Police Commission Reappoints Chief Bratton To Second Term
Los Angeles – Today, the five members of the Los Angeles Police Commission unanimously agreed to reappoint William Bratton to a second five-year term as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police Commission President John W. Mack stated, "In his first term, Chief Bratton provided visionary and progressive leadership for this Department. His efforts have greatly benefited the City of Los Angeles in numerous ways and have advanced effective policing. He has demonstrated a recognition of the needs and concerns of our uniquely diversified City. He has been forthright and proactive in dealing with very disturbing and highly controversial LAPD incidents when the actions of some individual officers were very disturbing and created community outrage. His response to the May Day incident at MacArthur Park is a clear demonstration of Chief Bratton's exemplary, decisive leadership by addressing command and control problems and launching several comprehensive investigations. He aggressively reached out to individuals, victims, immigrant rights organizations, rally participants, Latino leaders, members of the media who were victims, civil rights and civil liberties leaders and organizations. Many can appear to be outstanding leaders when things are going well. However, one's response to adversity provides a real test for a leader. My fellow Commissioners and I carefully evaluated Chief Bratton's response to the MacArthur Park incident, and unanimously agreed that he has met that test thus far. As serious and disturbing as the MacArthur Park incident was, it represented only one aspect of the Police Commission's evaluation. We carefully reviewed his performance over a four and one half year period."
This Police Commission has systematically and regularly evaluated the performance of the Chief, conducting an annual performance evaluation. In addition, a quarterly performance review was initiated by this Commission. Annual goals were established for Chief Bratton and he incorporated them in assignments to his direct reports. These performance assessments included seven key areas: Visionary Leadership, Civilian Oversight, Community Policing, Crime Reduction Strategies, Police Misconduct and Reform, Diversity, and Cultural Competence. In addition, the Commission also considered the criteria established in August, 2002, by the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Selection Criteria for the Chief of Police. Together, these performance criteria and appointment criteria, provided a framework to comprehensively evaluate the Chief's request for reappointment to a five-year term.
Also reviewed and discussed were the reports completed by the court appointed independent monitor for the Federal Consent Decree regarding the progress the Department has made under the leadership of Chief Bratton.
Public input represented one key component of the reappointment process. On April 30, 2007, the Police Commission held a public hearing to provide the people of Los Angeles an opportunity to express their opinions pro and con regarding Chief Bratton's reappointment. The Commission publicized the public hearing on the Department's Web site and sent more than 600 letters and e-mails to community leaders and organizations. In addition, LAPD sent more than 400 letters to individuals and organizations. A press release was distributed and the hearing was widely publicized by the media. One hundred and seventy individuals attended this meeting and 69 individuals shared their opinions.
Since this Police Commission's appointment, several community meetings have been held in addition to the weekly Commission meetings. These meetings have enabled the Commission to hear from many members of the public expressing viewpoints related to the Department and Chief Bratton, specifically. The Commission also received 72 letters and 63 e-mails related to the reappointment of the Chief of Police. Of the 135 pieces of written documents received, 130 were in full support of Chief Bratton, and five were opposed to his reappointment.
"We had a great deal of documentation, resources, and input to utilize as we considered Chief Bratton's reappointment," stated Police Commissioner Anthony Pacheco. "We are extremely grateful for the input from the public, elected and appointed government officials in the form of comments at our meetings, e-mails, and letters. The people of this City have a strong sense of pride, and the overwhelming majority of people we heard from feel that Chief Bratton maintains that pride in Los Angeles."
The events of May 1, 2007, in MacArthur Park resulted in the Police Commission discussing with Chief Bratton initial concerns relative to the issues of command and control of the incident. In addition, he provided briefings to the public, the Police Commission and City Council regarding the incident. On June 12, 2007, the Police Commission discussed a preliminary report with Chief Bratton concerning the actions taken by him relating to the events that occurred on May 1st prior to, during and after the event, in closed session.
"The unfortunate reality in police work is that there are going to be situations or incidents which raise difficult issues for the community, Department, and City," stated Police Commission Vice President Alan Skobin. "We expect excellence from our police officers and receive it the vast majority of the time. However, while we may strive for perfection, none of us are perfect -- no human being is. As such, it is not fair to evaluate anyone, be they a street police officer or the Chief of Police, based on a requirement of perfection. It is more appropriate to judge Chief Bratton from a very high standard of demonstrated excellence, and his potential to help make Los Angeles the safest major City in America. A realistic assessment in that regard is that Chief Bratton is a highly respected, world class leader who has been the right leader at the right time for the LAPD. He has done an exceptional job in many ways, and he is the best person to continue the momentum necessary to lead the LAPD as it fights crime, while at the same time being a model for best practices in policing and accountability."
Chief Bratton has dealt with several disturbing incidents including high-profile cases involving Stanley Miller, Devin Brown, and Susie Peña, in a forthright manner. Chief Bratton and the Police Commission have not always agreed as evidenced by the police shooting and killing of 13 year old Devin Brown. However, Chief Bratton has consistently demonstrated professionalism, respect and openness in his relationship with the Police Commission. He is committed to transparency to the extent that is allowed by law. He will admit mistakes and recognize them as opportunities to build relationships and correct organizational deficiencies.
Chief Bratton has provided outstanding leadership to the Los Angeles Police Department since his appointment as Chief of Police on October 25, 2002. Since his arrival, he has set clear goals for the Department such as the reduction of violent crime and crime reduction percentages, compliance with the Federal Consent Decree, and an effective counter-terrorism organization. This year, a fourth goal of recruitment was established to achieve the ultimate goal of adding 1,000 additional police officers to the Department.
By setting goals and holding his subordinates accountable to the goals, he has created an organization that is continually striving for success that can be measured. He has challenged and encouraged the men and women of the Department to achieve these goals by using new methods and strategies within the existing resources.
Part I crime has been reduced overall 34.1% when comparing 2002 to 2006. A portion of that reduction is due to the correction in the classification of some crimes that had been reported in other categories for a number of years. Year to date, comparing 2006 to 2007, Part I crime is down 3.1%. Homicides have been reduced by 36.8% when comparing 2002 to 2006. Year to date, comparing 2006 to 2007, homicides are down 22.4%. This reduction in crime has occurred due in no small measure to the innovative leadership of Chief Bratton and the successful anti-crime programs that he has put in place. These programs include COMPSTAT, the Top 10 percent program, which focuses on the individuals who are responsible for a large percentage of criminal activity, and the effective use of deployment of available resources to match the current crime trends.
An additional focus on gang activity has occurred utilizing the Gang Initiatives implemented under the leadership of Chief Bratton with a reduction in gang related homicides of 28.7% comparing 2002 to 2006. Year to date, comparing 2006 to 2007, gang homicides are down 29.8%.
The Federal Consent Decree was embraced by Chief Bratton upon his assuming command of the Department and utilized as a plan of action to make the LAPD an example of best practices in policing in America. The creation of Audit Division to provide the variety of audits to comply with the Consent Decree was a major first step. Audit Division is now seen as a leader in police performance auditing in the country and other law enforcement agencies come to Los Angeles to learn from LAPD's staff. The creation of Force Investigation Division to investigate cases of serious use of force by officers is recognized around the country as a best practice model and has greatly improved the quality and timeliness of these investigations. TEAMS II is now fully functioning and being utilized by the Department. This is a major accomplishment and cornerstone of risk management for the Department. While the Consent Decree was extended for three years until June 15, 2009, the Department has continued to move forward to compliance with all but a few measures of the Consent Decree.
Under the leadership of Chief Bratton, the Department has implemented the Ethics Enforcement Section, which completes integrity audits to ensure that all employees of the Department maintain ethical conduct and operate within the law and policies of the Department. The Department is one of only two law enforcement agencies throughout the nation that on a regular basis conducts integrity checks. This has resulted in the Department apprehending employees involved in criminal conduct.
"Chief Bratton has embraced the Consent Decree as a method to achieving modern and effective policing," stated Police Commissioner Andrea Ordin. "His approach to reform is deliberate, innovative and appropriately evolving to reflect current needs. He recognizes the requirements of the Consent Decree are not just boxes to be checked, but provide guidance long after the expiration of the Consent Decree."
An example of Chief Bratton's direction toward tangible reform was his request to have an outside entity review and evaluate the Department five years following the Rampart corruption incident. That desire resulted in the Blue Ribbon Rampart Review Panel, led by civil rights attorney Connie Rice. The resulting report, "Rampart Reconsidered," was a candid pictorial of the Department with meaningful recommendations which were incorporated into Chief Bratton's "Blueprint for 21st Century Policing."
Preparation for and prevention of terrorist attack has also resulted in a number of programs at LAPD. Operation Archangel was developed to identify and protect critical infrastructure and key resources in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Joint Regional Intelligence Center is another example of the leadership displayed by Chief Bratton in working with Federal, State, and County agencies to have a fusion center to analyze and evaluate information to protect the City of Los Angeles and the metropolitan area. Also, the Terrorism Liaison Officer program, in which individual officers are trained to develop community contacts and be the conduit between the community and Department, has been very effective.
Chief Bratton has demonstrated his respect for the civilian oversight of the Department provided by the Police Commission. He recognizes that an open relationship between the Police Commission, Mayor and City Council is critical. Chief Bratton has developed a very positive working relationship with the Office of the Inspector General. He has provided the Inspector General and his staff unfettered access to all Department records and information. This access to information has assisted the Inspector General in fulfilling his role as the "eyes and ears" of the Police Commission to provide an independent review of Department operations.
Chief Bratton has demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity in the hiring, promoting and assignment of personnel in order that the Department reflect the Community it serves. In the past year a number of promotions and position upgrades have allowed the Chief to move towards meeting the goals of the Hunter LaLey Consent Decree for Lieutenant and below.
"Under Chief Bratton, the Department has evolved into a workforce that mirrors the population of Los Angeles," stated Commissioner Shelley Freeman. "This is an extremely important component of effective, community-based policing. Progress is being made in meeting the goal of hiring 650 new police officers this fiscal year. As of today there have been 730 police officers hired since July 1, 2006."
The Department sworn strength has increased by 420 officers since Chief Bratton assumed command from 9,067 to 9,487, as of May 26, 2007. The attached chart and information below provides a comparison of the diversity by rank within the sworn staff of the Department from October 2002 to May 26, 2007.
•Number of African Americans in 2002 was 1,217, and in 2007 is 1,177, a decrease of 3.4%
•Number of Hispanics in 2002 was 3,137, and in 2007 is 3,675, an increase of 17.1%
•Number of Asian Americans in 2002 was 498, and in 2007 is 605, an increase of 21.4%
•Number of Caucasians in 2002 was 4,025, and in 2007 is 3,815, a decrease of 5.5%
•Number of American Indians in 2002 was 42, and in 2007 is 42, no change
•Number of Filipinos in 2002 was 148, and in 2007 is 171, an increase of 15.5%
•Number of female officers in 2002 was 1,716 and in 2007 is 1,778 an increase of 3.5%
Police Commission President John W. Mack summarized today's events, "As both residents and representatives of the City of Los Angeles, my fellow Commissioners and I are elated that Chief Bratton requested reappointment as Chief of Police for the City of Los Angeles, and we are proud to confirm his historic reappointment to a second five-year term. During the next five years, Chief Bratton must address a number of major challenges including a continued transformation of the LAPD culture and accountability that will insure that we do not have another MacArthur Park incident; sustain crime reduction, particularly gang violence; complete the recruitment of 1,000 additional officers; fully complying with the court ordered Federal Consent Decree; providing a professional working environment free of discrimination; ensuring that when individual police officers' actions are found out of policy by LAPD and the Police Commission, in use of force investigations, they are held accountable; continue to recruit and promote a more diversified LAPD, particularly African Americans and women; and that officers at all levels reflect the diversity of the communities that they police; and continue to maintain LAPD as one of the nation's top anti-terrorism police departments, among other challenges."
Sworn Personnel by Rank, Gender, and Ethnicity, 2002 and 2007 Comparison
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