Writing in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times, James Q. Wilson described departing police chief William Bratton as “the best thing that happened to the LAPD since [former police chief] William H. Parker.” This is arguably so. Bratton, who announced his resignation on Wednesday, combined his remarkable talent for organization with his even more remarkable talent for self-promotion to bring a sense of order to a city and a police department badly in need of one. But his triumph is somewhat magnified by the epic failure of his predecessor, Bernard Parks, under whose stewardship the LAPD saw five years of scandal, plummeting morale and, most significantly, rising crime. Bratton is due all the accolades accorded him, but with warm-up act like that, almost anyone would have excelled by comparison.
— 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.