William J. Bratton plans to step down after nearly seven years as Los Angeles police chief, sources have told The Times.*Update: Joel Rubin at the LA Times reports that Bratton is leaving the LAPD "to take over as head of a private security firm." The termination of the federal consent decree, which had loomed over the LAPD, appears to have been a major factor in his decision to move on. He told the Times last year: "I never want to go and just maintain something ... I want to be able to fix something."
Bratton's departure surprised many at City Hall and within his own department. A press conference announcing his resignation and future plans is expected later today.
**Update II: The consent decree really was a major factor in Bratton's decision... Turns out Bratton is going to work for Michael Cherkasky, who served as the independent monitor overseeing the decree until it was terminated last month. Cherkasky was CEO of Kroll Associates and now heads a company called Altegrity, which consults with local and foreign law enforcement on police techniques as well as anti-terrorism and counter-insurgency strategies. Clients include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia and Indonesia.