William Bratton (Photo: NYPD)

William Bratton (Photo: NYPD)

William Bratton, the police commissioner who led departments in Boston, Los Angeles and New York and saw his crime fighting strategies copied across the nation, ended his unparalleled law enforcement career with a ceremonial send-off Friday in the city that was the setting of his biggest triumph, reports the Associated Press.

Commanders lined up in formation outside of New York Police Department headquarters to bid farewell to the 68-year-old Bratton as he left the building for the last time as commissioner.

Friday's ceremony came just a week after Bratton fiercely defended the legitimacy of his signature "broken windows" policing strategy - an idea, first proposed by social scientists James Wilson and George Kelling, that you can deter violent crimes by cracking down on lesser types of lawlessness, like graffiti or turnstile jumping.

Bratton earned wide acclaim for his assaults on so-called quality-of-life crimes and for mining crime data to deploy his forces more effectively.

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