Video Transcript

00:10 William Bratton: I'd like to move now from that New York story into the book "Collaborate or Perish" and share with you a couple of thoughts from that book that will further emphasize, if you will, put the frosting on the case of the New York story. And "Collaborate or Perish" came about... Zach Tumin, a good friend for many years, senior researcher at Harvard, writes a lot of the case studies, and actually did one of the case studies on me. And he had this idea of looking at so much that had gone on in the business world that he examined, the public sector. He had done hundreds of analyses of companies that failed and succeeded, and over time had come up with the idea that successful companies, that they all shared eight elements as part of their success. And those that had not succeeded usually were missing at least one, if not more. And as he looked at my world, my police departments, and he matched up against those eight. Sure enough, not had a failure in policing. Every police department, of the six that I've led, has always succeeded. I've never had a year, in 20 years of being a police chief, where crime did not go down. My profit in policing was crime reduction. I've never had a year without a profit in policing. And as he matched up these eight elements against my police experience, he found it worked. And he asked if I would collaborate, work with him on this book.

01:36 Bratton: And so the book "Collaborate or Perish" is effectively almost three dozen stories. Private sector, business sector stories about successes primarily, built around this theme of eight elements of a successful collaboration. And some failures, and why they did not succeed. What I'd like to share with you is just a couple of stories from that book, then close it up, and then open it up for questions you might have.

02:05 Bratton: I wanna talk about red balloons. I wanna talk about Cuban gunboats. Cuban gunboats, 2002, about a year or so after 9/11, country is on heightened alert after the horrific events of that day, 2:30 in the morning, four uniformed Cuban military personnel, all carrying weapons and in uniform, they all look like miniature Fidel Castros, on a Cuban gun boat, defected. Left Cuba and sailed into Key West, Florida, at 2:30 in the morning. They were undetected, going across the 90 miles between Cuba and Florida. And this is when our country's on its highest alert. They moored their boat at the Hyatt Regency mooring, right next door to the Coast Guard mooring, went into the Hyatt Hotel, didn't have reservations, so the hotel clerk would have nothing to do with them. I don't know about that clerk, 2:30 in the morning, he's got four characters dressed in green fatigues with sidearms and didn't think anything unusual about them. For the next several hours, they roamed the streets of Key West until they finally found a Key West policeman who they could surrender to.

03:19 Bratton: The embarrassment, as you might imagine, at the height of us being on alert, in terms of that, an armed gunboat came into the United States undetected. Just raised the specter at that time we were concerned about. We certainly had the issue of planes being used as weapons. What could a boat or a ship do? And what had transpired the story we tell was the maritime awareness story. How the Navy, the Coast Guard, Department of Transportation, the Merchant Marine, how they in a very short period of time began to collaborate around the idea of identifying awareness. Where are boats, ships, vessels? They each even identified a boat, vessel, or ship differently. The Navy refers to them, I believe, as vessels, I might be screwing this up. Coast Guard refers to them as boats and the Merchant Marine refers to them as vessels. They even had different terminology.

04:21 Bratton: And the other thing that was not working was that they had no coordination, no collaboration, between their respective capabilities to track where ships, boats, and vessels were. And when they ran the initiative, they used Singapore Harbor as an example, the Navy came up with 500 boat images that they were tracking, but when you layered it with what the other agencies were aware of and were tracking, they came up with 1500 images. Without collaboration, they had insufficient information to effectively keep the country safe against a potential boat penetration by an unidentified or undetected boat. So the story that we tell about the maritime situation is an example of the essential nature of collaboration for that issue.

05:14 Bratton: Second one we talk about is 10 red balloons. DARPA, DARPA is the acronym for the federal agency that created the internet. I know the former Vice President claims credit for it, he might have been a part of it, but DARPA was actually the entity that created it and helps to maintain it. In few years back, 2009, they wanted to have a sense of, what was the impact of this internet that had been created, in terms of the sharing of information. So they were gonna run a contest. They were going to launch 10 of those eight-foot, big, red weather balloons, 10 different locations around the country. They were gonna offer a $40,000 prize to the team that could first identify where were those 10 balloons.

06:02 Bratton: MIT, Harvard, a lot of the various think-tanks around the company... Country, had months to gear up for this competition. The power of the internet, the network world. And the idea was, how long would it take to gather up this information. So they had months to prepare. About a day and a half before the contest, a young man, a hacker, one of the more renowned hackers, George Hotz, who had basically developed a system to hack into the Sony PlayStation and the iPhone when they were first developed so that you could effectively "break out" if you will, they called it "jail break" that you didn't necessarily have to use Apple's [06:45] ____ provider, which was AT&T.

06:47 Bratton: He basically hacked in and basically shared with his 50,000 followers, how could you effectively, without having to go through their systems, hack into them, 17 years old, 18 years old. He gets out of bed and he sees this contest, and he decides he's gonna get into the contest. And so he sends out to his 50,000 followers, who also have, through Twitter, thousands upon thousands of other people in their network, sets up a website "" And he sends out to his people and says, "Dudes, there's this contest. I want to win it. And if you help me win it, I will do for you a jail break for one of the other systems that all these people wanted to get into. But I need your help to find these 10 balloons." For the first four to five hours of that contest, George and his network of hackers, identified more balloons than the organized entities at MIT and Harvard and the other locations. Eventually, MIT won. Nine hours it took to find all 10 balloons. And they were engaging in all types of activities, disingenuous information, false reports. But George and his people, I think had discovered, I think eight of them, by the time MIT actually won the contest.

08:09 Bratton: George, now, I think, is employed by Facebook, that he's finally gone legitimate and is now in that world. But the idea was the power of collaboration and particularly in the network world. So when I think back to the NYPD, the collaboration we developed in that city. Pin maps in the precinct, faxing the information into headquarters to correlate it, versus today, the ability to instantaneously send that information. We have moved policing into what is called the "predictive" policing era, where we are now in a position, with the algorithms available, the intimacy of the information, the comprehensiveness of it, to actually predict where crime is likely to occur and able to put our cops on the dots to prevent it.

08:56 Bratton: As the role of policing, the vision that I and many of my colleagues had in the '90s, was that the role of policing was not to respond to crime, the vision was we exist to prevent it. And to prevent it, we were going to have to change the way policing worked. We were going to have to focus on problems. We were going to have to focus on collaboration and partnerships to achieve that goal of prevention. And we have achieved it with 600,000 fewer crimes every year in New York. In this country, despite the recession, overall crime is still down by almost 40% from what it was in the '90s, the investment we made.

09:38 Bratton: And in the book on collaboration, we tell the New York story, we tell the LA story, we tell the story of the creation of one of the first fusion centers in the country to deal with terrorism. There are now 70 of them, and they've all network for the sharing of information that's made into intelligence to help keep us safe against terrorism, external to the United States, Federal government responsibility, but home-grown terrorism, hometown terrorism, which ultimately is the responsibility of local police. Three-quarters of the 100 detected, counted, terrorist acts directed against the United States over the last 10 years, have been detected at the local level. So the collaboration among America's 17,000 police departments is essential. But it all starts with a vision that this collaboration is possible.