Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is signaling his interest in succeeding Commissioner Raymond Kelly, holding private meetings with potential mayoral candidates during which he’s discussing public-safety strategies and his desire to return to service, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bratton, who also served as Los Angeles and Boston’s top cop, has met with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and media executive Tom Allon, each of whom is preparing a bid to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Any serious candidate for mayor should have him on the short list,” Stringer said. “He understands criminal justice issues in a way few people truly do—he has a tremendous wealth of experience.” Kelly, 70, has declined to say whether he would consider serving under Bloomberg’s successor. Republicans have tried to draft Kelly to run for mayor, but he has declined. Bratton confirmed he’s met with mayoral candidates and would “actively entertain” on offer to return to the top police job. Bratton, 64, was New York commissioner for more than two years in the 1990s under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; he was forced out after tangling with Giuliani over credit for the drop in crime.