There could be a discussion whether or not Gotham City needs a Batman. Let's skip that and agree that it does. Gotham has its share of kooky villains and the fear of Batman keeps them slightly in check.
You might recall from Batman #674 that once upon a time, there were plans to create a replacement for Batman through the GCPD. If Batman dies or disappears, the villains will notice and wouldn't hesitate to all try to take a piece of Gotham for themselves. Batman is smart enough to have his own contingency plans but look what happened the last time he "died." He chose Dick Grayson to take his place without consulting him. Dick struggled with his new appointment and was ready to turn it down. There was even a battle over the cowl between Jason and Tim. Would it be better for the police to choose and train their own candidate to be Gotham's protector?
== TEASER ==
Here is where the debate comes in. If anyone has the right to choose a replacement for Batman, it should be Bruce. Then again, one of his potential replacements was Jason, who we all know is far from stable. Sure Jason probably was further down the list but he's still a loose cannon that Batman allowed to run free. The three police officers that were chosen for the program weren't in much better mental condition. This could be due to Doctor Hurt's wacky conditioning but the GCPD's track record isn't so great now.
Gotham may have survived before Batman was born. His presence has helped tame some of the corruption but you have to admit he has also attracted a new kind of criminal element. There weren't a bunch of costumed criminals before Batman's debut. Should he die or disappear, Gotham needs someone to fill his boots. Dick Grayson or Tim Drake may not be available. Who has the right to choose the next protector of Gotham City? Batman may have the right to decide but would choosing his successor be one of his top priorities? His hands are full fighting crime in Gotham while also being part of the Justice League. Is it fair to the citizens of Gotham to place their trust in the hands of one vigilante? The GCPD, if done properly, could ensure that the next candidate is properly trained, ready and willing to take the job when called to duty. Unfortunately, even if Commissioner Gordon were involved, what would be the chances of finding someone on Batman's level? Perhaps Gotham will simply have to hope that Batman will always be around and will always have a suitable replacement waiting.