LAPD Chief Blogs For Better Relations - InformationWeek

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5/15/2006
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LAPD Chief Blogs For Better Relations

In a welcome posting, Police Chief William Bratton said he hoped to encourage dialogue between residents and the police department.

The Los Angeles Police Department has launched a new blog.

In a welcome posting last week, Police Chief William Bratton said he hoped to encourage dialogue between residents and the police department.

In another early posting, labeled "We've Changed," he touted a crime decrease and refuted a recent newspaper article claiming crime has risen. He said the department he took over did not accurately report crime before he took over nearly four years ago.

The blog, which uses Six Apart's TypePad software, appears to be one of several attempts to polish the department's image. A 2001 U.S. Department of Justice order called for reform after several scandals, including the Rodney King case.

"This is a new LAPD," Bratton wrote.

"Our ultimate goal is for the role of law enforcement officials to evolve from distance protectors and rapid responders to true partners and conduits for meaningful social change."

Bratton served as the New York Police Department Commissioner in the 1990s and oversaw the installation of CompStat, a computerized crime tracking system that breaks statistics down by precinct, allowing early detection of emerging trends.

Now, he is leading the LAPD through a few technology initiatives to improve community relations. The department plans to install surveillance cameras in patrol cars and complete TEAMS II, a computerized system for tracking officers' disciplinary records. Though the tracking system is behind schedule, Bratton wrote that he believes it will become a prototype for similar systems throughout the country.

Bratton's department cannot claim it blazed a new path through the public safety blogging arena since the Los Angeles Fire Department has been blogging for more than a year.

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