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Bill Bratton was inspired by children's book on NYPD

Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio, right, holds a press

Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio, right, holds a press conference to announce his appointment of William J. Bratton, left, to serve as New York City's next Police Commissioner in Brooklyn. (Dec. 5, 2013) Credit: Charles Eckert

A children's book about the NYPD inspired a young Bill Bratton to become a police officer, the city's newest police commissioner said as his appointment was announced Wednesday.

Bratton read from the book that he took out from the Boston library as a 9-year-old, saying it has inspired him his whole career. "Your Police," long out of print, centers on the NYPD in 1956 and is about the importance of an officer's job.

George J. Zaffo, the author and illustrator, lived in Westchester County. He died in 1984.

"He did some beautiful things," said Zaffo's son, Thomas Zaffo, 66, of Westchester.

In one book Zaffo said his father documented the construction of the New York State Thruway and was one of the first to drive across the Tappan Zee Bridge.

"The most thrilling moment was when the Kennedys picked his books for their children," he said, referring to President John Kennedy who he said picked books about trucks and trains.

Zaffo's wife, Sieglinde Zaffo, said in a brief telephone interview that Bratton's mention of her husband's book was something "that makes me very proud."

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