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The Turnaround: How America's Top Cop…

The Turnaround: How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic

by William Bratton

Other authors: Peter Knobler

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bratton, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knobler, Petersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679452516, Hardcover)

When William Bratton was a year and a half old, his mother caught him directing traffic in the street out front of their Boston home. From that moment on, it seemed destined that he would become a cop. In this book, Bratton and his coauthor, Peter Knobler, chronicle Bratton's career, focussing particularly on his efforts to revitalize Boston's and New York City's police departments. Bratton rose quickly through the ranks of the Boston Police Department, where he pioneered community policing and cleaned up the city's subway system. As New York's transit-police chief, he cracked down on minor offenses like turnstile jumping on the theory that the people who commit more serious crimes underground also commit smaller ones. It worked. Finally, Bratton realized his dream of becoming America's top cop: the New York City Police Commissioner. The city's crime rate dropped over 10 percent a year during Bratton's brief tenure as top cop, until Mayor Giuliani's administration forced him out of the job in 1996.

In Turnaround, Bratton describes the police initiatives that led to these successes. Bratton and his peers used computer mapping to pinpoint crime hot spots and then cleaned up the areas using all the tools of law enforcement. One of the favored tools was "quality of life enforcement"--curtailing minor crimes like panhandling, squeegeeing, and prostitution in order to make the streets seem less inviting to worse criminals. Bratton made police commanders from all districts of the city accountable, requiring them to report on progress and problems in their locales, during frequent departmental meetings. Bratton is now a consultant to police departments across the nation, so, like it or not, his style of law enforcement may soon be coming to a city near you. This is not a page-turner or a masterful work of literature, but Bratton's ideas about curbing crime should be of interest to both those involved in law enforcement and regular people who are concerned about crime. --Jill Marquis

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:24 -0400)

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