Recent gains in the police profession “are really in jeopardy,” former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton tells PoliceOne.com, citing larger police forces, improved benefits for officers, technology advances, equipment, facilities, and “forensics capabilities to deal with DNA.” Bratton, now chairman of the private Alegrity Risk International, noted that New York City is heading back to its 1990 staffing level of 34,000 officers, and Los Angeles is back to its 2002 level.
“It's ironic that just as we are finding additional medicines to deal with the problem of crime, we can't afford them,” Bratton says. The former chief predicted that police departments will spend less money on antiterror efforts because there has been no major successful terror attack in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001. Alluding to the prospective court-ordered reduction of tens of thousands of prison cells in California, Bratton said, “There are no jobs. There is no narcotics treatment. So the likelihood is that many of these people will just go back and commit crime again, in times when there are fewer police.”