William Bratton, who is leaving after seven years as Los Angeles Police Chief, “has struggled to supplant the fiercely independent culture” developed by William Parker, his predecessor from 1950 to 1966, says Governing magazine. Parker tried to purge his department from corruption by freeing it from politicians. The city’s increasingly liberal elected leaders hit back by starving the department of resources. Bratton, in contrast, focused on changing the mindset of his top managers.
Bratton has struggled to win the hearts and minds of street cops. “This department is still not behind me to the extent that the NYPD was,” Bratton acknowledges. “I'm not a beloved figure here, and I don't kid myself–within the ranks of the LAPD, the influences of the past are still very significant in this organization.” In other words, the ghosts of Chief Parker remain, says Governing writer John Buntin, author of the new book “L.A. Noir.”