William Bratton

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Bill Bratton
Bill Bratton at the seminar on his new book Collaborate or Perish! Lessons for Politics, Business and Public Services.jpg
Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council
Assumed office
February 8, 2011
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Gary Hart
38th and 42nd Police Commissioner of New York City
In office
January 1, 2014 – September 16, 2016
Mayor Bill de Blasio
Preceded by Ray Kelly
Succeeded by James P. O'Neill
In office
January 1, 1994 – April 15, 1996
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Preceded by Ray Kelly
Succeeded by Howard Safir
Chief of Police of Los Angeles
In office
October 27, 2002 – October 31, 2009
Appointed by Jim Hahn
Preceded by Martin Pomeroy (Acting)
Succeeded by Michael Downing (Acting)
Commissioner of the Boston Police Department
In office
June 30, 1993 – January 1, 1994
Appointed by Ray Flynn
Preceded by Mickey Roache
Succeeded by Paul Evans
Personal details
Born William Joseph Bratton
(1947-10-06) October 6, 1947 (age 70)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary Bratton (divorced)[1]
Linda Bratton (divorced) [2]
Cheryl Fiandaca (1988–1998)
Rikki Klieman (1999–present)
Education University of Massachusetts, Boston (BS)
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire[3]
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Unit USAMPC-Branch-Insignia.png Military Police Corps
William Bratton
Police career
Years of service Boston PD (1970–1983, 1992–1994)
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police (1983–1986)
Boston Metropolitan District Commission Police (1986–1990)
NYC Transit PD (1990–1992)
NYPD (1994–1996, 2014–2016)
LAPD (2002–2009)
Rank 5 Gold Stars.svg Commissioner of the NYPD
January 1, 2014 – September, 2016
Chief of the Los Angeles P.D.
October 27, 2002 – October 31, 2009
5 Gold Stars.svg Commissioner of the NYPD
January 1, 1994 – April 15, 1996
New York Fire Department Chief Rank.png Commissioner of the Boston Police Department
June 30, 1993 – January 1, 1994
New York Fire Department Chief Rank.png Superintendent-in-Chief, Boston Police Department
January 1992
4 Gold Stars.svg Chief of the New York City Transit Police
April 1990
4 Gold Stars.svg Superintendent of the Metropolitan District Commission Police
June 1986
4 Gold Stars.svg Chief of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police
May 1983
4 Gold Stars.svg Superintendent, Labor Relations
September 1982
4 Gold Stars.svg Superintendent, Inspector of Bureaus
May 1982
4 Gold Stars.svg Executive Superintendent
October 1980
US-O1 insignia.svg Lieutenant
March 1978
U.S. police sergeant rank (black and yellow).svg Sergeant
July 1975
Patrol officer, Boston Police Department
October 1970

William Joseph "Bill" Bratton CBE (born October 6, 1947) is an American law enforcement officer, businessman who served two terms as the New York City Police Commissioner (2014–2016 and 1994–1996). He has previously served as the Commissioner of the Boston Police Department (BPD) (1993–1994) and Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) (2002–2009).

Bratton began his police career at the Boston Police Department before becoming Police Commissioner in New York City, where his quality-of-life policy has been credited with reducing petty and violent crime. He moved to the Los Angeles Police Department in 2002 reforming the police after the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and crime was reduced.[4]

Bratton's policing style is influenced by the broken windows theory, a criminological theory of the norm-setting and signalling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior.[5] He advocates having an ethnically diverse police force representative of the population,[6] maintaining a strong relationship with the law-abiding population,[7] tackling police corruption,[5] being tough on gangs and having a strict no-tolerance of anti-social behavior.[8]

Bratton was approached by British Prime Minister David Cameron to become the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner in July 2011, but this was blocked by the Home Office on the grounds that said commissioner must be a British citizen with experience and knowledge of the United Kingdom's laws.[9] Bratton instead was offered an advisor role to the British government, which he accepted in August 2011.[10]

In January 2014 Bratton returned to the post of Police Commissioner in New York City,[11] and stepped down again in September 2016.[12]

Early life and education[edit]

Bratton is from the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Boston Technical High School, graduating in 1965. From there, he served in the Military Police Corps of the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

Police career[edit]


Bratton returned to Boston in 1970 to start a police career in the Boston Police Department, and was sworn in as an officer in October 1970. He was promoted to sergeant in July 1975 and to lieutenant in March 1978. In October 1980, at the age of 32 and ten years after his appointment to the BPD, Bratton was named as the youngest-ever Executive Superintendent of the Boston Police, the department's second highest post. He was dismissed as executive superintendent after he told a journalist that his goal was to be the Police Commissioner. He was reassigned to the position of Inspector of Bureaus, a sinecure which was responsible for liaison with minority and LGBTQ communities. He was later brought back into police headquarters to handle labor relations and 9-1-1 related issues.

Between 1983 and 1986 Bratton was Chief of Police for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, following which he became Superintendent of Boston's Metropolitan District Commission Police. Bratton was Superintendent in Chief of the Boston Police Department from 1992 until 1993, then he became that city's 34th Police Commissioner. He holds the Department's highest award for valor.

New York City[edit]

Bratton became the chief of the New York City Transit Police in 1990.[13] In 1994, Bratton was appointed the 38th Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) by Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He cooperated with Giuliani in putting the controversial broken windows theory into practice. He introduced the CompStat system of tracking crimes in New York City. Critics have argued that CompStat has created perverse incentives for officers to allow crimes to go unreported,[14] and has encouraged police brutality, citing that complaints by citizens that involved incidents where no arrest was made or summons was issued more than doubled during the Giuliani administration.[15]

Bratton resigned in 1996, while under investigation by the Corporation Counsel for the propriety of a book deal that he signed while in office as well as accepting multiple unauthorized trips from corporations and individuals. These offenses were generally considered minor.[16] Front and center were alleged personal conflicts with Giuliani, partly due to Giuliani's opposition to some of Bratton's reforms and partly due to Giuliani's belief that Bratton was getting more credit for the reduction in crime than Giuliani.[17]

The experiences of Bratton and New York Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Maple were used as the inspiration of the television series The District.[citation needed]

Los Angeles[edit]

Bratton and fourth wife, Rikki Klieman, at LA/Valley Pride

Bratton worked as a private consultant with Kroll Associates, also known as LAPD's Independent Monitor,[18] until his appointment by the Mayor of Los Angeles James Hahn as the LAPD's 54th Chief of Police in October 2002. Bratton was one of three candidates recommended to Hahn by the Los Angeles Police Commission under Commission President Rick J. Caruso.[19] Under Bratton's tenure, crime within the city dropped for six consecutive years.[20]

On June 19, 2007, the L.A. Police Commission reappointed Bratton to a second five-year term, the first reappointment of an LAPD chief in almost twenty years.

Bratton has been criticized for his extensive travel; in 2005, he was out of town for a full third of the year on both official and personal business.[21]

In March 2009, Councilman Herb Wesson proposed an amendment[22] to the City Charter, allowing Bratton to serve a third consecutive term as Police Chief.

On September 11, 2009, he was awarded with the honorary title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II "in recognition of his work to promote cooperation between US and UK police throughout his distinguished career".[23] On 12 August 2011, Bratton said he was in talks with the British government to become an adviser on controlling the violence that had affected London the prior week. He said he received a phone call from U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, and that he would continue speaking with British officials to formalize an agreement.[24] Cameron initially wanted to appoint Bratton Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis of London, but was overruled by Home Secretary Theresa May, who insisted that only a British citizen should be able to run the Service.[25][26]


On December 27, 2012, he was hired as a consultant for the city of Oakland, California.[27][28]

Return to New York City[edit]

On December 5, 2013, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named Bratton as New York City's new Police Commissioner to replace Raymond Kelly. The New York Times reported that at Bratton's swearing in on January 2, 2014, the new Police Commissioner praised his predecessor Raymond Kelly, but also signaled his intention to strike a more conciliatory tone with ordinary New Yorkers who had become disillusioned with policing in the city: "We will all work hard to identify why is it that so many in this city do not feel good about this department that has done so much to make them safe – what has it been about our activities that have made so many alienated?"[29] He stepped down in 2016 .[30]


Bratton co-founded and served as CEO of Bratton Technologies,[when?] a venture backed company that operates BlueLine, a global law enforcement professional network modeled after LinkedIn.[31]

After stepping down from his post in Los Angeles, in 2009, he moved back to New York City to take a position with private international security firm Altegrity Risk International.[32] He became the chairman of Kroll, a corporate investigations and risk consulting firm based in New York City on September 16, 2010. In November 9, 2012, Bratton stepped down as Chairman and was retained by Kroll as a Senior Adviser.[citation needed]

Bratton joined Crest Advisory on 5 November 2012,[33] a company that advises prospective police and crime commissioners (PCCs), criminal justice agencies and the security sector.[citation needed]

In 2010 he was sworn in as a new member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.[34]

Policing style[edit]

Since 1990 in New York City, Bratton adopted a zero tolerance policing policy. This manner of policing has won both plaudits and criticism,[35] but the implementation of zero tolerance policy coincided with a reduction of petty and serious crime in New York City by 2001.

Bratton has stated that racial tensions and distrust of the police are hindrances to reducing crime. Bratton's solution in Los Angeles and New York City was to make police forces more ethnically diverse and "reflective of the ethnic make-up of their cities".[6]


In 1998, Random House published his memoir Turnaround: How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic, written with co-author Peter Knobler. It was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Personal life[edit]

Bratton holds a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement from the University of Massachusetts Boston and was a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Bratton has been married four times. He is currently married to attorney and TruTV analyst Rikki Klieman, and has one son, David, from a prior marriage. Bratton was previously married to attorney and Boston Police spokeswoman and newscaster Cheryl Fiandaca.

Bratton addressed the Roger Williams University graduating class at the May 22, 2010 commencement ceremony and also received an honorary degree during the ceremony.[36] He also received an honorary degree from New York Institute of Technology.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mancusi, Peter (September 19, 1980). "Bratton's confident: Boston's new police superintendent says, 'I'll have my detractors, but I know I can handle this job. I have no doubt about it.'". The Boston Globe. 
  2. ^ Turnaround: How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived June 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Carlos Granda (12 August 2011). "LAPD reforms provide example for other cities". ABC News. 
  5. ^ a b Bratton, Bill (14 August 2011). "American 'super cop' called in by Cameron reveals how to halt the hoodlums: 'I don't do it… but I can tell you how to hit gangs'". Daily Mail. London. 
  6. ^ a b Batty, David (13 August 2011). "UK riots: police should tackle racial tension, says 'supercop' Bill Bratton". The Guardian. London. 
  7. ^ "'Supercop' advises PM over riots". The Sun. London. 13 August 2011. Reacting to the riots, Mr Bratton said British police needed to focus on calming racial tensions by working more with community leaders and civil rights groups. 
  8. ^ Swaine, Jon (13 August 2011). "UK riots: supercop's battle order for tackling Britain's street gangs". Daily Telegraph. London. But in keeping with his desire to nip problems in the bud, he is clear that the repercussions for those who step out of line must be severe, especially among younger offenders. "Very early on in people's lives you have to have them understand that abhorrent behaviour, anti-social behaviour, will not be tolerated," he said. 
  9. ^ Whitehead, Tom (5 August 2011). "David Cameron's US 'supercop' blocked by Theresa May". Daily Telegraph. London. 
  10. ^ "US 'supercop' Bill Bratton says riot arrests not only answer". BBC. 13 August 2011. 
  11. ^ Goodman, J. David (December 5, 2013). "De Blasio to Name Bratton as New York Police Commissioner". New York Times. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Goodman, J. David (August 2, 2016). "William Bratton, New York Police Commissioner, Will Step Down Next Month". New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2016. 
  13. ^ "With Subway Crime Up, Transit Police Get a New Chief". The New York Times. April 2, 1990. 
  14. ^ "Transcript". This American Life. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  15. ^ http://www.justicestrategies.org/sites/default/files/Judy/ZeroTolerance.pdf
  16. ^ "THE BRATTON RESIGNATION: BEHIND THE SCENES;Squabbling Behind the Amicable Departure". The New York Times. March 27, 1996. 
  17. ^ 'The Bratton Resignation'New York Times
  18. ^ Kroll Associates' LAPD page
  19. ^ "Police Commission Letter to Mayor Hahn Recommending Three Finalists: William Bratton, Art Lopez, John Timoney". Los Angeles Community Policing. September 19, 2002. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  20. ^ Rubin, Joel; Winton, Richard (1 January 2009). "Crime continues to fall in Los Angeles despite bad economy". Los Angeles Times. 
  21. ^ "Bratton Out of Town for a Third of '05" – Los Angeles Times 11 March 2006
  22. ^ 'Third term for LAPD chief? Councilman seeks hearings'Los Angeles Times
  23. ^ "LAPD Chief Bratton Honored by Queen Elizabeth II". LAPD Blog. September 11, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  24. ^ Lawless, Jill (12 August 2011). "Thousands of police patrol Britain's streets, nearly 600 charged in riots". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  25. ^ Swaine, Jon (12 August 2011). "UK riots: young thugs 'should fear the police', says David Cameron's new crime adviser". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  26. ^ Swaine, Jon (12 Aug 2011). "UK riots: supercop’s battle order for tackling Britain's street gangs". Telegraph. London. 
  27. ^ "Oakland hires former Los Angeles police chief as consultant". ABC7 San Francisco. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  28. ^ Kuruvila, Matthai (January 23, 2013). "Oakland hires police consultant Bratton". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  29. ^ Goodman, J. David; Goldstein, Joseph (January 2, 2014). "Bratton Takes Helm of Police Force He Pledged to Change". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/08/02/nypd-
  31. ^ "BlueLine Wants to Be a Facebook for Cops". Mashable. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  32. ^ 'LAPD Chief William Bratton to Resign', KTLA 5 Los Angeles
  33. ^ [2]
  34. ^ "Secretary Napolitano Swears in Homeland Security Advisory Council Members". United States Department of Homeland Security. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  35. ^ "'Zero tolerance' advice to PM". Sydney Morning Herald. 14 August 2011. 
  36. ^ "Roger Williams University to Confer more than 1000 Degrees in 2010 Commencement". Roger Williams University. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  37. ^ http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~gdaly/Bratton.htm

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
Joseph Saia
Superintendent in Chief of the Boston Police Department
Succeeded by
Paul Evans
Preceded by
Mickey Roache
Commissioner of the Boston Police Department
Preceded by
Ray Kelly
Police Commissioner of New York City
Succeeded by
Howard Safir
Preceded by
Martin Pomeroy
Chief of Police of Los Angeles
Succeeded by
Michael Downing
Preceded by
Ray Kelly
Police Commissioner of New York City
Succeeded by
James P. O'Neill