The progress the Los Angeles Police Department made under Chief William Bratton in the last seven years can be measured as much in the sweeping drop in crime as in the little interactions that reflect an easing of tensions, says the Los Angeles Times. Residents across the city say they hope the trend outlasts the personality as the mayor selects a new chief to replace Bratton, who officially stepped down Saturday.
From 2002 to now, the department’s stats show dramatic drops in every major category of crime: drops of 53.1 percent for homicides, 38.6 percent for rapes, 66.9 percent for aggravated assaults, and 28.6 percent for robbery. Bill Koontz, chairman of the Mar Vista Community Council’s safety and security committee, said Bratton has managed to be effective even without a big increase in boots on the ground. “The police have become more efficient,” said Koontz, who also sits on a community police advisory board. “Overall, he has been able to do a lot more with a lot less. Los Angeles has far fewer cops than New York but is still getting the same types of crime reduction numbers.”