From N.Y. to Atlanta?
One name that hasn't been mentioned to sources involved in Atlanta's police chief search is former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Bratton is the man credited — or faulted, depending on your opinion — for cleaning up New York and instituting a zero-tolerance policy that aggressively enforced even minor criminal violations.
Funny thing is that Bratton does have a tie to Atlanta, and that tie is just another example in an ever-growing list of opportunities missed and promises squandered during the Campbell administration.
In 1997, Tom Cousins, founder of Atlanta mega-developer Cousins Properties, offered to pay for Bratton to evaluate the city's police department. One of the ideas was to do away with zones and precincts and target patrols in city crime hot spots.
George Berry, a senior vice president for Cousins Properties, says Cousins got interested in the idea after finding out about a group of businessmen in New Orleans who banded together to form a nonprofit group to support that city's police department. Cousins figured he could do the same thing in Atlanta, and he would look for a few partners to help foot Bratton's hefty consulting fee, which at the time was $100,000.
But APD Chief Beverly Harvard "was cool to the idea," Berry says. "She said, 'I know all about the system. We're on top of that, and there's nothing we could learn from it.'"
Cousins stops himself from discussing the problems he faced in bringing Bratton down to consult. Point is, he says, Bratton made it clear that unless the mayor was on board, any recommendations he would make would be useless. And then-Mayor Bill Campbell wasn't on board.
Bratton, who now works for the consulting group Kroll Associates in New York, says he hasn't been contacted by anyone in Franklin's administration, but says he'd still be interested in coming down — not surprising considering his fee — to take a look at the department. Cousins, one of Franklin's most prominent backers, says he would be willing to help the new mayor any way he could.??