NEW YORK (AP) Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg has chosen as his new police commissioner the same man who held the post during the first World Trade Center attack in 1993.
Raymond Kelly, 60, was police commissioner for 14 months under former Democratic Mayor David Dinkins and was given high marks for his handling of the first trade center attack. The announcement will likely be made today, said a source familiar with the mayor-elect’s transition plans, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The original announcement, scheduled yesterday, was canceled because of the crash of an American Airlines jet shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Mr. Kelly would replace Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who announced last week that he had declined Mr. Bloomberg’s invitation to remain. Mr. Kerik, widely praised for his handling of the September 11 World Trade Center attack, is expected to take a job in private security.
Mr. Kelly, a native New Yorker, is a lawyer, former Marine and the current head of global security for Bear Stearns. He held several jobs in the Clinton administration, including U.S. Customs Service commissioner. Earlier this year, he was appointed by Republican Gov. George E. Pataki to head the state commission that oversees boxing.
“Good guy,” Mr. Bloomberg said Sunday. “Tough, smart, and a feeling for people. Oh, I think he would make an excellent police chief.”
Mr. Kelly is known as a demanding leader who works at an exhaustive pace. Although a Democrat, he endorsed Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican, and served as his campaign adviser on public-safety issues.
Mr. Kelly was praised during his first stint as police commissioner for reaching out to minority communities and recruiting minority police officers. He also helped draft the city’s Safe Streets, Safe City program, which put thousands more officers on the streets, a move that helped lead to historic reductions in crime.
Mr. Kelly was criticized, however, for his handling of the Crown Heights riots in 1991, when he was first deputy commissioner.
A state report after the riots found a “collective failure” by top-ranking police officials, including then-Commissioner Lee Brown and Mr. Kelly, to quickly stem the violence.
After being passed over for the top job when Republican Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani defeated Mr. Dinkins in 1993, Mr. Kelly helped establish Haiti’s interim public security force from October 1994 through March 1995.
He served from 1998 through 2000 as U.S. customs commissioner. After leaving Customs, Mr. Kelly took the job as head of security for Bear Stearns.