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by Peter Moskos

July 13, 2015

The Kelly Legacy of Micromanagement

Cops would complain about this all the time when Kelly was chief. After a decade in power, the stories of his micromanaging were legendary. This is the kind of stuff the public never really understands or appreciates, even when it dominates internal police culture.

A long overdue article, from the veteran Murray Weiss at DNA.info:
An aide approached [Bratton] with a request for the transfer of “a single police officer.” The aide said the move required his signature and that the NYPD’s “Office of Management and Budget” had already been involved.

[Bratton] was incredulous.

“The transfer generated between nine and 14 pages of paperwork,” the commissioner recalled.
And
There had been a fatal shooting.
...
Bratton asked what [Deputy Inspector Raul Stephenson] was going to do to prevent the violence. The commissioner was stunned at what he heard.

Stephenson explained that he wanted to shift “Impact Zone” officers from their mandated posts to the part of the precinct where the crew resided.

But he said he first had to put the request in writing and send it to his Borough Commander who, in turn, would send it up to the Chief of Patrol’s office where it would be forwarded to the commissioner’s office at Police Headquarters for final approval.

“Can you imagine how long that request took to go up the chain of command and then back down the chain before the inspector could do what he wanted?” Bratton said.

“Something was happening in real time and our commander, who knows who is responsible, was unable to move personnel.
Sure this is a bit of fluff piece, and it's never that simple. But it's exactly what can make a difference within a department.

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