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Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Opens Up About His Hopes for Police Reform – “The Takeout”

Even as congressional negotiations continue on police reform legislation, former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says police in the United States are “well placed in this regard. moment, despite all the controversy, [police] are in the spotlight. “

“As the government prepares to spend trillions of dollars on a multitude of issues, let’s hope it invests some of that money in reforms that will allow the police to move further down the road to law enforcement. reform, “Bratton told CBS News Washington correspondent Major. Garrett on this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast. Bratton has decades of experience, having served as the Boston Police Commissioner and Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department in addition to two terms as the New York City Police Commissioner.

As for the kind of reform he would like to see in the legislation, Bratton said transparency from law enforcement would be a key element, along with better training. But he also said no legislation would be a panacea: “We never reach a final policing destination,” Bratton told Garrett. “We never reach it in medicine. We never reach science because the world is constantly changing around us… the 21st century has changed the previous two hundred years of police reform and has totally extended all problems. that cops now have to deal with. with. “

He considers the “defund the police” movement which gained popularity in cities across the country last year following the murder of George Floyd as “one of the dumbest slogans I have ever known in the past. my 50 years ”, which he continued. saying was a “great hashtag”.

Raising police responsibilities for emergency calls involving the mentally ill or homeless, Bratton said, would be difficult to implement nationally, although he prefers to see this as a path for reform. .

“I support this. Every police chief in America would support him,” Bratton said. “It’s going to cost you a fortune, it’s going to take years to set up these bureaucracies and why we – the police – are doing it in the first place.”

Bratton, who currently chairs the Secretary of Homeland Security’s advisory board, said the events at the United States Capitol on January 6 exposed a dark faction in American politics.

“[The Capitol insurrection] really brought to national consciousness this idea that there are these elements in our society, as evidenced by the thousands of people who stormed the Capitol, who, for various reasons, actually want to tear down this democracy and replace it with something else. It’s very scary, Bratton said. “Without the actions of the Capitol Police, our democracy would have ended on that day.”

Highlights from this week’s episode:

  • On police reform: “We’re, interestingly enough, in a good position right now, despite all the controversy, because we’re in the spotlight, we’ve set the stage. And as the government prepares to spend billions of dollars on a plethora of issues, let’s hope they invest some of that money in the reforms that will be needed to bring the police further down the road to reform, knowing that we will never reach a final police destination. We never reach it in medicine. We never reach science because the world is constantly changing around us. ”
  • “Defend the police”: “One of the dumbest slogans I have ever seen in my 50s … that was a great hashtag.”
  • His former boss in New York, Rudy Giuliani: “[Giuliani] was part of the cabal that actually attempted to destroy our democracy, which he was sworn in as an American lawyer and certainly then as the mayor of New York to defend that constitution. And there, he was actually leading the charge on January 6. Without the actions of the Capitol Police, our democracy would have ended on that day and he would have been one of the main instigators. “

To learn more about Major’s conversation with Bratton, download the “The Takeout” podcast on Art19, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Additionally, you can watch “The Takeout” on CBSN Friday at 5, 9, and 12 a.m. ET and Saturday at 1, 9, and 12 a.m. ET. For a full archive of “The Takeout” episodes, visit And you can listen to “The Takeout” on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).

Producers: Arden Farhi, Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson
CBSN production: Eric Soussanin, Julia Boccagno and Grace Segers
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