12/21/02 9:38 PM Inches: 5.0 REGULAR BC-CA-PoliceOverhaul 12-22 0214
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police Chief William J. Bratton plans to overhaul the corruption-tainted force by granting more authority to local commanders, appointing civilians to top posts and consolidating some departments under a new Homeland Security Bureau.
Bratton unveiled his blueprint Friday to about 100 police officials during a retreat in Burbank.
The chief said he wants to decentralize authority, for instance by granting police captains more responsibility for dealing with citizen complaints.
“The tilt should be out of my office,” he said.
Bratton planned to appoint an old friend, John Miller, to head the Homeland Security Bureau that will consolidate intelligence, counterterrorism, major narcotics and organized crime investigations.
Miller, co-host of the ABC News magazine “20/20,” is the correspondent who interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1998.
Bratton also planned to elevate the importance of bureaus that deal with internal affairs and a federal consent decree that mandated reforms. The decree was instituted after the U.S. Department of Justice found a pattern of civil rights violations dating back decades.