Page last updated at 18:20 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 19:20 UK

LA police chief 'stepping down'

William Bratton
Mr Bratton boasted that crime had reduced to 1956 levels

William Bratton is to step down as head of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), according to US media reports.

Mr Bratton has been in charge of the LAPD since 2002, having previously served as police chief in New York.

He is credited with having reduced crime in Los Angeles and improving the department's tarnished reputation.

His resignation comes just weeks after a judge ended eight years of oversight of the department by the US government, imposed to prevent widespread abuse.

When Mr Bratton was first appointed, the LAPD had been hit by a number of scandals, ranging from the 1991 Rodney King beating to the Rampart corruption scandal of the late 1990s.

During his tenure he instigated a number of reforms, using data analysis and computer mapping techniques.

Crime rates have declined each year that Mr Bratton has been in charge of the department.

Last year, he boasted that crime had fallen to its lowest level since 1956.

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