Don’t Cheer Just Yet, William Bratton isn’t Going Anywhere
When news hit that William Bratton would be resigning as Police Commissioner of the New York Police Force, many cheered this occurrence as a victory. But, Bratton is more than just New York’s top cop, William Bratton is a brand, and a lucrative one at that.
William Bratton has weaved in and out of public policing and into the private sector throughout his career. As a police officer William Bratton has worked for Boston, New York, Los Angeles, as an advisor for Oakland’s police department, and was even given the honorary title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the Queen herself. Bratton, who is notorious to black and brown communities for the terror he reigned over them while police chief, has used his tough-on-crime stance as a way to market himself as an expert on policing. He has several self titled businesses – Bratton Technology and The Bratton Group – as well as working for the Homeland Security Advisory Council, NBC/MSNBC, the Crest Advisory, Altegrity, and Kroll.
Before becoming LAPD’s police chief Bratton acted as senior counsel for Kroll. At the time LAPD was under a federal consent decree for what is known as the Rampart scandal. LA City Council chose a former NY prosecutor Michael Cherkasky and the firm he currently was leading (Kroll associates) to be the independent monitors to make sure that changes were made. Which means that Bratton, before becoming police chief of LAPD, sat on the monitoring group that lead to the lifting of LAPD’s decree. LA Time’s reported that, “In July, Cherkasky told the federal judge overseeing the consent decree that the LAPD had sufficiently reformed itself and recommended the consent decree be lifted. In the same month, Cherkasky created Altegrity, a new holding company for his expanding security business. On Aug. 5, the former monitor hired Bratton to run a subsidiary, Altegrity Security Consulting.”
Kroll Laboratory Specialists, Inc., A subsidiary of Kroll inc., provides drug testing for law enforcement. KLS was sued by Eric Landon, a parolee who decided to fight his drug test result after finding out that KLS “used a lower than recommended threshold for testing for the drug THC in the bloodstream, which made it likely that the results would be false positive”, reported by USA Today. This negligence by KLS led to countless wrongful prosecutions and imprisonment of innocent people. While Bratton may have not been directly related to the misconduct of KLS, his revolving door with the company and the NYPD, makes it something that should be noted.
William Bratton was also instrumental in building the relationship between Israel and LAPD. The Jewish Journal reported, “The LAPD-Israel bond was in large part fused by former LAPD Chief William Bratton, who made official trips to Israel to learn about the country’s advanced counter-terrorism tactics during his chiefdom from 2002 to 2009. At a town hall meeting in Los Angeles near the end of his term, Bratton said of Israeli intelligence experts: “They are our allies. They are some of the best at what they do in the world, and that close relationship has been one of growing strength and importance”. When speaking at the National Conference on Personal Security in Jerusalem, Bratton proclaimed Israel and the US as being the two great democracies of our time, and stated that it was important for him to come to Israel to meet with their chief of police, “so they can learn from each other”. Now, it is no longer just the LAPD and NYPD (who by the way has a bureau in Israel) making the trips to the Israel for tactics sharing, even smaller cities like Fresno police chiefs are making the visit.
Bratton’s policing legacy will be popularizing “the broken windows theory” which justifies gentrification and in result justified police seeing poor communities of color as inherently criminal. Bratton’s policing has been instrumental in aiding the redevelopment of the cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Oakland. His business venture The Bratton Group’s website states that they help, “ businesses and individuals to change, grow and succeed. We have a reputation of helping businesses to change and grow quickly and sustainably”.
What should also be noted about Bratton’s legacy is how he successfully brought policing into the fold of the corporate world.
So while many may celebrate Bratton’s resignation understand that William Bratton™ will continue to be the top cop-for-hire, even after he resigns.
Suggested read: The Battles Ahead
***Since this article has been published it has been announce that William Bratton will work for Teneo Holdings
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