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Bill Bratton resigns as NYPD commissioner

By Allen Cone
Bill Bratton resigns as NYPD commissioner
Bill Bratton plans to leave as New York City police commissioner in September, sources say. File photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton will retire in September.

Bratton, 68, will be replaced by Chief of Department James O'Neill, the mayor announced at an afternoon news conference.

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"I wish I had words for what this man has achieved," de Blasio said.

Bratton served two stints as police commissioner. He first worked under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani from 1994 until 1996 when he was fired.

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Bratton was chief of the Los Angeles Police Department from 2002 to 2009.

Then, de Blasio hired him when he became mayor in January 2014.

"I don't think anyone could've imagined a more productive 31 months. We will never forget or fail to honor the achievements of Bill Bratton," de Blasio said.

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Bratton, who plans to return to the private sector but gave no details, informed the mayor of his decision last week. Administration officials were interviewing candidates to replace the police commissioner for the remaining 16 months of the mayoral term, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Bratton said in an interview with The New York Times published July 25 he wouldn't serve as the city's top cop after 2017.

Bratton called himself a "proud adopted son" of New York City who began his career as a Boston police officer. He also led the Boston department for one year in 1993-94 before becoming New York's chief.

O'Neill, 58, started as a transit officer in 1983, and has led posts in Central Park, Harlem and the Bronx.

The mayor said, "Jimmy is the real thing in every way."

"I love being a cop. I love this uniform. I love what it stands for," O'Neill said. "We are here for you, the people of this city."

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