William Bratton at 2009 COMSTAT meeting, LA. Photo by Eric Richardson, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericrichardson/4029888851/
The arguments pro and con about Bratton are essentially irrelevant.
What keeps Oakland from reducing violent crime is management and leadership failure in city hall. The crime-reducing proposals Bratton will make have already been made clear to the City Council and the Mayor many times over the years. For example the Harnett report from the Brown administration. Former OPD Chief Batts is a Bratton protege. Quan and the Council hung Batts out to dry so he left. Bratton will make a report and it will in all likelihood be ignored.
Oakland repeatedly spins its wheels on crime because electeds fail to make priorities for funding and other resource allocation. Electeds are happy to come up with flavor-of-the-week "solutions" like hiring Bratton to write a report. They fired 80 cops without realizing that getting that many cops back someday will cost many times the amount saved by firing them. We tried "Ceasefire" a few years ago but didn't follow through. Now we are trying again with the same sort of failure in prospect--Ceasefire programs demand strong civic leadership and program management if they are to be successful. Ceasefire has been underway in Oakland for several months but no competent project director has been hired. There's no leadership about Ceasefire.
In September the S.A.V.E. (Black church group focusing on reducing violence) folks got a couple of Council members and the Mayor to say they would support a resolution to make violence reduction the priority for all city departments and that homicides would be reduced by 50% in three years. The Council refused to pass the resolution. The Mayor has been silent.
Before you provide a solution to a "problem" you had better know exactly what the problem is. One of the things Bratton, Batts, Harnett or any competent police administrator will require is adequate data collection and analysis resources--computers, programs and analysts. You do this first so you can identify how many shooters are out there, what they are doing and where they live. Then you assign the resources to go after them and deal with them. First step first, then second step.
Oakland's long-lived crime problems aren't there because we don't know what to do. Crime problems remain unsolved because of simple, fundamental management failures among our electeds. None of our electeds have successful real world management experience. They are people with good intentions and adequate ideologies but no idea about how to actually get things done and no useful ability to lead.
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