MUSEUM ORAL HISTORY

William J. Bratton
Interviewed by Cindy Choung
Oral history interview for the National History Law Enforcement Museum with William J. Bratton who has served as the top cop of three major U.S. cities and the Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council under President Barack Obama.

 “Get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus, and get the right people in the right seats.”

During his thirty-five year career in public office, William J. Bratton has served as the top cop of three major U.S. cities and the Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council under President Barack Obama. The Boston native’s sights were set early on becoming a police officer after reading several children’s books on the profession, including Your Police, by George J. Zaffo. Bratton made his dream a reality. After briefly serving in the military, he officially joined the Boston Police Department in 1970. Bratton worked his way through the ranks and eventually served as Commissioner of the Boston (MA) Police Department, two time Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, and Chief of Police for the Los Angeles (CA) Police Department. An influential police reformer, Bratton shaped an era of American policing and introduced CompStat, one of the profession’s most significant tools.

Read Oral History Transcript