New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton signaled an intent to shift the nation's largest police department away from an aggressive style of patrolling that had alienated many minority residents, reports the New York Times. Bratton said the tremendous strides the department had made in reducing crime should long ago have given way to fewer confrontational encounters between the police and the public. “Crime is down to such extraordinarily low levels in this city versus where it was that there is an expectation — or there should be an expectation — that the intrusion of police into citizens' lives should also diminish,” he said. “But we had the reverse happening.”
Bratton's remarks differed markedly from those of predecessor Raymond Kelly, who often bristled at the suggestion that his strategies were sowing discord. “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?” Bratton said. While Kelly's crime-fighting strategy involved relentless enforcement of even minor violations, Bratton, 66, suggested that approach was coming at too high cost. “I am quite comfortable that we can have less and achieve the same results,” he said.