By JIM FITZGERALD | AP
PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) — Former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday he'd consider returning to the job and has met with several candidates for mayor.
"I'd be lying if I said it would not be of interest," Bratton said. "I think I have more to contribute, more ideas, and I like being in a position to make a difference."
Bratton, 65, was commissioner from 1994 to 1996 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He spoke to reporters after delivering the keynote speech at a symposium on school safety at Purchase College in the New York suburbs.
Bratton said he has met with mayoral candidates including former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, and Republican publisher Tom Allon.
He said those discussions were about police matters such as the size of the department and the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program, and did not include specific offers to come back as top cop.
"I keep all my options open," he said. "Who knows? Right now it's a wide-open race for mayor."
If City Council Speaker Christine Quinn becomes mayor, Bratton said he expects her to try to keep incumbent Ray Kelly as commissioner. Quinn declined comment on Bratton's remarks.
Bratton said he hasn't spoken with Kelly about a possible return, and that Kelly "has been doing a tremendous job."
Bratton was Boston police commissioner before leading the NYPD, and he became Los Angeles' chief of police in 2002. In 2011, British Prime Minister David Cameron turned to Bratton for advice after a wave of violence hit cities in England.
Bratton said Wednesday that Britain is considering a measure that would allow foreigners to hold high positions in police forces, and he said he'd be interested in such a post.
He said he is currently consulting for Oakland, Calif., and Detroit. He is an adviser at the Kroll risk consulting company and has his own consulting company, he said.
"The private sector certainly pays better," Bratton said.
But he added, "I'm still a young guy. At some point in my life I'd love to come back into public safety. ... There's nothing quite as exciting as the ability to change environments and save lives."