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New LAPD Chief Embraces Consent Decree as Template for Reform

William Bratton, newly appointed Chief to the LAPD, has warned internal LAPD staff that he will not tolerate those who don’t back his vision for change in the Department. In community meetings throughout the city, Bratton said that much of the LAPD continues to operate the way it did in the 1960’s, and that he will work to change the Department by using the federal consent decree signed last year as a template for reform. The decree was signed after the U.S. Department of Justice found that the LAPD had been engaging in a long practice of civil rights violations. Bratton spent a year in Los Angeles as part of the decree’s federal monitoring team, and has said that he will use the findings of the decree to shape the development of an updated version of CompStat, a computer system he installed in New York in the 1990’s that guides police crime response. Because of the endemic problems in the LAPD, the new computer system will track data that will allow for the monitoring of possible racial profiling, and use of excessive force.

Throughout the selection process for the new chief, the National Center for Women & Policing and the Feminist Majority Foundation urged that candidates be asked specifically about what programs they had implemented to increase the numbers of women in policing, and to reduce violence against women. The National Center plans to meet with Chief Bratton soon to discuss reinstating departmental gender balance goals for hiring and promotion, as well as steps to eliminate police family violence.

Sources:

Los Angeles Times, 10/05/02

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