As of December 1, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea now has the official title of the commissioner of the New York Police Department. He is replacing James O’Neill.
In a press release, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Dermot Shea is a proven change agent, using precision policing to fight crime and build trust between police and communities. 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. Dermot is uniquely qualified to serve as our next Police Commissioner and drive down crime rates even further.”
Shea is a 50-year-old who started his career during the 90s. Shea started his career as a police officer in 1991 and faced up to 2,000 murders. He later became the precinct commander of the 44th and 50th precincts in the Bronx. He assisted in a reduction of gun violence in the area.
In 2014, he became Chief of Crime Control Strategies and Deputy Commissioner for Operations, where he became an expert in the CompStat system. In 2018, he was promoted to Chief of Detectives. Shea grew up in Sunnyside, Queens.
Shea said in a press release, “This is a tremendous honor and a tremendous responsibility, and I’m grateful to the Mayor for this privilege to serve.”
Shea added, “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. 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.”
Passing on the torch, former Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a press release that, “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 added that, “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.”
Although O’Neill, 62, is retiring from NYPD, he won’t be out of work for long. ABC reports he will be starting a new role as a global security chief at credit card giant Visa Inc. O’Neill retired after 36 years with the department. He has spent the last three years as the commissioner.