Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton announced his retirement Wednesday after seven years of command to "pursue new professionalization of policing opportunities in the private sector," according to his resignation letter. Bratton's resignation came a matter of weeks after the once scandal-ridden Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) completed eight years of oversight by the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ).

Bratton, 61, said his resignation would become effective on Oct. 31. In his letter, he thanked LAPD officers and staff for working with him to overcome the department's challenges over the past years, including the Federal Consent Decree that placed the LAPD under USDOJ supervision. The department is also on the way to meeting its goal of growing by 1,000 officers, and implemented a Bias-Free Policing policy. "It will not be easy to leave because, while much has been done, there is still much more that can be done," Bratton wrote. "But, having met the personal and professional challenges that I set for myself, I feel that this is an appropriate time for new leadership to move the department forward and meet the challenges that lie ahead."

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Bratton led the department through its "darkest hour." "With Chief Bratton at the helm, the LAPD transformed itself into a beacon of progress and professionalism," the mayor said in a statement.

View Bratton's entire resignation letter. View Villaraigosa's full speech.

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