Skip to main content

We will keep fighting for all libraries - stand with us!

tv   After Words Bill Bratton The Profession - A Memoir of Community Race...  CSPAN  August 14, 2021 1:07am-2:08am EDT

1:07 am
>> host: bill, how are you? guess who i'm great and it's good to talk to you. >> host: same here and let me say i read your book and i thoroughly enjoyed it. wasn't v >> how are you quick. >> good to be talking to you. >> same here. i read your book and i thoroughly enjoyed it. it was a very good read i am so glad you wrote it but my first question. the book really chronicles your entire career which obviously was a tremendous career that you have had and
1:08 am
for five decades but you chose to start chapter one with decem 2014 why did you choose that event to start this book? >> for several reasons. it was one of the most significant and unfortunately horrific events when you lose two officers at one time that thankfully is still an exception but it was such a horrible tragedy coming five days before christmas and second unfortunately reflective of what waswa going on and eventually accelerated the next several years, the breakdown of trust between police in the community with to be directed toward the two office on —- offices it seemed
1:09 am
to be an appropriate place to frame the conversation. the third reason is that ironically, took me back almost 50 years to when i began my career in 1970s in boston. that a washington police officer during a bank robbery happen just as i was coming into the business. but then there was a medal of valor so adding that conductivity but that was a time in the early seventies when the anger was so difficult resulting in tremendous violence between the two so it took me back 50 years so starting to claim that conversation of how did we get there and that's what i
1:10 am
tried to do in the book at this point in our countries history. >> you do cover your early career but also your childhood. >> born in massachusetts, working-class family dad holding two jobs but nobody in your family was a police officer and you say in your book as long as you can remember you wanted to be a police officer. your mother probably didn't think it was so cute at the time when youou were a year and a half old you went out into the street to direct traffic. >> att a went to correct my mother but that's a story she told so i will stick with that. [laughter] >> talk to you got hooked on policing. a lot of us have a family but
1:11 am
it just seems like you knew at a very young age. >> growing up in the fifties, if you remember the fifties i'm so glad i have the fifties as a childhood experience television just comes into its own so many are police related we have dragnet and the television of that era portrayed police in a very positive light like joe friday are the two cops. and so far it was very influential and simultaneous to that i was an avid reader all my life and in that library building was also the local police station. i would check out a book a children's book of new york
1:12 am
city police of the fifties and sixties but then i would be there at 4:00 o'clock to watch the cops march out of the station house to buy to to be delivered to their walking post. >> that was very positive very different from what kids watch on tv maybe there's more bad stories than good ones about cops today. >> no question about that. so let's fast-forward you come back from vietnam you can join the boston police department give the readers just sense of what boston was like 1970 and did as importantly what the police department look like in 1970? >> just as an aside with military experience i was
1:13 am
drafted into the u.s. army that means you spend one extra year and then they would guarantee what's assignment and i wanted to be military placement since i was only 18 years i had to go that extra year however unbeknownst to me that military police at that time were century dog handlers so i thought i would be running around in theor 15 military police uniform but instead i was walking behind the dog. [laughter] my policing career began working with century dogs. many to join the boston police department expanding to fulfill union contracts but one of the things to negotiate
1:14 am
were to officer cars. so i benefited from the fact that boston hired a couple of hundred cops to staff up those cars. with no knowledge or research very few people police leadership that the use of force words frequently meted out and corruption was not on the scale but it was they are. and racism was there also. almost all white 55 black son of force and boston was one of the most segregated cities in america. my first ten years on the job
1:15 am
i spent five of those in the midst of the busting desegregation and housingti desegregation battles. literally all out battles. >> that's an interesting read with your time in boston that you mentioned a lot of people that you found to be influential and certainly this outside piece that came in that really began to shake thingsgs up in the boston police department talk about him and whether or not he explained a role to influence you to lead your own department. >> the gentle man that you are referring to is bob, now deceased brought in as an outsider no-confidence a
1:16 am
leadership of the boston police department would change what he felt needed to be change. that he came in at 6-foot two and 6-foot three at the largely irish police had an afrond he with curly hair. or without wages three-piece suits and ties it was driven by uniform traffic officer bob got rid of that with the baby boom dodge with a dark blue vinyl roof and drove himself. just the symbolism of change. butal he has been my role model
1:17 am
and inspiration a transformational agent eventually he was pushed out of office that happened to me a couple of times he profoundly changed the police department to create opportunities for younger officers like myself who are very disillusioned. you take new exams to be put together and literally within five years and those to be promoted at that time. but he was also intending to see long after he was gone the leadership to be college adding educated a broad breadth of experiences studying those exams and if you think of the succession of police commissioners in boston billy evans wasnd a clerk and
1:18 am
kathy o'toole, most of the leadership nineties and into the 21st century came from the changes made h in the seventies that was a role model for me in the sense of anyplace i have gone you have any elated that i just the time being that you are there but to create change long after we were gone. i believe that's the case in new york and to a lesser extent in boston. certainly in los angeles where my successes are the two most forward thinkers near that opportunity also toth work with. >> when you t tell the story when you commit the cardinal sin of actually asking the question. and then for rollcall are
1:19 am
there any questions? no hands go up. you raise your hand and ask a question. >> as you know we have become very experienced as outsiders coming into the department and how you begin to win the trust of the cops by being there and showing up at all hours of the night not to catch them but to listen to them and that something bob did he made it a point to get out and introduce himself but at that time i was so disillusioned, i was looking to move to a suburban policepa department where i was living at the time. he came out of that rollcall i was hearing good things about him but i was desperate to get out of that district not knowing anybody or having a rabbi or connections i was stuck there. it was a tough place to work.
1:20 am
the bosses were off. there was no many. you were desperate for over time. that he came in and is changes to the department and showing up at rollcall so i have the audacity with all of the leadership with him looking at us to raise my hand. and then the first person to raise their hand he jumped at me. what is your question? i said how do i get out of here? he was taken aback. i said yes i've been looking to transfer out of here you should see the scalpels behind him is invariably farm and everybody started to laugh so it immediately went into the circular file and he was not
1:21 am
aware of that. [laughter] but by happen chance very good friend of mine was with the special investigation unit that he was aware of my dissolution and he felt that i should say at the department with alls of the changes so that then green looks at me and says what you doing here brian? he said get the hell out of here you been transferred to district 14. [laughter] out the door i wentt to class so my career with the boston police department was changed because of that circumstance
1:22 am
that bob and the detective side they took care of the then and this was no secret nobody would do anything about it on a saturday morning he transferred every one of them it was a saturday morning massacre with a new game in town. he brought in and five whiz kids, young men who were extraordinary. gary hayes. police executive research forum, bob washington who is been a mentor torment i —- to me on the smartest in the business and mike to transform the civil service to allow young people to get promoted. they changed academy training the people they brought in from the outside with terry schlossberg who just passed away here in new york creating
1:23 am
a hostage negotiation initiative i was trained for period of time with chuck? letter who wasre the young student interns we actually share the desk at police headquarters so look at those mind to change everything that's a planning research committee that 26 people and they open it up to do rules and regulations so i as a young police officer love the idea and to raise my hand and sitting inside the chief of the department and i was loving and i had a voice the unions never liked me for that because they hated them from the beginning which is fascinating what he was doing was for the benefit for the
1:24 am
image but they never sought that way. in any event bob passed away a few years ago but one of my great joys and you will appreciate this when i was sworn in as police chief in los angeles i invited bob out for the ceremony his wife said it was one of the greatest joys of his life to see what he had created back in 1975 with the city commissioner and now police chief in los angeles. bob cannot get over the idea the dream he had in 75, 40 years later was still sprouting. >> those names that you were called thinking of those days backre in boston it's hard to believe that much talent was assembled in one place at the same time.
1:25 am
that is very unusual in any police department. there is always some talent but the level of talent that you just described come i don't know that has existed somewhere but i don't know of that had that many at the same time there was great risk because they didn't bring in outsiders that he also unleashed were unlock the doors to allow talent within the department who are risktakers. people like myself in this day
1:26 am
like 2021. >> something that i did not know until i read your book you are the chief of the massachusetts bay transit authority. i knew about your new york city transit work but i didn't know about massachusetts bay. but those are two departments that are quite different from big-city policing. talk about the challenges and the issues that you had with that type of police department. >> in the back with the kinsey brothers that in boston the
1:27 am
superintendent and chief the highest in ten years thanks to the changes bob made that those that could do me and they were innocent mistakes so by 1983 to bounce back and then come back and satisfied because in the sense i was locked into a closet. and then and in this system and the police department 60 acres that is transit system served. so after thinking about it come i tookk the risk going from a 2000 person department to a 68 person department that
1:28 am
was widely disrespected and not to be totally ineffective. one of the best decisions i ever made ine my life because it gave me so much intimacy getting into a small organization and testing my ability to turn that organization around and then to eliminate -ar - emulate bob as my role model and i learned so much. i was assisted greatly by bob wasserman who also leftt the police department and then consulting and then chief of operations down in houston taking on the good old boys of the houston pdm went down to meet with bob in the plan of action including redesigning the police cars and the first major plan of action in five
1:29 am
different counties literally 78 cities and towns we're policing was 68 cups. the challenges were immensely had commuter rail, trolleys, subway, i had a lot of fun. i brought some people on board allies we need and a friend in funding the policee department as you know, is something new with new ideas, something borrowed and i'm borrowing people from previous experiencesie that police department is blue and the excitement that cannot be matched coming into a new organization and getting to
1:30 am
stir it up was that excitement of building a super bowl team. so that phenomenal equipment to work with and based on that success governor ducasse it on —- to caucus asked me to take over the metropolitan district police much of what massachusetts as many highways that was also scandal plagued and the captain was stealing the exams and selling promotions for years and his brother was imprisoned so that was the morale. but working with the unions who were desperate to change
1:31 am
the reputation of the organizations one thing the union share with management they are concerned about the reputation of the organization. they fight very hard for their members, they can be a pain in the neck and often times there is discipline that they want the department to have a good reputation because that benefits them. but 68 cups hundred and once again a turnaround the second transit opportunity came along the transit police in new york 3800 officers at that time it was either ninth largest department in america while policing the assemblies but then those that first introduced me to limit the
1:32 am
chain relationships there are friends and advisers but they were consulting with the transit authority in new york city with incredible problems with the homeless and serious crime in 1990 was so the pitch that they need to me new york city i had my eye on the prize for so many years come on down who knows if you do a good job here you might get noticed for police commissioner. a kid from boston running at 600 person department but i was actively looking potentially to be commissioner of new york even in my younger days. and same thing it was incredibly ineffective with outside and advisors and consultants.
1:33 am
and we had a phenomenal turnaround about the characters that were so influential in policing and reducing crime and systems the late great jack maple one of the smartest people i ever met any puts the academics to shame. and with the double-breasted share on —- shoot on —- shirts and bowties and then to map crime and jack was doing the same thing in the subway environment this is a very different environment in the case of new york city 456
1:34 am
stations in new york city at any given time between four or five train cars and now buses with the epidemic. the transit experience was probably my most satisfying. the transit in new york was separate from city police that they were dumping ground in the sense with the new york city police office where the work? they work in transit you just were not well thought of we made the marine corps into a half years we got thenea nationally accredited and talk about having good relations with unions when we receive national accreditation in santa monica the union paid for the whole 60 person team to go to california for the
1:35 am
award ceremony. can you imagine that? because they felt so proud of the idea they had become accredited now getting this reputation as the marine corps of the new york city police department. >> i had so much fun but with that big department so in new york and manhattan is where you make it in those take it if you're on the lawful side or the criminal side. so look att the new york city police department once again being advised by bob washington who is advising the transit police to put tension we on broadway with the new
1:36 am
york city police department. as luck would have it and a couple years later it happened. host: talk about your first tour of duty in new york as commissioner. obviously did have the chance to serve but the first time around new york city the largest department in theic united states forgot know how it was when you take it over and 94 buten i don't think it was 40000? >> n-95, giuliani was the mayor so then we went up to 38000 after i left in 96, 99 would be addition of cops from the cops program it was up at 41000 but now it's about 33000 once again. >> unbelievable the size and complexity of an organization like that how do you manage something like that the
1:37 am
challenges of managing something that large of the new york city police department. >> the toughest management job was running the 60 person police department because of the intimacy of that department you were the go to person for everything. you had a staff i didn't have captains or lieutenants or majors but start sergeants all came into that office like a district commander commit their nypd in some respects the talent pool thatli organization 1000 captains or about the deputy commissioners and technical matters i didn't have to go for far to get a question answer just pick up the phone when the commissioner called the agent and the answers were like that
1:38 am
transit police the beauty of it youou couldn't surround yourself with incredible talent i had a super bowl team with jack nabel and john miller was my first press commissioner everybody knows john miller he was brought in three times so he identified giuliani before i did with the lapd 2002 of them brought them back counterterrorism 2014 is why still claims i cost them a fortune and then the civilians
1:39 am
from the first time i broadened and then in my second go around 2014 i'm jumping ahead a little bit but it dates back to 94 in your 50 year career you made it incredibly talented people but i had the opportunity to see the movieed the staying everybody wanted in i had friends and colleagues knocking on the door. i got them all in the door. we had a staff meeting wasserman gave one. but literally i have a super bowl team andnd with that
1:40 am
challenge as the captain of the ship we would not have gotten anywhere without all of them going in the same direction. host: your first tour is commissioner of new york it has revolutionized policing. >> peers statistics. host: talk about that and the role do you think it would have the impact that it eventually did have withha crime reduction and national recognitionla? >> mostar in the book that i go into great detail in the book how it came to be created or named. and the origin as a lieutenant in the police district every day had a clerk put on the map
1:41 am
different colored dots for different crimes and very quickly they can see these little clusters of patterns developing. at sunday's i was set at my ibm electric police department and do directed patrol forms and what is to spend one hour at this location we are having disturbances there and it was the beginning for me to use it on a timely basis. so going forward into new york, jack nabel doing the same thing in transit which was a very different type of system and then you locate by street address and pool number. every column has a number on it so when officer reported crime or stairway number 43 the label had maps with the
1:42 am
whole system so with that kindred spirit, but what we also understood is that in that era tactically people don't believe we were not really gathering crime information in a quick fashion how good was that when you're later? one nightn naples was sitting at that my favorite watering hole with miller and doodling on a napkin. we are talking about what we are trying to do and he comes up with and one kindly active intelligence to gather information as fast as you can, accurate information what is happening and who is doing it. rapid response put the cops on the dots.
1:43 am
feet effective tactics and it will work. the precinct with the task force with the fbi and that then you solve the problem and then but if you think of it it is modeled after medicine and if you are a skilled doctor looking at your patient i like to think we are very skilled positions that only sharing ideas with each other so that we are so sort individually but collectively we share a lot of ideas. so starting with these four elements, and then created a
1:44 am
system with the nypd to gather all the precinct commanders together that had never been done but then to talk about crime to talk about pat and 34 patent 46 and the term comes from the fact that some of the audience with those computer sheets each computer program had an eight letter name in the middle of a snowstorm one night caps off to me develop the system had to quickly come up with a name to create a file when they were in a hurry to get out of the station before the snowstorm shut it down that's how the name was born and the system was born in a little piece of history i talk about in the book it did
1:45 am
revolutionized policing some departments know how to use it some o don't some give lip service but if you use it correctly it really is the engine to drive that car faster and further it was so successful so rapidly seized upon by police departments around the country and in 1996 or in 1984 the innovation government award for the most innovative system developed in that periodde of time and then she still be around and even now anybody in new york city would be run out of town in rail is now the algorithms and artificial intelligence it's a
1:46 am
phenomenal tool and something a proud to be associated with. >> you should be proud. and in a lot of ways with your log on —- legacy because you will forever be associated with comsat. >> there are not that many police leaders that had that kind of influence in our profession and you are one of them. >> you know the satisfaction that we have is that a lot of credit goes to us individually. but as you know that there was a huge orchestra behind me and individual instruments but when you can get everybody working together but then
1:47 am
really you did not want to share the credit with all the people at the nypd that was developing what he was getting so much credit for that atmosphere and umbrella for those political purposes for the second term and that just cause the extra step and once again bounced out of a job. >> but i think one of your strong suits that comes through not just from this conversation but what weut have had as long as we have known oneur another, that you do build strong teams. you recognize talent and put
1:48 am
it where it can do the most good and then it gives people a chance to show what they can do. again your earlyyo experience. and it's funny when you look back on a career how that you don't understand the significance until later when you can pay it forward so this is something i think it's remarkable. host: i know we are pressed for time that you leave new york. >> first time or second time? >> it all came to a head with the magazine article and a picture on time magazine have to ask you if you had to do it over with you take the picture? [laughter]
1:49 am
>> time magazine has been around 100 years? in the world billions of people out of 5200 to be on the picture of time and i am one of them. i am on the cover because i am telling the story of the 38 cost them. [laughter] [laughter] >> and then how to pin my and 9/11 occurred in all kinds of things are happening that of
1:50 am
that opportunity of losou angeles lapd. the third largest apartment in the united states. i don't think there is any department other than maybe new york that people see more so forth there is a long career you mentioned dragnet those are la-based but l.a. was going to her crisis. they were under consent decree but now your predecessor thought of the consent decree you embrace the consent decree. why? >> it is an example sometimes you need the outsider. he was an insider. so my predecessor and i who is
1:51 am
an extraordinarily pride in his department despite theut flaws so he would not accept criticism of the department because i felt he thought his criticism of him so he wed never accepted fight tooth and nail so the mayor understood. the necessity brought a and then and this is place falls in elected chief i cannot and you are right he did not get to be elected largely for the fact despite my own success coming in with crime going down what everybody is looking for, but politically an extraordinarily influential
1:52 am
but he also himself gave up on the good of greater cars. he was proven right to bring me in to achieve what he wanted to achieve with the dissent decree and most importantly to improve race relations between the department in the black community. worked a lot of departments understand the history of policing for that was that war but it's communities i have never seen anything like it i cannot of a very better experience of boston and desegregation in the seventies but that was a different cattle official together in l.a. >> one of the things i found very interesting while reading the book is that chapter that you have with the then of
1:53 am
course condi rice made a living and then became a partner in actually helped to this day. >> you know her very well. >> she is a force of nature but you also have a couple of police officers and lieutenant booker. >> fred booker. host: and when i read some of his stories of my own coming up that that is to build those relationships that have been strained for so long talk a little bit about that and why is it so important that the police departments really take that extra step to develop relationships? in communities of color? >> it isn't that the trouble
1:54 am
with the lack of trust in the acceleration and so many other things going on at this time in unfortunately systemic racism but the politics that i learned were to benefit from great first impressions are those courses that i took things to my but then we believe in getting cops educated so i understood this idea of understand the history of something not just the images directly in front of you and i talked about this in the book that my wife and i and she love my wife and we loved her. when we were leaving she said
1:55 am
but then to go on to become one of the most foremost community leaders. it's almost all lack or a latino now. but in one of the first meetings stood up and m said chief, we like you. i have your back. >> and covering my back but also than in the midst of the fifties so we go down to see
1:56 am
sweetie alice for the last time and you know why we do this? and they said no? she said ucs. you really cs. i talk about her inch the book with the highest accolade i have ever received to care so much for that woman and to understood profession if we don't get it right come it will be the original sin to carry forward. we talked about this but you will not solve the race issue that you will solve it without the police and with that speech that you gave with the acp that talk about weaving the gods and that we are the center threads that then at
1:57 am
the funeral i use that term that we will never serve this problem of the hatred of man in blue and blacks and latinos until we see each other joe biden is in the audience of how president biden he will frequently hear president biden use thejo expression we see you in which is very taken with it because it's so simplistic but it says it all. we see you. we see each other. host: it is powerful i use a bit of a different phrase to say police have to learn how to see policing through the eyes of those being policed as
1:58 am
opposed through our blue lands. >> also looking in the mirror or the way other people cs. host: last one —- let's fast-forward with current issues. go back to nypd and what i find interesting. and to spend so much but then defending and those current issues but one thing that really struck me in the book is when you said your first time around new york was in a crisis of crime but this time it was a crisis of trust. i thought that was very powerful and reflective of the times we are in right now. it is a crisis of trust. talk about that in the context of the aftermath of george floyd and abolishing police
1:59 am
, qualified immunity. you touch on all of those in the last chapter. >> i am a great advocate and the first is the basic mission of which we exist is to from the end of all of those born into crime. then you and i it working with partnership but then once addressed we work together to share the impossible. but in the nineties, and much more simpler or even dangerous timess to deal with crime and disorder and those changes in the nineties with 100,000 more cops but we also begin to focus light quality of life and unless you neglect those
2:00 am
things and then a couple weeks later you will die anyway. so you came to understand time is a disorder but the 9/11 changed everything the funding went to terrorism and then smart phones, along amazon kindle and google and then the world of social media exploded creating so many challenges for cybercrime, the ability for the expansion, but in many respects to not see many more resources and then they all have to she and that then fast-forward through 2021. but this defending movement
2:01 am
responsibility of dealing with it any longer the issue is this defunding movement which i attack so vigorously as we all do this idea that this political #is driving policy. they were going to defund the police. there's a real appreciation for the present right now what is necessary is refunding waste training cops and keep training them on all these new tools complicit by a strained de-escalation training drug awareness training. it takes money and cities don't want to pay money to have cops said in a classroom but they want them on the street and is the bane of our excess and so maybe this time we can convince them if you want us to deal more effectively with an emotional disorder drug issues homelessness you are going to have to train us better because i believe quite frankly we are
2:02 am
going to fail once again to address those issues by creating new entities. the money is not going to be there. we be institutionalized mental hospitals and we decriminalized a lot of laws we had to work with. defund the police decriminalizing we have all is criminal justice reform is driving us crazy and in philadelphia or home city federal judges stopped stop-and-frisk and they tell the person to move along. the challenges of the 21st century are enormous. the good news coming out of this the tragic death of floyd really caused a racial awakening on precedent in this country. we will see how that goes moving forward but it also is causing a re-examination of what police do and why we do it and we continue
2:03 am
to do it or should it be given to someone else? we are going to have some responsibilities we need to be refunded and like yourself i'd than that of a long time and i remained ops -- optimistic even in the midst of this racial tension that we are still doing with this flock of trust. the 90s we had trust to restore because we dealt with crime. a mighty city of new york city overall crime is down 80% since 2019 and the overall country was down -- 40%. the cops could do something about crime. we will have to prove once again on 21st century crime at this time let's do something about race relations also.
2:04 am
>> host: our time is winding down and i just want to thank you for the opportunity to sit with you and have this discussion and again i see it over your shoulder but i have my copy, "the profession." let me tell you something this is a very good book. it is -- you not only talk about your career and the issues you are confronted with you are actually teaching a lot in this book and you go into the description of qualified them immunity and i found that to be very worthwhile. anyone who's interested in leadership they should read this book because it's written by one of the foremost leaders not only in policing but
2:05 am
2:06 am
2:07 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on