Bratton: Make Crime A 2008 National Election Issue


Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, 100,000 people – “an incredible number” – have been murdered in the U.S., says New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, who adds that “the news media and most politicians have hardly bothered to notice.” In a column available only to Times Select subscribers, Herbert quotes Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton as saying, “What we'd like to do is bring this issue of crime back into the national debate in this election year. What you don't want is to let it get out of control like it did in the late '80s and early '90s.”

Herbert says law enforcement officials believe there is something more vicious and cold-blooded about the latest crime wave. Robberies by juveniles with little regard for the lives of their victims are more prevalent. People with cellphones, iPods, and other electronic devices are particular targets. Herbert notes that the Bush administration and much of the Republican Party have held to the ideological notion that crime is a local problem. “We have to get the feds back into this game,” said Bratton. “They have the resources. They can help us.”


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