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Bratton Does It Again

Even as the FBI's preliminary 2006 data shows crime trending back upward nationally and in big cities, L.A. is reporting a fifth consecutive year of decline under Police Chief Bill Bratton.

Bratton's now managed to quickly and consistently reduced crime rates while running the Boston, New York and Los Angeles police forces, meaning he's done it in three very different cities with very different police forces, and at very different demographic moments. In his words, "You can't be lucky seven times in a row. If I was, I'd be making a living hanging out at the blackjack table."

His success in L.A. comes as

the study found significant per capita increases in violent crime in several Southern California cities with populations of more than 100,000, including Lancaster, Orange, Inglewood, Santa Clarita, Ontario and Moreno Valley.

For the full year, Orange County's two largest cities, Anaheim and Santa Ana, recorded increases in violent crime, officials said Tuesday…

The last time LAPD statistics showed the current tally of 123,700 Part I crimes (which include violent crimes, burglaries and car thefts) was in the early 1960s. On a per capita basis, the number of reported serious crimes per 10,000 people was on the level not seen since the early 1950s, according to department figures.

The question remains: why aren't more cities following Bratton's example?