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William Bratton launches global security firm Monday

As chairman of Altegrity Risk International, the retired LAPD chief has tapped a former L.A. councilman and a former deputy police chief to fill key roles.

January 28, 2010|By Stuart Pfeifer

With former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton on board, Virginia-based Altegrity Inc. is launching a global investigations company with ties to the city.

Bratton is chairman of the new firm, Altegrity Risk International. He's tapped former L.A. City Councilman Jack Weiss to run the company's Los Angeles office and former Deputy Police Chief Michael Berkow as president of its security consulting unit.

Bratton retired from the Los Angeles Police Department in August after eight years to work for Altegrity Inc., which had more than $900 million in revenue last year and is headed by Mike Cherkasky, former chief executive of the Kroll Group. The global security firm, headquartered in New York, becomes the fourth company operated by Altegrity Inc.

Altegrity Risk International, which launches Monday, will face significant competition from security and investigative firms such as Kroll and DynCorp. The new unit will employ about 100 people and operate offices in Chicago, Houston, London and Hong Kong as well as L.A.

Bratton said he tapped Weiss to run the Los Angeles office because of Weiss' experience as a former federal prosecutor and two-term councilman. He said he was impressed by Weiss' efforts in 2008 to obtain $1 million in city funding to hire analysts and outside consultants to reduce the LAPD's backlog of unexamined DNA evidence.

"I got to see Jack in a role in which he was very supportive of the goals of the department. He drove the DNA issue. He knows how to dig down, get information, get results," Bratton said.

"Jack has a very big Rolodex, and let's face it, I need somebody who can get out of the gate very quickly, get through the door and show people what ARI can do."

Weiss, who lost to Carmen Trutanich in a May election for city attorney, said his work as federal prosecutor from 1994 to 2000 will help in his new role with Altegrity.

During his career with the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, Weiss prosecuted financial fraud, public corruption and violent crime.

"It's the chance to do that work again, in addition to working with Chief Bratton again, that makes this opportunity so attractive to me," Weiss said. He will operate out of Century City.

Berkow worked for Bratton in Los Angeles from 2003 until 2006, when Berkow left the department to become police chief in Savannah, Ga.

Berkow's stint in Los Angeles was stained by revelations in a civil deposition that he had a three-year affair with a female sergeant in his division. He said at the time that the relationship did not violate department policy.

Berkow, who left the Savannah police force in August, will oversee Altegrity Security Consulting, an arm of the new company that will assist foreign countries in establishing criminal justice operations: police departments, criminal courts and jails.

Under Berkow's supervision, Altegrity will compete for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending to overhaul criminal justice operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Bratton said.

In addition to Altegrity Risk International, Altegrity operates U.S. Investigations Services, a unit that provides security clearances for federal government employees; HireRight, an Irvine company that performs pre-employment screening for private companies; and Explore Information Services, which monitors driving records for automobile insurance companies.

stuart.pfeifer@latimes.com

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