The next New York City mayor’s biggest decision will be selecting the city’s top cop. The New York Daily News says the outcome could shake up a department that has borne the indelible imprint of one man, Raymond Kelly, for the past 12 years. Likely Democratic nominee Bill de Blasio and his possible runoff rival, Bill Thompson, both have said they’ll replace Kelly. Republican nominee Joe Lhota has declared his allegiance to Kelly, but the former Metropolitan Transportation Authority boss appears to be waging an uphill battle to get to City Hall in an overwhelmingly Democratic city.
The chances are good that the city’s 35,000 cops can expect a new head honcho. Along with the ever-present threat of terrorism, the next commissioner must confront the court-ordered oversight of the controversial practice of stop-and-frisk and repair the morale woes that resulted from new City Council legislation mandating an inspector general to monitor the NYPD. De Blasio already has floated two possible picks for the coveted job – former Police Commissioner William Bratton and current NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks. Bratton has said, “The position of NYPD commissioner is one of the top law enforcement jobs in the world. I’ve done it before, but I would certainly be interested if the opportunity came again.”