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Queens Chronicle

Shea to replace O'Neill as NYPD commissioner

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Posted: Monday, November 4, 2019 4:16 pm

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill on Monday afternoon formally announced his intention to retire effective Dec. 1. NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, a 28-year veteran of the department, was named as his successor by Mayor de Blasio.

Shea, a Sunnyside native and the son of Irish immigrants, will be the 43rd commissioner since 1901, counting Ray Kelly and William Bratton, both of whom served two terms, once apiece. As O’Neill did, Shea will be required to retire from the NYPD to assume the office, as commissioner is considered a civilian post.

O’Neill reportedly will be moving to the private sector.

“Dermot Shea is a proven change agent, using precision policing to fight crime and build trust between police and communities,” de Blasio said in a press release issued by his office. “As Chief of Crime Control Strategies and then Chief of Detectives, Dermot was one of the chief architects of the approach that has made New York City the safest big city in America.

The mayor also expressed gratitude to O’Neill for his service as commissioner.

“Jimmy transformed the relationship between New Yorkers and police, and helped to make the Department the most sophisticated and advanced in the country.” 

Shea called the appointment a privilege.

“Police Commissioner O’Neill has been a mentor and a friend to me, and I am committed to building on the incredible success of Neighborhood Policing and precision policing, while continuing my life’s work to eradicate gangs and guns from our streets,” Shea said. “Every New Yorker deserves to be safe and feel safe, and that has been my mission since I took the oath and became a police officer 28 years ago. As Police Commissioner, this will be what drives me.”

 “Dermot Shea has exactly the experience and skill to continue to drive down crime, strengthen relationships with the community members we serve and make sure every neighborhood has the safety they deserve,” O’Neill said. “We cannot take the historic crime reductions in New York City for granted, and Dermot’s understanding of the complex issues that lead to crime and disorder, as well as the most effective strategies for addressing these issues, is as good as it gets in policing today.”

The mayor’s office credited O’Neill for presiding over the lowest crime rate in New York City since the NYPD started tracking major crime, as well as the fewest number of homicides recorded since the 1950s.

The architect of Neighborhood Policing, de Blasio and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. credited O’Neill as the architect of the NYPD’s existing neighborhood policing practices, including the expansion of the Neighborhood Coordination Officer initiative to all 77 precincts in the five boroughs.

“I have enjoyed working with Jimmy and always appreciated his honesty and directness,” Vance said in a statement issued by his office. “Like Jimmy, Dermot Shea is a ‘cop’s cop,’ a straightforward communicator, and great listener. His acumen for identifying and interrupting developing public safety trends is unmatched. With Dermot at the helm, the NYPD is poised to build upon the historic public safety gains achieved under Commissioner O’Neill’s leadership.”

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