The appointment of William Bratton as New York City’s next Police Commissioner was welcomed by Agudath Israel of America as “a reassuring step at an apprehensive moment.”
“Mr. Bratton’s previous tenure as NYPD Commissioner, as well as his years as Los Angeles’s top cop, were marked by significant declines in crime rates,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president. “He is experienced and smart, and has an excellent track record of working closely with the Jewish community.”
That track record, the Agudath Israel leader noted, gives the community a sense of comfort in a climate where Jewish New Yorkers appear to be increasingly targeted for attack by thugs “playing” the “knockout game” — in which victims are sucker-punched in the head and knocked to the ground.
Just yesterday, Rabbi Zwiebel pointed out, the new City Councilmember -Elect from Crown Heights, Laurie Cumbo, explicitly linked the recent “Knockout” attacks on the streets of Brooklyn to African-American resentment of Jews. “Such remarks,” the Agudath Israel leader said, “which almost appear to justify violent assault against Jewish people, underscore the urgent need for the NYPD to exercise special vigilance to ensure that Jewish New Yorkers can walk the streets safely without fear of being targeted by ‘resentful’ hoodlums.
“Mayor-Elect de Blasio’s choice of a proven crime-fighter, and a proven friend of the Jewish community, to head up the NYPD, is an important step in providing such vigilance. We look forward to renewing our relationship with Mr. Bratton, and working cooperatively, b’siyata diShmaya, to help preserve the safety and security of our community.”
Rabbi Moshe Dovid Niederman, president of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn, also commented on the appointment:
“The selection of Bill Bratton as the next Police Commissioner of the City of New York is another fantastic choice by Mayor Elect Bill de Blasio. Bill Bratton made our city safer once before and I am confident he will do it again. Wherever he has gone Bill Bratton has served with a record of distinction, and his experience and ability to innovate will keep our great city safe. Bill Bratton worked closely with us in the Williamsburg community previously and we look forward to working with him again for the betterment of the Williamsburg/Greenpoint community and the city as a whole.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) had high praise for the appointment:
“William Bratton has a distinguished record,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “He played a key role in the 1990s in New York, bringing law and order back to our city. His reputation for working with communities was impeccable and our community is delighted to have him back at a time when crime is becoming a concern again.
“I had the distinct pleasure of hosting William Bratton when he was our Police Commissioner before he headed to Los Angeles. Personally, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather see in this position.
“Those who were concerned about safety under the new mayoral administration should not have been. Bill de Blasio has proven that with this appointment and I enthusiastically applaud him.”