Bill Bratton Says He’s Okay With Working Out of Unused Trailer

A police officer observes an anti-stop-and-frisk rally in February. (Photo: Getty)
A police officer observes an anti-stop-and-frisk rally in February. (Photo: Getty)

The city’s future police commissioner today dismissed suggestions that a decision by the current administration to relegate Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s police transition team to a trailer outside One Police Plaza amounted to a slight.

“Actually, that would be an improvement over last time,” Mr. Bratton told Politicker, answering questions today at a press conference announcing his appointment as the city’s next top cop.

Mr. Bratton noted that, during the last transition he’d worked on (presumably with the Giuliani administration) he’s been assigned to work in a “second-hand city building”–40 Worth Street–which at the time was being used to store surplus property. Back then, he had to navigate past “stacked desks and chairs” to get to his office, he said.

“At least this time I’m at Police Plaza,” he said with a laugh, as Mr. de Blasio chimed: “You’re getting warmer!”

Last week, New York reported that current Commissioner Ray Kelly was planning to stash his successor and his transition team in an unused trailer outside police headquarters until the new year. The trailer, the report noted, would “offer the team limited, if any, access to the inside of the super-secure 14-story headquarters, with its lobby guarded by sentries and a bank of turnstiles that require special electronic swipe cards.”

“In the past, transition teams have been afforded space in police headquarters,” the report said–creating what it described as a “perception problem.”

“You are talking about the next police commissioner and his people and you are putting him in a trailer in the back and outside the very place that they will be taking over,” one police official was quoted as saying. “It is very condescending.” “A trailer has certain connotations, and none of them are good,” a second official piled on.

But Mr. Bratton today said the trailer space, which reportedly includes a conference area, coffee room and cubicles, is perfectly fine for his tastes.

“I certainly don’t see any intent or effort that’s being played up by some of the press,” he told Politicker. “I don’t feel that way at all.”

He also plans to work out of his own office, he said.

Mr. de Blasio framed much of his campaign against Mr. Kelly’s policies, which Mr. Kelly at times appeared to resent. After the election Mr. Kelly agreed with an interviewer’s suggestion that all of the Democratic mayoral hopefuls were “full of shit,” resulting in a conversation to “clear the air” between the two.

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