William Bratton, whose tenure as New York City police commissioner in the 1990s was marked by a steep decline in crime and clashes with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has been chosen to lead the nation's largest police force again.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced the appointment Thursday, calling Bratton a "proven crime-fighter" who knows how to keep the city safe.

He is being named as the 34,000-officer department tries to maintain a historic drop in crime and an extensive counterterrorism program, even as its tactics have come under increased scrutiny. Bratton, who has also led the Boston and Los Angeles police departments, will succeed Raymond Kelly.

"Wherever he's gone, there's been a reduction in crime," said de Blasio, a Democrat who takes office Jan 1. "I am choosing the best police leader in the United States of America." - AP