Sign The Guestbook
View The Guestbook
Archived Guestbook
Submit An Article
Staff List
Privacy Policy


December 7, 2007
August 27, 2006

June 18, 2006
May 14, 2006
May 7, 2006
April 23. 2006
March 25, 2006
February 13, 2006
February 6, 2006
January 29, 2006
December 31, 2006
December 26, 2005
December 19, 2005
November 30, 2005
November 23, 2005
October 17, 2005
October 2, 2005
September 25, 2005
September 7, 2005
August 28, 2005
August 21, 2005
August 7, 2005
August 1, 2005
July 17, 2005
July 11, 2005
July 4, 2005
June 28, 2005
June 20, 2005
June 13, 2005
May 30, 2005
May 23, 2005
May 16, 2005
May 9, 2005
May 2, 2005
April 25, 2005
April 18, 2005
April 11, 2005
April 3, 2005
March 17, 2005
March 10, 2005
March 3, 2005
February 21, 2005
February 14, 2005
February 6, 2005
January 17, 2005
January 10, 2005
December 31, 2004
December 15, 2004
December 8, 2004
December 1, 2004
November 21, 2004
November 14, 2004
November 7, 2004
October 29, 2004
October 22, 2004
October 18, 2004
October 11, 2004
October 4, 2004
September 28, 2004
September 20, 2004
September 13, 2004
September 6, 2004
August 31, 2004
Weekly Features
The X Files
Xavier Hermosillo is the President of, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 23 years ago. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He has co-founded two publicly-traded companies where he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. He has also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Business and Communications. He can be reached at

March 23, 2008

LAPD Chief's ego and search for a new job may destroy a premier unit and potentially threaten America's security

Politics is an ugly business and I'm not talking about the presidential election right now. Many people who have lived on both coasts will be among the first to tell you there is a huge cultural difference between people and life in New York and Los Angeles.

I have always been a believer that Los Angelenos are generally more enlightened and greater risk takers than the rude and sometimes crude crowd out of the Big Apple. Historically, there has also been less public corruption in L.A. than in New York.

The tenure of Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton is making that view more valid than ever as he ignores history, success, and common sense in secretly conspiring to undermine the LAPD's storied SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) team by loosening entry standards so he can claim HE integrated the unit with women. Why would he do this? Because the self-serving Bratton, who calls himself "America's Police Chief" because of stints as chief in New York and Boston, is in his final term as LAPD Chief and he desperately wants to be on the national stage.

It is important to understand what makes Bill Bratton tick to see how he is putting L.A. in danger and wants to take his onerous way of managing and dictating to the national level and potentially threaten our national security.

It's no secret that he covets becoming the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The chameleon in LAPD blue has tried once already to snag the top federal job. Last year, when U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned, there was rampant speculation his spot would be field by Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security. It was almost comical, although somewhat disgusting, to watch Bratton pander for the opportunity to replace Chertoff. There apparently is no depth to which Bratton will stoop to get what he wants or what he thinks he deserves.

At the time of the Gonzales departure, in the early days of the presidential campaign jockeying, it looked like former New York City Mayor Rudy Guliani was a sure-fire pick to get the Republican nomination. If you know your New York politics, you'll recall that Guliani fired Bratton as chief of the NYPD because of reported disloyalty by the brusque and non-stop, self-promoting chief.

That history reportedly didn't stop Bratton from sucking it up and trying to repair his soured relationship with Guliani so his former mayoral boss would ask President Bush to slide Bratton into the top spot at Homeland Security. It didn't work because Guliani refused to be manipulated again by Bratton. Bush then appointed Michael Mukasey as the successor to Gonzales, killing Bratton's grand plan.

It would be irresponsible to call Bratton an ignorant and egomaniacal Machiavellian Svengali if there was nothing to back it up, but in this case there is plenty of evidence!

Now that there is a lot of wide-spread speculation that a Democrat is sure to win the White House, and many are betting that either Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama will win, Bratton is pimping himself again for the top job at Homeland Security. THIS is where his attack on LAPD's SWAT team comes into play.

Bratton has been trying to undermine SWAT since he became chief and has refused multiple requests to make public the secret study he ordered with a clear focus of forcing SWAT to add women, even if they are not fit or qualified to serve in the unit. He also says there are not enough blacks in SWAT, even though the 12.6% of blacks in SWAT slightly exceeds the 12% black population numbers for the LAPD and the 10% black population stats for all of Los Angeles. And don't forget there was another black on SWAT until the recent killing of Officer Randall Simmons.

Hmmm - demanding women and blacks in SWAT - at a time when a woman and a black are in a neck-and-neck race for president - and either Democrat is THE key to naming a new Secretary of Homeland Security IF one of them wins. Bill Bratton is a betting man as long as he is the top prize.

However, Bratton is using his usual slight of tongue to try and get his way by telling half-truths, using his carefully crafted image to buffalo people, and by ignoring history, knowing full well that the ignorance by most people about how government works is bliss for his plan.

Bratton is publicly saying that since women serve in our military, they are qualified to serve in SWAT. What he ISN'T accurately saying is that although women ARE in the military, no woman has passed the stringent requirements and fully served in the SWAT equivalent of the military - Special Forces, Green Berets, Navy SEALS, etc. There is one notable PARTIAL exception to this and it should serve as a lesson to why Bratton's "the hell with SWAT" campaign is dangerous.

The Army experimented with allowing women to join the elite Rangers. Since there is always a limited number of slots to get into Ranger School, the lists of those wanting to get in have always been long. The Army was reluctant to allow women in because lowering the standards for them would put other soldiers in harms way if the women couldn't cut the proverbial mustard. And because there might be a few women who could NOT fulfill the requirements, the Army feared it would not be able to "wash them out" for failing to meet Ranger status because then they'd claim they were just discriminated against as women.

One woman did get the Green Beret but it took a judge to award it to her and that raises the same kind of serious questions about lowering standards just so someone like Bill Bratton can claim he integrated women into an elite unit. As I said, the only Green Beret reportedly ever awarded to a woman came from a judge to Captain Kathleen Wilder.

She attended all three phases of Special Forces training in the summer of 1980, but during the final week, she and two male students were reportedly caught hiding their 70-pound rucksacks. She and her compatriots were not carrying the heavy rucksacks as required by the instructors, but hid them in order to pick them up at a later time and appear to be as qualified as the other elite troops. All three were caught and dropped from the course, ostensibly for cheating. The men accepted the outcome for cheating but Wilder got a lawyer who reportedly argued she was a victim of sex discrimination. The court agreed, ordering that she receive a course completion certificate. Wilder never spent a day in an actual Special Forces unit, but she continues to claim she was the nation's only "female Green Beret".

The issue of women in LAPD SWAT has already been through the courts and the women who sued lost because they could not meet the standards that every other member of SWAT has had to meet. Bratton has apparently learned from this and has ordered the standards be lowered, the demanding physical standards and tests be "dumbed down", and the SWAT negotiator functions be separated from the SWAT operational duties, like they do in corrupt East Coast police departments. If Bratton is allowed to get his way, not only will properly selected and trained SWAT officers be in danger, but potentially unqualified women who passed a "dumbed down" entry test could put citizens' lives as risk.

A lot has been said about Bratton trying to change SWAT because of the tragic accidental shooting of little Susie Pena a couple of years ago when her deranged father used her as a shield as SWAT officers tried to rescue the girl in a hail of gunfire from the father in what is the ONLY hostage death in the 40 year history of LAPD SWAT.

Many people have unfortunately already seen the hand of Bill Bratton's impact on SWAT in the aftermath of the MacArthur Park May Day melee of 2007 when a Metro platoon went wild, beating members of the news media along with women and children in the park where Latino protestors were having their say.

The department's final investigation documented that a major contributing cause to the wild baton-swinging disaster was that Bratton, and one of his former assistant chiefs, George Gascon (who is now chief of police in Mesa, Arizona) cut the training budget for Metro. As a result, most of the members of the "B" Platoon assigned to the MacArthur Park protest march had NOT been properly trained in crowd control.

Furthermore, Bratton removed a renowned crowd control and K-9 expert, Lt. Pete Durham, a former Marine Corps Captain, and bounced him to a less lucrative position at a patrol division. Bratton replaced Durham with an inexperienced Irish pal who commanded the untrained "B" Platoon and was part of the disastrous Bratton management team that mishandled the MacArthur Park march. Lawsuits emanating from that incident, it is estimated, may cost the City of Los Angeles tens of millions of dollars.

In Bill Bratton's myopic world, whatever damage he inflicts to SWAT in order to look like the savior of women and blacks in order to try and get the Homeland Security spot under a woman or black president, in his mind, justifies whatever lasting damage Bratton may leave at LAPD, and as a result, in the community.

After all, when he left a hard-core culture at NYPD that has been cited as part of the reasons for the shoving of a nightstick up a man's rectum, and the unjustified police assassination of a groom-to-be as he left his bachelor party, Bratton was past his "New York state of mind". He was now chief of police in LaLa land, 2,500 miles away from his past, staking out new territory to claim as his legacy. Just like he left New York to fend for itself once he fled for the Left Coast, we should be concerned about his current itching to head East to Washington DC in charge of ALL of our national security. Be aware, America, and be very afraid. Bill Bratton's ego is telling him that he is so good for you, you have to make sure Hillary or Barak make him the "world's police chief".

Heaven help us!