According to the Los Angeles Police
Department, “William J. Bratton was appointed Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department in October 2002.
Chief Bratton oversees the third largest police department in the United States, managing 9,300 sworn officers, 3,000
civilian employees, and an annual budget of more than one billion dollars. A strong community policing
advocate, he is directing a major reengineering of the LAPD, decentralizing the bureaucracy, strengthening local commands,
increasing responsiveness to community concerns, and developing strategies to counter gang-related crimes and the threat of
terrorism. During his first three years as Chief in Los Angeles, the LAPD has driven Part I crime down
26.4 percent, including a 25.5 percent reduction in homicide. The Department has also developed one of
the most comprehensive and effective counter-terrorism operations in the country.
The only person ever to serve as chief
executive of both the LAPD and the NYPD, Chief Bratton established an international reputation for reengineering police departments
and fighting crime in the 1990s. As Chief of the New York City Transit Police, Boston Police Commissioner,
then New York City Police Commissioner, he revitalized morale and cut crime in all three posts, achieving the largest crime
declines in New York City’s history. He led the development of COMPSTAT, the internationally acclaimed
command accountability metric system that uses computer-mapping technology and timely crime analysis to target emerging crime
patterns and coordinate police response. From 1996 on, Chief Bratton worked in the private sector, where
he formed his own private consulting company, The Bratton Group, L.L.C., working on four continents, including extensive consulting
in South America. He also consulted with the Kroll Associates monitoring team overseeing the implementation
of the Federal Consent Decree with the LAPD.
Chief Bratton holds a Bachelor of Science
Degree in Law Enforcement from Boston State College/University of Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the
FBI National Executive Institute and was a Senior Executive Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard
William J. Bratton is the co-author
of Turnaround: How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic and Scene of the
Crime: Photographs from the LAPD Archive.
One reader of The Turnaround:
How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic said, “I decided to read this book when Bill Bratton
was hired as Chief of Police in Los Angeles. This book reads like an autobiography, from Bratton's childhood in Boston,
until after his falling out with Guiliani. Through his experiences, I learned a lot about police work.
Critics say that Bratton's success
in New York was concurrent with a nationwide drop in crime (presumably due to a strong economy) and thus isn't such a
big deal. Cheap shot. This book explains how a well managed police effort absolutely has an effect on crime. Bratton has a
strong track record of accomplishment, turning around the MBTA Police (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority), the Metropolitan
Police (now part of the Massachusetts State Police), the New York Transit Police, Boston Police, and NYPD.
Bratton believes in the Broken Windows
theory, i.e that acceptance of petty crime creates an environment that breeds more serious crime. (The slippery slope argument.)
He also believes in analysis of crime statistics, by location/time/etc. to determine how to deploy police resources: originally
pins on a map, eventually growing in to the famous CompStat.
Having lived in the Boston area for
many years, the references to different parts of the city where he worked, and to various people (Mayors, police officials,
etc.) made the book all the more interesting for me. Also, Bratton talks about a book called Your Police which he checked
out of the library as a boy; I remember checking that same book out of the library when I was around 8-years old. (Although
I've always had a strong interest in it, I didn't pursue a career in law enforcement.).
Bratton certainly has his work cut
out for him in Los Angeles. The LAPD has been plagued by scandal, inept leadership, and (not surprisingly) low morale and
high employee turnover. And crime is pervasive -- from reckless driving, littering and graffiti, to gang drive-by shootings.”
One reader of Scene of
the Crime: Photographs from the LAPD Archive said, “Scene of crime photos like other professional images
(medical, a racetrack photo-finish, IDs, speed cameras etc) don't need to worry about creative input, they just need to
give basic information, tell a story and that's it. The 133 case study photos in this handsomely designed and printed
book certainly captured my interest and I wanted to know more. At this point the first problem arises, all the captions are
at the back of the book, despite the fact that many of the photos are on pages with plenty of white space. At the back the
photos are presented as thumbnails but even here it gets confusing, the captions are in a separate text block to the thumbnails.
The reality is that all the captions could easily be with the relevant photos if the book had been designed a bit differently
or if the captions had to be in the back they should have been placed below the relevant thumbnails.
There might be a reason for this rather
inadequate arrangement though because (problem two) there are sixty-five photos, which when you turn to read the caption,
you'll find the photo date, a one or two word description and then 'Case information unavailable'. So, amazingly,
for about half the photos in the book there are no captions, no story to tell. To my mind this seems a fairly fundamental
editorial failure especially considering that the LAPD archives probably contain over a million case photos and surely 133
could have been selected that had their case material available. As to the photos, they are the usual selection
of battered and bloodied bodies in car wrecks, living rooms, bedrooms, eateries or just plain anywhere, ransom notes (bank
robbers are not a very literate bunch) mug shots and plenty showing the ordinary, mundane detritus of crime. Historically
they cover the twenties to the seventies and fortunately you'll find no celebrities here. There seems
to be a growing interest in publishing crime photos, I have a copy of 'New York Noir' (ISBN 0847821722) a beautifully
produced book of images from the archives of the New York Daily News and the rather more crudely produced (and this probably
gave the photos more impetus) 'Death Scenes' (ISBN 0922915296) a very explicit collection of photos collected over
the years by LA detective Jack Huddleston. 'Scene of the Crime' is an intriguing book that could
have been far more interesting if it had delivered all that it promised, so only three stars. BTW, if you are sensitive about
photos of dead bodies don't buy it.”