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This Cop Counts

+ Jonathan Stewart

Throughout his career, including as the head of the NYPD and LAPD, Bill Bratton has repeated a mantra: cops count. Again and again, he's proven this to be true. Through police department reforms, Bratton has shown that a properly managed police force can have a significant impact on preventing crime and lowering crime rates. However, as a serial turnaround engineer, he’s also shown that this cop counts. Bratton's skill at efficiently utilizing and effectively motivating the officers in his departments is unprecedented and unmatched.

Former Commissioner Bratton joined Paul Romer, the founding director of the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, Wednesday afternoon for the firs
Former Commissioner Bratton joined Paul Romer, the founding director of the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, Wednesday afternoon for the firs

When Bratton took over the New York City Transit Police in 1990, crime and disorder were rampant on the NYC subway system.  Turnstile jumpers and broken token machines, often jammed by individuals attempting to steal the tokens, accounted for two hundred and fifty thousand unpaid fares per day. By the time Bratton left this post in 1991, crime committed in the subway system had dropped by 25%. He achieved similar results as the head of the NYPD and LAPD.

Bratton emphasized Sir Robert Peel's Principles of Law Enforcement, which states that the authority for police conduct was derived from the assent of the community. There have been times in US history when the police have assumed too much power and were subsequently reigned in, for example by the Supreme Court with the Miranda warning. In direct contrast to the oft-perceived police culture of excessive force, Bratton emphasized that police must do their jobs "constitutionally, consistently, and respectfully."

Please find the full transcript of Romer and Bratton's conversation here.

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