Close to finishing an evaluation of Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton’s fourth year in the job, the president and vice president of the Los Angeles Police Commission say they are leaning toward approving a five-year contract extension, the Los Angeles Times reports. Although several City Council members have said that he has made a few “unprofessional” comments, commissioners are generally pleased with Bratton’s tenure, which has been marked by sharp declines in crime, improvements in officer morale, and implementation of reforms demanded by civil-rights advocates.
Tomorrow, the commission is scheduled to meet with Bratton behind closed doors to discuss his performance. Before that, the panel has set aside time starting at 8:30 a.m. to hear what the public thinks of the chief. Although commissioners may be glowing in their praise of Bratton, a lot can happen in the year remaining in his term. The 40 percent drop in crime during his tenure may be impossible to sustain. Violent crime is down a paltry 1.1 percent so far this year compared with 2005, undermined by a 9 percent rise in robberies.