Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton to step down
Bratton is expected to announce his decision at a noon press conference today. He did not return several calls seeking comment.
In a Los Angeles Times poll earlier this year, respondents expressed strong support for both the department and its chief. Almost eight in 10 registered voters said they either "strongly approve" or "somewhat approve" of police performance today.
It remains to be seen whether the changes made over the last 6 1/2 years have taken deep enough root to outlast the man who oversaw them. In recent interviews with The Times, Bratton has said that he believed the department was prepared for his departure. "If I left tomorrow," he said in December, "this would continue after I'm gone."
Bratton has long brushed aside frequent rumors about him leaving the LAPD for other jobs. British tabloids have often breathlessly announced he was a front-runner to take over Scotland Yard. And during the recent presidential campaign, he was seen as a strong candidate for a top federal law enforcement job, such as at the Department of Homeland Security. When asked by The Times last month whether his decision to place his Los Feliz home on the market was a portent of some brewing decision to leave, he said he had no such plans.
Regardless, the termination of the consent decree last month seemed to signal a major turning point for Bratton and his outlook on his tenure at the LAPD. With the department now free of what he believed was the heavy stigma of federal oversight, there appeared to be little new for Bratton to focus his energies on.
"I never want to go and just maintain something," he said in an interview late last year. "I want to be able to fix something."
-- Joel Rubin
Bratton lists his Los Feliz home at $1,875,000
Photo credits: Top, Al Seib / Los Angeles Times; bottom, Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times