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L.A. police chief Bratton stepping down

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The president of the Los Angeles City Council says highly praised Police Chief William Bratton is stepping down.

Councilman Eric Garcetti says Bratton disclosed his surprise decision Wednesday in a private meeting.

Bratton's decision comes after a seven-year tenure in which he instituted vast reforms of the once-scandalized police department.

Just last month a judge released the department from eight years of oversight by the U.S. Department of Justice, which had alleged a long pattern of abuse.

Under Bratton, Los Angeles has seen declining crime rates since 2003.

Garcetti says the city's residents are safer than they've been in "half a lifetime."

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