Let the Recruitment Begin

City Hall is preparing for the post-Bratton era.

The head of the city Personnel Department will meet privately with some members of the Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday,  officially launching the process of finding a replacement for Chief William  Bratton.

Under the city charter, Personnel Department General Manager Maggie  Whelan is charged with administering the recruitment process and recommending  six candidates for the Police Commission to interview.

The commission will then narrow the list to three candidates to  recommend to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, whose selection must be confirmed by  the City Council.

Whelan told City News Service she expects to hear from commission  members what qualifications they would like to see in the new police chief, and  whether executive search companies should be hired to facilitate the process.

Bratton announced last week that he was leaving the LAPD Oct. 31 to join  a global security company in New York.

"The vision of the next chief of police of the city of Los Angeles  should be similar to Chief Bratton's vision: to have an LAPD that's going to  continue to reduce crime on one hand and do it professionally, but also to  police the various diverse communities with respect," commission President  John Mack told City News Service.

Aside from having strong leadership skills, an ability to work well with  other city officials and effective policing and counter-terrorism strategies,  the new chief should be "committed to continuing to build mutual trust between  LAPD and the African-American, Latino, Asian-American and other communities of  color," Mack said.

"There's been a lot of progress in that area and we don't want to fall  behind now," he said.

Mack said the new chief should also be "strongly committed" to the  transition plan set down by U.S. District Judge Gary Feess following the  lifting of the consent decree.

The commission hopes to find a new chief before Bratton leaves but is  willing to keep the door open until the "best candidate" is found, he said.

"We're not going to be locked into that deadline," Mack said. "We don't intend to take any shortcuts with the process."

Bratton has endorsed promoting a member of his command staff to the rank  of chief. Mack was noncommittal but conceded that "we clearly do have some  outstanding leaders within the LAPD who must receive very serious  consideration."

He was asked whether Assistant Chiefs Jim McDonnell, Earl Paysinger and  Sharon Papa or Deputy Chief Charlie Beck are possible candidates.

"At this  stage of the game, I prefer not to name names, but certainly all those are  qualified people," he said.

Bratton will leave with more than three years remaining in his second  term. His nearly seven-year tenure is widely praised for driving down crime  rates and bolstering the reputation of the LAPD.

He plans to move back to New York to join a global security company  called Altegrity in working to bring "professional, modern criminal justice  systems" to post-conflict nations like Afghanistan, Iraq and other emerging  democracies.

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