When Bill Bratton was sworn in as New York City's police commissioner in 1994, he made what many considered a bold promise: The NYPD would fight crime in every borough...and win. It seemed foolhardy; even everybody knows you can't win the war on crime. But Bratton delivered. In an extraordinary twenty-seven months, serious crime in New York City went down by 33 percent, the murder rate was cut in half--and Bill Bratton was heralded as the most charismatic and respected law enforcement official in America.. In this outspoken account of his news-making career, Bratton reveals how his cutting-edge policing strategies brought about the historic reduction in crime.
Bratton's success made national news and landed him on the cover of Time. It also landed him in political hot water. Bratton earned such positive press that before he'd completed his first week on the job, the administration of New York's media-hungry mayor Rudolph Giuliani, threatened to fire him. Bratton gives a vivid, behind-the-scenes look at the sizzle and substance, and he pulls no punches describing the personalities who really run the city.
Bratton grew up in a working-class Boston neighborhood, always dreaming of being a cop. As a young officer under Robert di Grazia, Boston's progressive police commissioner, he got a ground-level view of real police reform and also saw what happens when an outspoken, dynamic, reform-minded police commissioner starts to outshine an ambitious mayor. He was soon in the forefront of the community policing movement and a rising star in the profession. Bratton had turned around four major police departments when he accepted the number one police job in America.
When Bratton arrived at the NYPD, New York's Finest were almost hiding; they had given up on preventing crime and were trying only to respond to it. Narcotics, Vice, Auto Theft, and the Gun Squads all worked banker's hours while the competition--the bad guys--worked around the clock. Bratton changed that. He brought talent to the top and instilled pride in the force; he listened to the people in the neighborhoods and to the cops on the street. Bratton and his "dream team" created Compstat, a combination of computer statistics analysis and an unwavering demand for accountability. Cops were called on the carpet, and crime began to drop. With Bratton on the job, New York City was turned around.
Today, New York's plummeting crime rate and improved quality of life remain a national success story. Bratton is directly responsible, and his strategies are being studied and implemented by police forces across the country and around the world. In Turnaround, Bratton shows how the war on crime can be won once and for all.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: The Turnaround|
|Release Date: 03-04-2009|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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MY MOTHER COULDN'T FIND ME.
I was only a year and a half old, barely a toddler, and there were a very limited number of places I could be. My parents and I lived in a small basement apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it was the dead of winter, and she and I had been playing in the yard out back. She went inside for only a moment. When she came out I was gone. My mother was just starting to panic when she heard cars honking. For a second, she paid no attention; her son was missing, that's all that mattered. I had been born with a collapsed lung and had been given last rites at the hospital when I was two days old. I had survived, and my mother never wanted to risk losing me again. When the honking grew as frantic as she was, she ran up the alley and out onto the street.
There I was, in my snowsuit and cap, standing a foot and a half tall in the middle of Massachusetts Avenue, directing traffic. Cars were stopped. There was a crowd around me. She ran across four lanes and swept me up in her arms.
I don't remember any of this, but family lore has it that that's when they knew I wanted to be a police officer.
My father, Bill, and my mother, June, had been high school sweethearts in the Charlestown projects in Boston. They were married when my father got out of the service after World War II, and I was born on October 6, 1947. My father was Big Bill; I was always Little Billy. He worked as a longshoreman on the Boston docks. Two years after I was born, he used benefits he had coming to him through the G.I. Bill and, with my mother's father, Joe DeViller, bought what was called a three-decker house at 62 Hecla Street in the Dorchester section of Boston.