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L.A. police polish their public image

By Joel Rubin
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — After several years of court-ordered reforms, the Los Angeles Police Department has heightened its image among Angelenos and made significant improvements in the performance and attitudes of its officers, according to a new Harvard University study released Monday.

In asking for the study and giving researchers unusual access to the department, LAPD Chief William J. Bratton had hoped it would find that the LAPD has changed for the better since being forced eight years ago by federal officials to adopt a sweeping set of checks and balances that resulted from the Rampart corruption scandal. Bratton increasingly has chafed under the stigma of federal oversight and, in recent months, has been waging a public campaign to convince federal officials that the department is fit to keep its own house in order.

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