Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that William Bratton will be New York's next police commissioner, a job he held in 1994-1996 before going on to become the top cop in Los Angeles.

"Bill Bratton is a proven crime-fighter," De Blasio said. "He knows what it takes to keep a city safe, and make communities full partners in the mission."

Crime was a major issue in New York two decades ago when then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani tapped Bratton to run the nation's largest police force.

Bratton, a career cop who rose through the ranks to become police chief in Boston, was credited with implementing changes that led to a significant decline in crime in the Big Apple.

The trend has continued under Bratton's successors, including incumbent NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

"This department will not rest on its laurels. We are going to continue making history as the safest big city in America," Bratton said Thursday.

De Blasio made a point during his mayoral campaign of criticizing the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy, a tactic that began in the 1990s under Bratton and was intensified under Kelly.

Statistics show the vast majority of those stopped under the policy are black or Hispanic and that only a tiny fraction of stops result in arrests for serious offenses.

"Bill Bratton knows that when it comes to stop-and-frisk it has to be used with respect and it has to be used properly," De Blasio said Thursday, rejecting the idea that New Yorkers must choose between keeping the streets safe and protecting civil rights.

"This is an administration that will do both," the mayor-elect said. EFE