Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will select a new police chief as crime is declining and the city is enjoying a respite from racial strife, sparing him from political perils that bloodied the three previous mayors facing similar appointments, says the Los Angeles Times. Still, he is under pressure to name a successor capable of measuring up to William Bratton. The outgoing chief is credited with helping transforming the police department into a more effective and accountable agency that has salved decades of animosity with minorities.
Every morning, an e-mail pops up on Villaraigosa’s BlackBerry with the city’s up-to-the-minute homicide rate, down to the decimal point. Since he took office, homicides are down 37 percent, and violent crime is down 20 percent. Wednesday, he started interviewing the three finalists selected by the Los Angeles Police Commission: Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell, Deputy Chief Charlie Beck and Deputy Chief Michel Moore, all respected, veteran commanders.