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Criminal Justice Conversations with David Onek: Bill Bratton, Former Los Angeles Police Chief

Bill Bratton
Bill Bratton

In Episode #4, Bill Bratton, former Los Angeles Police Chief and former New York Police Commissioner, discusses the importance of working with the community, recent charges of crime data manipulation in New York, the dangers of cutting police services due to budget crises, the emergence of “predictive policing,” and more.

Bratton Interview Highlights

Bratton on the Importance of Community Policing:

“The single most significant reason for the successes in Los Angeles – not only with reduced crime, but with improved public feelings about their police force – is community policing.”

Bratton on the Dangers of Cutting Funding for Policing Services:

“The big risk now for Los Angeles and indeed America is that there is a significant disinvestment going on as it relates to our criminal justice systems… It’s like a patient who is being treated successfully for cancer and all of a sudden you start reducing the radiation and chemotherapy and the patient starts, as you might expect, not getting better but once again feeling the effects of their illness.”

Bratton on Leading an Ambitious Team:

“I want to use their ambition… I’m very comfortable having people who want my job. I am very comfortable that I can hold it until I’m ready to leave, and then they are welcome to it.  And I want them hungry. I was hungry to get ahead… You go where the talent is and you have to have confidence that you can lead them.”


The Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast with David Onek features in-depth, thirty-minute interviews with a wide range of criminal justice leaders: law enforcement officials, policymakers, advocates, service providers, academics and others.

The Podcast gets behind the sound bites that far too often dominate the public dialogue about criminal justice, to have detailed, nuanced conversations about criminal justice policy.

Podcast host David Onek is a Senior Fellow at Berkeley Law School and a former Commissioner on the San Francisco Police Commission.

You can find more information on the Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast and listen to all past episodes on the Podcast web site.

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