Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton pledges to reduce serious crime by 20 percent in 2004 and cut a full minute–from nine to eight–off average police response times. The crime-reduction goals would drop such categories as homicides, rapes, and robberies to their lowest levels in three decades, reports the Los Angeles Times.
A key element in the plan is computer software enabling officers to access criminal records from a variety of computer databases more quickly to connect crimes and identify suspects. The department needs money to pay for the software, equipment, and operation. LAPD would also put more officers on the street.
Last year, Bratton said that homicides would be cut by 25 percent and violent crime by 10 percent.
He retreated from those goals after the City Council rejected a request to hire 320 officers. Homicide dropped 23 percent and violent crime fell 6 percent.
Mayor James K. Hahn said, “You don’t see too many police departments make that kind of pledge to the community. But this is a police department that has made goals and delivered on those goals.”
Bratton wants his department to solve more cases. The LAPD clears about 21 percent of cases; the chief wants to move to 25 percent this year.