NYPD Shakeup – What’s Behind Forcing Experienced Commanders to Retire?

 In opinion, Politics

In the last few days, the NYPD shakeup has pushed several experienced chiefs to retire, even though they have not reached their retirement dates. In the wake of those shifts, some officers of minority background have  been propelled into the slots, even if they lack significant experience. Others are openly political promotions based on NYPD commissioner James O’Neill’s personal preference.  Or are they?

Newsday reported,

“What caught many off guard was the retirements of four senior three-star chiefs — Joanne Jaffe, James Fox, Diana Pizzutti and Thomas Purtell. Asked about rumblings that some of those chiefs — all white and in their late 50s or their 60s — might cause legal problems for the department, O’Neill answered, “Each and every one of them made a large contribution to making this city safe . . . I thank them for that.” The commissioner said he wants a command staff with values “consistent with mine.”

Pressed for an explanation about the departure of the four retired chiefs, O’Neill said “the people I have put into place, their values are more consistent with mine when it comes to neighborhood policing.”

One lower-level commander who didn’t want to be named said there is a feeling of anxiety among many seasoned NYPD commanders who believe others are being promoted who “have not paid their dues.”

But are these simply political appointments by O’Neill because he wants certain folks in those positions who “have the same values?” Or did someone push for it to occur?

Breaking 911 stated,

Interestingly, fingers are being pointed towards Chirlane MccRay, the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and even more surprisingly – former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.

One NYPD official told Breaking911.com that “MccRay wanted to replace the outgoing Chief of Department with an African American woman, and caused such a stir which led to the entire shakeup”, the source said.

The source added that “in response to her bickering”, Chief Rodney Harrison, was appointed as Chief of Patrol – making him the top African American uniformed member of the NYPD. But that move is being questioned by many insiders, as Harrison has no personnel experience, as he has never been a Boro Commander before. This is unprecedented in the Department.

Another move which raised eyebrows was the appointment of Deputy Chief Nilda Irizarry Hofmann to Chief of Community Affairs and the first Hispanic woman in the NYPD promoted to three-star chief. This move appears to be unprecedented as well, as she was given a double promotion – from 1 star to 3 stars at the same time. Surprisingly, she has no experience with community outreach before, and many are questioning why she out of all people was given this prestigious position.

Politically run Police Departments can become disasters, and particularly a huge department like the NYPD.  It’s bad enough that Sheriff’s Departments can become political by virtue of the election process. If De Blasio’s wife Chirlane and former Commissioner Bratton actually did have a hand in the shakeup, it’s past time for the citizens of New York to vote him out of office. You can read about De Blasio’s wife at this link.

The New York Police Department has always had a political bent to it.  And they have never been fans of Mayor De Blasio adter some of his rhetoric about police. These shakeups could lead to making an already tenuous relationship with De Blasio worse.

 

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