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Bratton's Take on Problems, Priorities in L.A.

October 05, 2002

Excerpts from William J. Bratton's meeting Friday at The Times:

"Problems with crime and disorder and fear in Los Angeles are not just murders, not just gang violence, not just narcotics, not just vice divisions, not just quality-of-life conditions. The problems are a combination of all of these. Where you have guns, you have young people. You have young people and guns, you have gangs. You have gangs, young people and guns and narcotics, because that is what's feeding it all.

"The LAPD has been fighting those problems independently, separately. There is no organized crime strategy in the LAPD that I can find after a year."

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Regarding his plans for reorganizing the department:

"I'll be bringing in very few outsiders, initially, because I don't need them. There's a lot of talent in this organization, like the NYPD of 1993.... A lot of the talent is farther down in the organization, but there's some up at the upper levels. It's a matter of merging the two and coming out with a new talent that will embrace the consent decree."

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Regarding the computer-assisted crime program, CompStat, he started in New York :

"A lot of the medicine is the same. It's just the doses or the combination of medicines you have to apply....

"I want 18 separate police departments. I want those captains, or maybe commanders, running those divisions to function as a separate police force coordinated through CompStat, where those captains are charged with effectively meeting with their community and working on their particular problems."

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Regarding the optimum size of the LAPD:

"Nobody knows. And you know why they don't know. Because they've been scared to death to ask how big it should be. It seriously needs to be bigger than it is."

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