Thursday, August 25, 2016 at City Hall. Below is the audio of the interview, the first in a new Gotham Gazette podcast, Policymakers - find us on iTunes.

    Below the audio is the full transcript of the interview. Let us know what you think: email Ben at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript

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  • Procedural Move Could Lead to Vote on Right to Know Act

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    A Right to Know Act rally


    Last week, City Council Members Ritchie Torres and Antonio Reynoso sent out a joint statement in which they addressed the ramifications of the impending retirement of NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton. “With the departure of William Bratton,” the statement reads, “we are reminded that administrative agreements are every bit as short-lived as commissioners themselves, coming and going in the moments we least expect.”

    The Council members were referring to an agreement between

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  • Working with The Next Police Commissioner

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    City Council Member Jumaane Williams, the author (photo: Jeff Reed)


    Given where we are in the policing discussion in this city and country, and the acknowledgement of how deeply systemic the problems lie, focusing on the departure or hiring of any one Commissioner has always simplified a complex problem. I have never known a time when people were not calling for the removal of an NYPD Commissioner as the solution to policing issues in our city.

    It was right for many of us to express concerns when Commissioner Bill Bratton was chosen,

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  • Bratton Departure Comes with Silver Lining for De Blasio

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    Bratton, O'Neill, de Blasio at City Hall (photo: Ben Max)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t want Bill Bratton to leave his post as NYPD Commissioner, but his departure comes with a thick silver lining. And just because de Blasio would rather Bratton stay than go doesn’t mean the mayor doesn’t see it.

    As de Blasio stood smiling and shaking the hand of soon-to-be Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill on Tuesday at City Hall, the mayor may have exhaled an inaudible sigh of relief. While we don’t yet know what kind of

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  • Change of Commissioner Spotlights De Blasio’s Record on Police Reform

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    photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office


    Many believe that the biggest responsibility of the Mayor of New York City is to keep people safe and Bill de Blasio has largely done that, in no small part by letting his lightning-rod police commissioner, Bill Bratton, call the shots on public safety policy. The mayor has focused on pre-kindergarten and affordable housing while Bratton has governed the streets, helping bring crime down to historic lows. At the same time, Bratton has led an evolution of sorts

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  • Bill Bratton Announces Retirement from NYPD, to be Replaced by James O'Neill

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    De Blasio, Bratton, O'Neill, & Gomez (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Bill Bratton, commissioner of the New York Police Department, announced his retirement from the NYPD on Tuesday, ushering in new leadership at the department he has shaped over the course of several decades. At a City Hall press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Bratton will be replaced by Chief of Department James O’Neill, who has been a long-time member of the NYPD, rising through its ranks to now fill

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  • Right to Know Act is Progress We Need Now

    Jason Salmon

    The author, center


    I’m lying awake at 4 a.m. wondering if our calls for justice will ever be answered. The evening before I was marching in midtown, protesting the tragic killing of Alton Sterling. It’s been 17 months since the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and two years since Eric Garner’s death by suffocation at the hands of police. Even with cell phone cameras making this deadly reality no longer something we can ignore, justice remains elusive.

    Lying awake, scrolling through Instagram, I noticed a lot of people liking and re-

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  • Even with Crime Low, De Blasio and Police Union 'Worlds Apart'

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    Mayor de Blasio speaks at NYPD graduation (Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Last month, contract negotiations between City Hall and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union that represents the city’s rank-and-file police officers, again reached a standstill.

    On June 28, the PBA filed a Declaration of Impasse with the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) asking it to appoint a mediator in the negotiations over a contract that goes back to 2012. The union, which

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  • NYPD Expands Neighborhood Policing Program

     

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    An NYPD patrol car in Downtown Manhattan (Sofie Hecht for Gotham Gazette)


    The New York Police Department’s program to reimagine policing with a focus on creating community relationships expanded to six additional precincts and one more housing Police Service Area (PSA) last week, bringing the total to 26 precincts and six PSAs now served by the new model. Gotham Gazette visited the 79th Precinct in Western Bedford-Stuyvesant on Monday, July 27, to see the rollout of the program and to speak with residents about their reaction to the new policing

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  • Council to Hear One of Two Police Accountability Bills

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    photo via @NYPDNews


    NOTE: this article was originally published June 7, but the hearing discussed was postponed to June 28; it has been edited to refllect the new date and other recent news

    Following on the heels of passing the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which diverts the prosecution of a number of low-level nonviolent offenses to civil rather than criminal avenues, the City Council will hear a bill on Tuesday that also addresses criminal justice reform, but this time by targeting bad actors within

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  • City Council Passes Criminal Justice Reform Act

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    NYPD Commissioner Bratton with officers (photo: @CommissBratton)


    The City Council voted on Wednesday to pass the Criminal Justice Reform Act, a package of eight bills largely aimed at diverting low-level nonviolent offenses from criminal to civil matters.

    Offenses such as public urination, littering, drinking alcohol in public, and being in a park after hours are currently enforced as criminal misdemeanors and prosecuted in criminal courts, at times resulting in permanent criminal records for offenders. Under these bills, spearheaded by Council

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  • City Council to Pass Reforms Aimed at Broken Windows Policing

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    City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alariste)


    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has a year and a half left on the job and is clearly focused on making criminal justice reform a centerpiece of her legacy. While a commission formed by the speaker explores other changes to the city’s criminal justice system and the idea of closing the notorious Rikers Island jail complex, the City Council on Wednesday will vote on a package of bills that will in large part establish civil rather than criminal punishment for low-level nonviolent offenses and

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  • NYPD 'Peace Dividend' Reveals Truth About Unnecessary Arrests

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    Commissioner Bratton and others (photo via @NYPDnews)


    Last May, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton issued a 41-page report extolling the virtues of Broken Windows and quality-of-life policing, and promoted what he termed a “peace dividend” of “nearly a million fewer enforcement contacts like arrests, summonses, and reasonable-suspicion stops when compared to their respective highs.” He explained further in a letter to City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito: “there has been a drastic reduction in enforcement contacts between police and citizens, a benefit of lower

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  • What To Watch For In The Mayor's Executive Budget

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio will release his Executive Budget for fiscal year 2017 on Tuesday and the nonpartisan, nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission has posed eight questions that people should be asking, including what to expect in terms of new revenue streams, new spending, the city’s fiscal reserves and agency savings, the impact of the state budget, and the city’s investment in

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 4

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    We're about two weeks from New York's April 19 presidential primary vote. The three remaining Republican candidates and two remaining Democrats have been campaigning in New York, which is more in play than it has been in several cycles. Hillary Clinton is set to hold events in New York City and Albany Monday, including a rally with Gov. Cuomo and a meeting with state Assembly Democrats, and while the candidates are

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Feb. 29-March 4

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday March 4, 2016

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio and City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. visit Bed-Stuy businesses, via William Alatriste;

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  • Shut Down the Criminal Court

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    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito should be commended for using her State of the City address, titled "More Justice," to call for criminal justice reform. She rightly observes that "we need more justice in the justice system" and ticked off some specific goals, including reducing the population at Rikers Island, creating civil procedures for minor violations, and improving the warrant process. However, the speaker

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  • Criminal Justice Reform Act is No Alternative to Broken Windows Policing

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    NYPD ceremony in Times Square (photo: @CommissBratton)


    Monday morning the City Council will begin consideration of a series of bills, called the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which would limit the use of criminal penalties to manage a variety of low level “quality of life” offenses such as public drinking, park code violations, noise, and public urination.

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