NYPD commissioner and other police top brass file for retirement

Dermot Shea, 52, was expected to step down as Mayor-elect Eric Adams chooses his own police commissioner


By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea filed for retirement on Thursday, police pension board records show.

His first deputy commissioner, Benjamin Tucker put in his retirement papers the same day, the records show.

Commissioner Dermot Shea, right, embraces First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker at NYPD Headquarters on Dec. 2, 2019 in Manhattan.
Commissioner Dermot Shea, right, embraces First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker at NYPD Headquarters on Dec. 2, 2019 in Manhattan. (Barry Williams)

Both men listed Dec. 31 as their last day with the NYPD.

Shea, 52, has been the city’s top cop since 2019 and led the NYPD during the height of the COVID pandemic, a massive spike in shootings and homicides, and the massive protests that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

He was expected to step down at the end of the month as Mayor-elect Eric Adams chooses his own police commissioner. Adams has repeatedly said that he wants to put a black woman into the top cop spot.

Shea was third person elevated to police commissioner during Mayor de Blasio’s eight year tenure, following Bill Bratton, who was hired when de Blasio came into office and James O’Neill.

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Before becoming New York’s top cop, Shea was the department’s Chief of Detectives, Chief of Crime Control Strategies, and the Deputy Commissioner of Operations. He began his career as a cop in 1991 in the South Bronx.

During his time at police headquarters, Shea helped developed the NYPD’s precision policing tactics, where cops focus on a small number of people responsible for most of the city’s crime.

Tucker, 70, began his career as a police trainee in 1969. He became a police officer in 1972 and a sergeant in 1987. After 22 years, and working in an array of units, including the early Civilian Complaint Review Board, which was then under the NYPD, he left to work at City Hall for Mayor Ed Koch.

He worked in several civilian posts, including head of the Commission on Human Rights and head of school safety for the Department of Education.

In 1995, he went to work for President Clinton in the Department of Justice and later worked for President Obama as a deputy director in the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

He also led research projects on prevention of drug abuse among formerly incarcerated people at NYU and Columbia.

Tucker returned to the NYPD under Police Commissioner William Bratton in 2014 as head of training and then became first deputy commissioner overseeing personnel, training, criminal justice and the department’s disciplinary system.

Mayor de Blasio passed Tucker over for police commissioner twice. First when he appointed James O’Neill to succeed Bratton in 2016 and when Shea was chosen to succeed O’Neill.

During an interview on WPIX 11 on Nov. 23 Shea said that Adams’ transition team was already working with NYPD executives to create a smooth transition.

“There’s work being done through the mayor elect and we have people designated to work with them,” Shea said. “We will turn over a very strong police department to them”

When asked about his future, Shea said he “will be busy” but wouldn’t say what his next job would be.

[NEXT: Lifelong friends: Mass. police, fire chiefs to retire together after 43 years]

©2021 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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