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William Bratton says he won’t remain NYPD commissioner past 2017

Posted: 11:22 AM, Jul 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-25 19:20:09-04

NEW YORK — William Bratton says he will not remain commissioner of the New York Police Department past 2017.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Police Commissioner for City of New York William J. Bratton speaks onstage during NY Times Cities For Tomorrow Conference on July 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for New York Times)

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton speaks onstage during NY Times Cities For Tomorrow Conference on July 21, 2015 in New York City. (Getty Images/New York Times)

The New York Times, which interviewed Bratton , says he also left open the possibility that he could leave even sooner.

The 68-year-old commissioner says he's "still young enough" to take on "additional challenges."

Bratton says he's already created a line of succession.

Bratton has been one of Mayor Bill de Blasio's most powerful defenders.

De Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips calls the news "very much expected" after Bratton's more than 45 years of service.

Phillips says that whenever Bratton decides to depart, he will leave behind "an unparalleled legacy of distinction."

In the meantime, Bratton and de Blasio will continue to work to reduce crime and improve community-police relations, Phillips said.