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Former New York top cop hired by Brits to lead anti-gang operations

by: jim kouri | published: 08 15, 2011

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(Full disclusure: The writer has several relatives who have worked with or for former Police Commissioner William Bratton.)

British Prime Minister David Cameron has hired the former New York City police commissioner and Los Angeles police chief William Bratton to help combat Britain's out-of control street gangs, who were alleged to be the main culprits of the riots in London and other British cities.

"[Prime Minister] Cameron thanked me for agreeing to work with the British government as they deal with the issues of gang crime, gang violence and gang intervention," law enforcement veteran William Bratton, 63, said in an interview.

As of yesterday, August 13, The Metropolitan Police Service has arrested 1,276 people in connection with violence, disorder and looting. 748 of these have been charged.

Bratton is expected to utilize strategies he's learned dealing with several riots and large protests while commanding police officers in two of the United States' largest cities. According to officers who've worked with and for Bratton, his own dealings with some of the most dangerous gangs such as La Cosa Nostra, Colombian and Dominican drug crews, the Jamaican Posse, and others make him the right man for the job in London and other United Kingdom cities.

His willingness to share his knowledge and experience is expected to greatly help the British government prevent similar incidents in the future.

Commenting on the riots across England this week, Bratton said British police needed to focus on calming racial tensions by working more with community leaders and civil rights groups, he added. Bratton is a major proponent of what's termed "community-oriented policing."

He's also a proponent of the "broken windows" theory espoused by his former boss NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Bratton is credited with great achievements in reducing gang crimes in both New York and Los Angeles. In his first two years as head of the New York Police Department, reports of serious crime dropped by 27 percent.

The Law Enforcement Examiner's relatives who worked for Commissioner Bratton in the NYPD remember him as a cop who took care of his officers' needs.

"PC Bratton is the one who got Transit Authority police officers semi-automatic Glocks to replace 6-shot service revolvers in spite of liberal politicians who opposed the switch in sidearms. He also saw the consolidation of New York's three police departments -- City, Transit and Housing departments -- into one unified law enforcement agency," explained NYPD Officer Edna Aguayo.

"When Commissioner Bratton took over the NYPD, there were upwards of 2,000 homicides per year in New York. By the time he left, there were fewer than 800 homicides," said former NYPD Detective Mike Snopes.

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