NYPD chief honored with sendoff on last day on the job after 34 years
Hundreds of police officers gathered to honor Chief Kenneth Corey with a final sendoff at Manhattan's police headquarters
By David Luces
Staten Island Advance
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Chief Kenneth Corey, the first Staten Islander in recent memory to be named chief of department of the NYPD, was honored Tuesday with a final sendoff at Manhattan's police headquarters on his last day on the job.
Corey, 53, of Prince's Bay, held the third-highest-ranking position on the force, behind the commissioner and first deputy commissioner.
Originally from Brooklyn, Corey has been living on Staten Island for more than 25 years. He recently spent nearly three years as Staten Island's borough commander, which coincided with the height of the coronavirus pandemic and the social upheaval following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
At the walkout Tuesday, hundreds of police officers gathered outside the building to welcome Corey and his family. Afterwards, Corey could be seen riding off in a vintage police car.
"From day one, I have seen Chief Corey conduct himself with unparalleled integrity and I have marveled at his strength and vision," said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell previously in a statement. " Chief Corey has been a beacon of excellence for officers in every rank — at every station. The light of his leadership will remain a shining guide forward for all of us and his contributions to our profession will be everlasting."
A tweet from the NYPD's official Twitter page shows the scene outside police headquarters.
For 34 years, Chief of Department Kenneth Corey has been protecting & serving NYers. He first joined the NYPD as a Police Cadet & moved up the ranks to become the highest-ranking uniform cop. We wish him well & render a final salute as he enters retirement. Thank you, Chief. pic.twitter.com/CRjsFdQIr9— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 29, 2022
"For 34 years, Chief of Department Kenneth Corey has been protecting & serving NYers.," it says. "He first joined the NYPD as a Police Cadet & moved up the ranks to become the highest-ranking uniform cop. We wish him well & render a final salute as he enters retirement. Thank you, Chief."
Corey joined the NYPD in June 1988 as a police cadet and became a police officer two years later, according to the NYPD.
Over the course of his career, he led patrol boroughs including in Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Gang Squad Manhattan South, and the District Attorney Squad Queens. Prior to his promotion to chief of department, Corey was the chief of training for the NYPD, and was instrumental in the training of new police officers.
A true New Yorker, and a leader who embodies everything the NYPD stands for — Chief of Department Kenneth Corey has dedicated his life to this city. Today, after 3 decades of service, he walked out of police headquarters one last time.— Commissioner Sewell (@NYPDPC) November 29, 2022
On behalf of the department, thank you! pic.twitter.com/TYXmPRmFAR
A REPUTABLE PAST ON STATEN ISLAND
In the years Corey served Staten Island, the borough saw a decrease in several major crimes.
Over a two-year span, prior to his departure, robberies decreased by 29%, burglaries by 11% and rapes by 35%, according to NYPD figures.
Corey often highlighted the importance of collaboration between the community and the NYPD.
During a police reform and reinvention collaborative listening session the NYPD held on Staten Island in 2020, he addressed a spike in homicides in the borough, saying "the speed at which we solve cases sometimes is directly related to the amount of support we get from the community."
Tonight we bid farewell to our Chief of Department, Kenneth Corey, as he signed out for the last time concluding a distinguished 34 year career. We cannot thank you enough for your leadership. Congratulations on your retirement! pic.twitter.com/n7pHtDmuR9— NYPD 121st Precinct (@NYPD121Pct) November 30, 2022
Department Chaplains Monsignor Robert Romano & Imam Tahir Kukiqi offered a meaningful invocation and benediction as family, friends and colleagues gathered to wish @NYPDChiefOfDept Kenneth Corey well on his retirement after 34 years of dedicated service. #Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/b2lXZd9iao— NYPD Chaplains Unit (@NYPDchaplains) November 30, 2022
In 2020, Corey was forced to navigate dueling crises in the form of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic — when crimes like shootings and homicides rose not only on Staten Island, but throughout New York City — and civil-rights protests.
In particular, Corey was hailed for his efforts building the bridge between police and the Black community during Black Lives Matter demonstrations. While most other boroughs saw violence during a summer of simmering racial tension, rallies on Staten Island remained peaceful.
Corey had one particularly poignant exchange with a young man during a protest at the 120th Precinct stationhouse in St. George, organized following the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis.
"I'm not the problem, I'm trying to bring about a solution," 21-year-old demonstrator Isaiah Buffong shouted during the rally.
Corey responded: "So let's work together and find a solution."
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