NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton is shown in this undated...

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton is shown in this undated photo. Credit: Charles Eckert

Parents have to do a better job of controlling their kids if the safety of New York is to be assured, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday.

Speaking at a "New York Ideas" forum in Manhattan, Bratton tackled a number of policing issues raised by moderator James Bennet, editor of The Atlantic.

Toward the end of his 20 minutes of remarks, Bratton stressed a familiar theme: In a democracy, the police and public have shared responsibilities.

"The challenge for us, the police, is to do it [the job] constitutionally . . . to do it respectfully, to do it compassionately and . . . to do it in a way that we are not seen as biased towards any of the groups we police," he said.

Parents, he said, must face up to their responsibility and make sure their children behave correctly, particularly with police.

"I will control my cops, you control your kids -- this is a shared responsibility," Bratton said emphatically, drawing applause. "So don't be complaining to me if you can't take care of your kids at home. It is a shared responsibility."

Bratton also said the emergence of social media has sometimes made it difficult for the NYPD to do its job. In one recent case in the Bronx, he said officers responded to a fight in a park. A large group of bystanders put cameras "in the face" of the cops, Bratton said.

"Clearly on the video in the crowd is a young man with a knife. He has a knife behind him, and God knows what he was going to do with that knife," said Bratton, who believes the crowd was trying to agitate the cops rather than help.

"That is what we are up against. There are so many cop-haters out there," he said. "Everybody wants to get that camera out, and not record the good things that are happening. They are all trying to incite or record an officer stepping out of line."

The forum, co-sponsored by the magazine and Aspen Institute, aimed to examine "ideas and trends that will change the future."

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