A dispute over New York City’s crime statistics is increasing the longstanding tension between William Bratton and Raymond Kelly, dubbed by the New York Times “two of the most renowned law enforcement leaders New York has ever known.” They are the only men to have held the rank twice, “in something akin to an extraordinary game of musical chairs.” Both times he was named commissioner, Bratton succeeded Kelly. Now, Kelly has pointedly questioned the accuracy of dwindling crime numbers under Bratton's watch.
The same sorts of accusations about distorting numbers were thrust at Kelly from various corners when he was commissioner. Bratton has also faced questions about the accuracy of crime data when he led the Los Angeles Police Department. Both men began their careers as patrol officers. Kelly, 74, is from New York City. Bratton, 68, still has an accent from his native Boston. Bratton refused to be interviewed about the rivalry and Kelly told the Times that he has not been stewing about his successor. “This notion that we're thinking about each other every day,” Kelly said. “That's not the case.”