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William Bratton

L.A. learned the folly of blunt response to crime

L.A. learned the folly of blunt response to crime

When Bernard C. Parks was named chief of the Los Angeles Police Department in 1997, he was asked whether it was fair to judge a chief's performance by the level of crime in his city. Never one to flinch, Parks responded that if crime increases, “the chief of police hasn't done a good job.” Chief Charlie Beck isn't quoting Parks these days, as he and Mayor Eric Garcetti grapple with data that, for the first time in more than a decade, show crime — in every category except homicide — increasing across the city of Los Angeles. That's an alarming turn of events, and yet it's not one that should prompt city leaders to overreact. It was not that...

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