Bill Bratton: crime will be a big issue in 2013, but not stop-and-frisk

Bill Bratton on Inside City Hall. (via NY1.com)
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Former police commissioner Bill Bratton, who has been publicly ruminating about returning to his old job recently, thinks that crime will be a big issue in next year's mayoral elections.

Between 1992 and 1995, New York City hired more than 10,000 police officers. Now, many of those officers are nearing retirement. (They can retire after 20 years with a pension equal to at least half their salary.)

At the same time, crime levels have been trending upward.

"Inside City Hall" host Errol Louis asked Bratton, who was a groundbreaking, very high-profile commissioner under Rudy Giuliani, if he thinks the current mayoral candidates understand that there are concerns about the city slipping back on crime.

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"I think all of the mayoral candidates understand that this is going to have to be one of, if not their top priorities going back into office, compounded by the large number of officers leaving," said Bratton.

On the other hand, he thinks the controversy over stop-and-frisk will soon die down.

"I'm very comfortable ... that by this time next year, I think that issue is gonna have been muted," he said. "I think that people will come to common ground and successfully resolve the issue."

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Bratton had met with four of next year's likely mayoral candidates: former comptroller Bill Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Media president Tom Allon.

He told the Journal that if he were offered his old job back, he would consider it.

On Thursday night, he reiterated his interest.

"I had a great time as commissioner," he said. "I'd like to think I had a great deal of success, both in New York and more recently, in Los Angeles. So is it something I would entertain? Well, it hasn't been offered. If it were to be offered, well, I'd have to seriously consider it at that time."

Here's the video.