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Bratton Says His Final LAPD Goodbye

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Sunday, November 01, 2009, at 03:46PM
BrattonBye Ed Fuentes

Former LAPD Police Chief William Bratton waves before driving away from the Police Adminstration Building on Saturday afternoon.



A few days after stepping down as chief, William Bratton returned to the Los Angeles Police Department's new headquarters on Saturday to take care of one last task before waving goodbye.

In a small, informal ceremony, Bratton passed the keys to his briefly-used 10th floor office over to Interim Chief Michael P. Downing.

Bratton, credited with bringing major advances to the department over his seven-year tenure, announced in August that he was leaving for the private sector. His departure came the same week the department dedicated its new home, the 500,000-square-foot Police Administration Building.

On Wednesday, Bratton signed his final papers and left the new building, passing rows of officers who lined up to salute him. He flew to Boston at the end of the week before returning to Los Angeles briefly.

Saturday, Bratton inaugurated what he hopes will become a new LAPD tradition, signing the desk inside the Chief's Office and expressing his hope that future officeholders would do the same.

Bratton explained that the move was modeled after a White House tradition. President Harry S. Truman was the first to sign the desk now found in the Vice President's office inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The desk has been signed by its users -- both Presidents and Vice Presidents -- ever since.

Downing, head of LAPD's Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, will now serve as Chief of Police until City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sign off on a new chief this month. Villaraigosa has said that he wants to see that take place on November 10.

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