Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic

by William J. Bratton

I think of Turnaround as a management book by a highly-accomplished chief executive (police) officer. The book reads like an autobiography, from Bill Bratton’s childhood in Boston, until after his falling out with Rudy Guiliani. Through his experiences, I learned a lot about police work and his management style

Long before the term “analytics” became popular, Bratton was a pioneer in the analysis of crime statistics (location, time, nature of incident) to determine how to deploy police resources: originally pins on a map, eventually growing in to the famous CompStat. He also believes in the Broken Windows theory, i.e. that acceptance of petty crime creates an environment that breeds more serious crime—the slippery slope argument.

Critics say that Bratton’s success in New York was concurrent with a nationwide drop in crime (presumably due to a strong economy) and thus isn’t such a big deal. Cheap shot. This book explains how a well-managed police effort absolutely has an effect on crime.

Bratton has a strong track record of accomplishment, turning around the MBTA Police (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority), Metropolitan Police (now part of the Massachusetts State Police), New York Transit Police, Boston Police, NYPD, and—after the book was written—LAPD.

Bratton, William J., and Peter Knobler. Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic. New York: Random House, 1998. Buy from Amazon.com

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.