Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton’s accountability tactics are credited with helping to cut serious crime 30 percent in five years, putting the city in the forefront of antiterrorism readiness, and restoring faith in a department plagued by serial scandals, says the Christian Science Monitor. He has embraced a list of reforms – use-of-force guidelines, pursuit, training, recruitment, officer-tracking – to meet the requirements of a federal consent decree to promote “police integrity.”
“Bratton has been able to regain the public trust early by reducing the crime rate visibly and making everyone feel L.A. is a safer place,” says Merrick Bobb of the Los Angeles-based Police Assessment Resource Center. Bratton handled the May 1 riot police incident in MacArthur Park through public meetings and by holding officers accountable. Observers say Bratton avoided the conflicts that have erupted here for decades. With the incident largely behind him, he is seizing the moment – the positive light of reappointment, the negative light of scandal – to hone the point that he emphasized in his first term: cops count. In 16-hour days, seven days a week, he takes the message to church, civic, educational, and other groups. “I have committed my whole professional life to making the public aware of the importance of police,” he says.