'Up Close': NYPD Commissioner William Bratton

Diana Williams has an exclusive interview with New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton
March 30, 2014 12:24:18 PM PDT
Almost 100 days into the job and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton has tackled everything from low morale to capturing the World Trade Center B.A.S.E. jumpers.

He talked about that and more in an exclusive one-on-one interview, where Eyewitness News Anchor Diana Williams asked if he thought the B.A.S.E. jumpers did the city a favor exposing security flaws at One World Trade.

He said he hopes the judge throws the book at them.

"From my perspective, that was a desecration of that site. Too many people jumped off that building on 9/11, and to basically photograph that descent, if you will, I have no sympathy for them, I hope the judge throws the book at them," Bratton said.

Once the top cop in the 90's, William Bratton is back running a department under more scrutiny than ever. City Council named a new inspector general Friday, but he says he's not worried about more eyes on his officers.

"If we're doing what we're supposed to be doing, they may have very little to do, so we'll see as we go forward," Bratton said.

Bratton says the increased oversight is the result of overzealous policing by Bloomberg and Kelly, namely "Stop and Frisk". He's already reduced stops 80 to 90%, but don't think it's going away.

"Stop, Question, and Frisk" is as basic to my business as cameras are to yours," Bratton said.

Bratton also believes preventing big crimes, starts with stopping smaller ones. The so-called broken windows theory, it is one reason he's now cracking down on subway panhandlers and peddlers.

Bratton admits the city has changed and so will his policing tactics. He talks of transparency, collaboration, and social media.

"Are you actually tweeting?" Williams asked.

"I have someone who tweets for me. Right now I think I am up over almost 9,000 followers. We'll have a prize for the 10,000th follower once that person comes on board," Bratton said.

The commissioner said one of his first jobs was combating the department's massive morale problem.

"Morale in this organization was awful. The public didn't understand, politicians didn't understand it," Bratton said.

If you think this is William Bratton is different from the 90's, you are right. Back then he was known for his feisty battles with then Mayor Giuliani. He says that's now behind him.

"I'm known for my quick temper, but it is part of the aging process," Bratton said, "I think what this city needs at this time is that spirit of collaboration and a desire to work with everybody."

Watch Up Close with Diana Williams every Sunday morning at 11:00 on Channel 7.