LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department is shedding some light on how local law enforcement cooperates with federal intelligence agencies.
In an interview with Current TV, William Bratton deflected criticism of the NYPD — where Bratton also served as chief until 2002 — for working with the Central Intelligence Agency.
“In dealing with information intelligence as it relates to terrorism, the CIA has a lot of information that is appropriate for use by American police forces,” Bratton said.
Under Bratton, the LAPD “had interactions with the CIA in the sense of meeting from them from time to time, certainly, just in order to make them aware of our capabilities and our needs,” he said. “There is nothing that precludes that, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Bratton, who now serves as chairman of private security consulting firm Kroll & Associates, defended the operation of the CIA within the domestic U.S. by comparing the coordination of local and federal agencies with the team effort of a surgical procedure.
“It’s like going into a surgery and the doctor that’s going to perform the surgery is not going to talk with the anesthesiologist?” Bratton said. “I don’t know that I’d want to be in that operating room.”
Bratton was recently tapped to investigate the pepper-spraying of student protesters at the University of California Davis campus in November.