Police chief William Bratton's unofficial bicoastal lifestyle makes the news again. Bratton released his travel records to the Los Angeles Times' Patrick McGreevy, who calculated that the chief was outside Los Angeles last year for 125 days—61 on personal affairs and 64 days on supposed Los Angeles police business. (This year he has already spent eight days in London and leaves next week for nine days in Israel, all on business.) Bratton, a regular in New York gossip pages, recently discouraged talk that he was interested in running for mayor there and has said he wants another term as head of the LAPD.
The chief says his personal trips include time to care for his ailing mother, and that the business travel benefits the department. "Oftentimes it results in money coming to the city," he told the LAT. "New ideas are brought back. There is a value to me in terms of staying aware of what changes are occurring in my profession." Mayor Villaraigosa and Council President Eric Garcetti see no issue, but former police commissioner Melanie Lomax says "I'm very concerned because what it indicates to me is the chief of police is on the make for some higher position...the thing about the chief of police is that availability and presence is everything." Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., adds "He's not the secretary of state....Isn't there enough crime in Los Angeles for him to stick around?"
Photo: AP/Nick Ut