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Then There Were 3: Hahn's Choices for Chief

September 28, 2002

Anyone who thinks that Bill Bratton lets self-promotion get in the way of the job to be done has never seen him in action ("Bratton Exhibits Results--and a Taste for Limelight," Sept. 24). Bratton has headed three good-sized police departments, as head of the New York transit police and then as police commissioner in Boston and New York. Only in the last job did Bratton's high profile, generated more by the spectacular job he did than by any headline-hunting on his part, get him in trouble: not with the people who worked for him or with the public but with a mayor who couldn't stand to have anyone else share the credit.

I've known Bratton for 25 years. We met when he was a police lieutenant in Boston, already recognized as a rising star, and I was a young policy analyst in City Hall. I've never known him to make a claim he couldn't back up with facts. Nor have I ever seen him feed his own ego at the expense of others. Is he proud of his record? Sure. With a record like that, why not?

Mark Kleiman

Professor of Policy Studies UCLA

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Re "Lopez Builds Bridges Between Police and Communities," Sept. 23: I noticed the negative comments by William Rathburn, a retired LAPD deputy chief, about Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez. I was disappointed. Not only were the comments unfair, they were totally wrong.

I have worked around Lopez for several years and found him to be exceptionally bright, hard-working and honest. He is well-liked by his subordinates and his peers. Although he is well qualified to be chief in L.A., politics may preclude his appointment.

Larry Binkley

Long Beach

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Mayor James Hahn has a chance to bring greatness to the LAPD. Bratton is by far the best chief in America. The man worked miracles by turning around the New York and Boston police departments. He knows how to fight crime. He cut the homicide rate by 50% in New York and serious crime overall by 33%. Bratton brought all the diverse communities together and they all became partners in fighting crime.

Bratton faced similar problems in Boston and New York with poor officer morale. He won over the hearts and souls of the police officers. They loved the guy, and their work product improved. I know he will do even better in L.A. If Hahn wants a real reduction in crime and a change in the way things are done at the LAPD, then there is no better person to lead the LAPD.

Thomas Marchetti

Glendora

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In "Jewish Gay Cop Makes an Impression but Fails to Make Cut" (Sept. 22), Steve Lopez would have us believe that he is speaking out against hate groups' unfounded prejudices in the case of David Kalish. But Lopez gets into the same dirty bathwater when he compares Kalish's isolation among macho cops to that of feeling "as out of place as a straight man in a seminary." Lopez's blanket judgment of all seminarians (and indirectly, those in the priesthood) as, well, of course, gay, is unjust and unfounded. I mean, we all know that all priests are gay, don't we? Is that your slant, Mr. Lopez? Your simile was irresponsible and inaccurate.

Judy Perry

Indian Wells

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