26 Spectacular William Bratton Quotes

William Bratton is an American law enforcement officer and former New York City Police Commissioner. He published his memoir, ‘Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic’ in 1998, naming it a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Here is a look at some of the most memorable William Bratton quotes ever recorded.

“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance, i issue no mandates, and I make no threats of discipline, but I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor and decency that go with it.”

“As much as we think video is the final determinant, it is not.”

“Clearly, a large number of people who shouldn’t have firearms actually apply through the process and obtain firearms.”

“However we will be making an effort to sit down and talk with the (police) union leaders, in particular, to deal with their issues.”

“I like having ambitious people around me. I could care less if they want my job.”

“If there’s one crime for which there has to be a certainty of punishment, it is gun violence.”


“In his very brief career — less than five years — he had already proved himself to be an exceptional young officer.”

“In that career, he had made over 159 arrests protecting and serving the citizens of this city.”

“No place is unpoliceable; no crime is immune to better enforcement efforts.”

“Quality-of-life policing is based on probable cause – an officer has witnessed a crime personally or has a witness to the crime.”

“That will definitely change behavior very quickly.”

“The idea of what is effectively a labor action being taken in the middle of a funeral where we’re honoring the death of two police officers – I just don’t understand it, i’m sorry – what was the need?”

“The purposeful misrepresentation of crime data is rare but nevertheless unacceptable, and it will be dealt with accordingly.”

“The reality is that there is a divide between the police and some people in communities that need us most, but that divide can be bridged, the reality is that the people and the police can be partners.”

“The whole thesis of ‘broken windows’ is: If over time you don’t address an issue, over time it will create a larger issue.”

“They involve a lot of history in the city that’s really different from some of what’s going on in the country as a whole.”

“They really do feel under attack, rank-and-file officers and much of American police leadership, that they feel they’re under attack from the federal government at the highest levels, so that’s something we need to understand also, this sense of perception that becomes a reality.”

“They were quite simply assassinated.”

“This issue is really starting to go down partisan lines, Republican/Democrat.”

“We all have a fundamental right to live free from fear, free from crime, and free from disorder – but while we share that right, we also share the duty to secure it.”

“We are pleased with the fact that officers are beginning to reengage again.”

“We don’t give them out easily, he worked for them; he earned them.”

“We owe it to the families to find out what happened, that’s why we’re seeking to build this case up, so we know going forward exactly who talked to this man.”

“We’ll work to bring things back to normal.”

“We’re coming out of what was a pretty widespread stoppage of certain types of activity, the discretionary type of activity, by and large.”

“You cannot police a community without effectively working with the community.”

Here is a great interview with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton as he is interviewed by Don Lemon of CNN, discussing the topics of racial profiling, body cameras, and the state of policing.

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