Bill Bratton Doesn’t Have Access to Room at NYPD Headquarters

Bill Bratton taking the oath of office earlier today. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty)

Bill Bratton taking the oath of office earlier today. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty)

Bill Bratton may be the new top cop in the NYPD–after previously holding the same post under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani–but even he doesn’t have access to every room at the department headquarters.

Asked today about the NYPD’s controversial surveillance program, Mr. Bratton said it was important “to understand the parameters that … legally you need to operate with” before pivoting to say he still needed to do a full evaluation of the system–and still needed to get the necessary clearances to do so. 

“Even then, it may take a little while because I have to get my clearances,” he said, taking questions from reporters after formally taking the oath of office to serve in Bill de Blasio’s administration. “There is a room in this building I cannot go into because I don’t have the appropriate clearances.”

“Make sure you get that,” Mr. de Blasio interjected with a laugh.

Pressed on the missing clearances, Mr. Bratton said he was “in the process of filling out those applications. My level of clearance would be upgraded fairly quickly. But you can be confident that the appropriate clearances for the exchange of information at all levels of government are, in fact, there.” 

Mr. de Blasio similarly stressed that the clearance issue was not affecting public safety.

“There are some formalities that have to be gone through,” the mayor added later. “We’re absolutely comfortable that people are getting the information that they need.”