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NONE OF THE 3 IS RIGHT FOR CHIEF.

Byline: Richard M. Holbrook Local View

Let's face it. Not one of the top three candidates for the chief's job in the Los Angeles Police Department is even near right to lead the department to where it should be.

Art Lopez may have been promoted to deputy chief in the LAPD for less than the best of reasons, and likely has baggage no one has yet to bring forward.

But he's a nice guy, the chief of a little department and Latino to boot. How can you dislike that?

John Timoney has blustered his way through a career in law enforcement not knowing whether to lead or stay down where the action is.

Some might think that commendable and in keeping with knowing what the troops are up to or to show support. But that's mainly a fallacy and mostly an affront to the competent field officer who has to smile and commend the chief for his efforts, but who has immediate superiors already charged with that function.

It appears that most of Timoney's successes in other police agencies have been by smoke and mirrors. Check it out.

Perhaps the most credible appearing candidate is William Bratton. But far from being the quintessential police chief, he comes across not as self- confidant but self-centered, better than thou, and rides on the produce of other professionals.

Educated? Yes. Progressive? Again, yes. But able to stay the course in a department needing a leader who the community trusts and officers respect is a far different question.

Bratton seeks notoriety. He lives on it. Wearing an LAPD badge has been the dream of thousands of officers across America.

And most of all, he'll be gone within four years. Count on it.

Even Bratton won't be able to conform to the wishy-washy policies of Mayor James K. Hahn, the federal consent decree, and please the public at the same time.

Maybe more important for internal tranquillity, who will an outsider bring with him for top aides?

Who knows, maybe Bratton or Timoney will hire back past deputy chiefs of the LAPD, like William Rathburn.

There are far better candidates for chief than those who have been served up by Mayor Hahn's threatened Police Commission appointees.
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Title Annotation:Viewpoint
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 29, 2002
Words:371
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