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Farewell to the Chief



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The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton will announce his resignation today. He will take a new job as head of a private security firm, according to the Times.

There have long been rumors in the LAPD that Bratton would be moving on to some other position.  Last month, he put his Los Feliz house up for sale, offering the laughable explanation that he was trying to sell in a down market because he no longer wished to pay to maintain the pool he seldom used. You had to know something was in the works.

Chief Bratton

Bratton came to the LAPD in 2002, and for all of his tenure the department was governed by the federal consent decree that arose from the Rampart scandal of the late nineties. Bratton’s primary goals as chief were to lower crime in Los Angeles and to extricate the department from the consent decree, both of which he accomplished. He leaves the LAPD in a far better condition than when he arrived, and for all my many criticisms of Bratton over the years, that fact simply cannot be ignored.

We will soon witness the carnival of barefaced media spinning and behind-the-scenes backstabbing that will attend the process of selecting Bratton’s replacement. There are a few senior officers within the LAPD who see themselves as the logical successor to the top job. Almost all of them are mistaken in this self-assessment, but I’ll refrain from commenting on individuals until the process moves farther along its course.

But I will say this: It was the corrosive influence of identity politics that burdened the LAPD with the affable but inept Willie Williams and the tyrannical Bernard Parks, under both of whom the department suffered badly. Such influences will no doubt come into play in the coming months, but I hope those charged with selecting the new chief will be wise enough to put them aside. May the best man (or woman) win.

– Jack Dunphy is an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. “Jack Dunphy” is the author’s nom de cyber. The opinions expressed are his own and almost certainly do not reflect those of the LAPD management.



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