Former LAPD Chief Bratton speaks in DC about Muslim outreach

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Chairman, Altegrity Risk International; Former Commissioner, NYPD, & Chief, LAPD William J. Bratton attends the Wired business conference in partnership with MDC Partners at The Morgan Library & Museum on June 14, 2010 in New York City.

LA’s former top cop is in Washington this week. He’s talking about the importance of law enforcement agencies reaching out to Muslims in their jurisdictions.

Bill Bratton told a roomful of Muslim activists and policy professionals about the LAPD’s formula for community engagement. In the 1990s, the department reached out to black and Latino young people - in part, to head off gang violence. In the 21st century, the LAPD reached out to Muslims - in part to head off domestic terrorism.

But Bratton said the second outreach effort was different. "Interaction between police and that community I think was a minimum," he said, "because by and large there was not much need for police to be interacting from a crime control standpoint."

Bratton said that generally positive experience gave the LAPD a head start as it created a working relationship with Southland Muslims. "In that I don’t think that there is an alienation among the youth population – the Muslim population – that we experience with – and justifiably – with the African-American or Latino populations."

Bratton said larger police departments like the LAPD have the resources to try similar outreach programs around the country.

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