Bill Bratton, a lifelong law enforcement officer, made a name for himself as a no-nonsense cop — now that he's retiring, he looks back on a career with many accomplishments.
"Knuckleheads, nitwits, clowns — whatever you want to call them," Bratton said earlier this year in reference to groups of people riding unlicensed motorcylces in the city.
He was just as brash in his second go-round as police commissioner as he was in his first stint in the mid-1990s.
He backed up his words when it came to fighting crime, which fell drastically during his first reign as the city's top cop — and overall crime statistics decreased slightly when he headed the NYPD a second time.
However, there were blows to Bratton's and the department's image. The police chokehold death of Eric Garner in 2014 has remained in the news for more than two years.
And an alleged NYPD bribery scheme has been an embarrassment.
"It is not a particularly good day for the department," Bratton said when the scandal broke.
Four officers were arrested including three commanders. Five chiefs retired.
But Bratton said the department was better than ever. He pushed for and won the hiring of 1,300 additional cops.
He doubled the size of the counterterrorism unit, which now has more than 2,000 officers.
And he brought in new technology, including smart phones for all cops and shot spotter to pinpoint guns firing on the streets.
Tough talking Bratton has spent 46 years in law enforcement — beginning as a cop in his hometown of Boston. He became chief of the old New York City Transit Police in 1990, returned to Boston to be Police Commissioner, and then became the NYPD Commissioner in 1994.
He launched the CompStat program that uses computers to track crime patterns. But in two years he resigned after feuding with then Mayor Rudy Giuliani over who should get credit for crime reductions. He also served 7 years as Los Angeles' police chief.
And Bratton stands by his both controversial and celebrated practice of 'Broken Windows' policing, the belief that tackling small quality of life offenses prevents major crimes.
"I have helped to make the city of Boston safer, I have helped to make the city of Los Angeles safer. On two occasions, I have helped to make this city safer," Bratton said. "And believe me, I think I know what I am doing."
Bratton says he retired at the right time to take a private sector job and declares he will not be a police official again.