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Is Police Chief Bill Bratton Leaving L.A.?


Were L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson's big plans to keep LAPD Chief Bill Bratton for another five-year term all for naught?

L.A. Times reported yesterday that the chief has put his Los Feliz home up for sale, noting Bratton may leave for Britain and a top job at Scotland Yard.  L.A. Observed and Curbed L.A. add to the speculation.

When Bratton talked with L.A. Weekly a few months ago, he mentioned nothing about moving, said he still had a few years left on his term as chief of the LAPD -- which ends in 2012 -- and that he had no plans to run for mayor or any other political office.

"I have no interest in politics because I can get a lot more done as a chief of police than I could as an elected official," Bratton said in a March, 2009, interview. "I'm being quite frank with you. I've looked at politics back in New York after I left as commissioner and got very close to it and decided it's much easier to be appointed to something than to be elected into it. So politics is not in my future."

Around the same time of this interview, L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson had introduced the idea that perhaps voters could change the City Charter and keep Bratton around for another five years. Nothing has been heard again of that plan.

But Bratton, who L.A. heavyweight liberal Tom Hayden recently took to task in The Nation, had told the Weekly he expected to serve out his term and, whether or not he got the extra five years, stay in the police business. He also promised to start a new "evolution of policing" called "predictive policing," which will predict what crimes will occur in a given neighborhood if the police aren't there.

"I will remain a very forceful advocate of the importance of police and

a very forceful advocate of the importance of policing as I practice

it," Bratton said in the interview, "which is the idea of community policing, the idea of CompStat-type

systems to manage, and also developing what I think is the next

evolution of policing which is predictive policing, which builds on all

the other phases that went before it."

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.