Incoming NYPD commissioner meets with Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Incoming NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea sat down with the Reverend Al Sharpton and his National Action Network Monday.

The meeting took place at NAN's House of Justice headquarters in Harlem.

Several clergy members and lawyers were also in attendance.

At a press conference after the meeting, Shea said the conversation was productive and that the police department is for all New Yorkers.

"Great opportunity, great discussion here today," he said, "It's very fitting that I'm here, I think, because I am the police commissioner to-be, of not the police department but of all New York, of 8.5 million New Yorkers...I think a very productive discussion, areas of concern, and really, a first step in having a collaborative relationship moving forward, making sure that the police department is the police department for all."

Related: Dermot Shea, NYPD's next commissioner, talks goals, challenges

Shea's term as police commissioner is set to begin on December 1, after current top cop James O'Neill announced he would be resigning after serving the city in that position for three years.

The 61-year-old O'Neill spent more than three decades with the NYPD before becoming commissioner in September of 2016. His tenure began with a pipe bomb exploding in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood on his first day.

He also saw the department through two other terror attacks: The Halloween truck attack on the West Side and the detonation of a pipe bomb beneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

O'Neil also oversaw a continual drop in crime and a reduction in arrests, but part of his administration was haunted by difficult decisions after the death of Eric Garner, which cost him loss of faith among some in the rank and file.

Shea, who has served the force in varying roles for 28 years, is the son of Irish immigrants, growing up in Queens with four siblings in a one-bedroom apartment.

"Treat people with dignity, respect, treat people the same," Shea said in speaking of values instilled in him by his mother. "We cannot and will not rest until all New Yorkers feel safe."

Shea succeeded Robert Boyce as Chief of Detectives in 2018. Before taking that job, he served as the department's senior crime control strategist, becoming publicly known as the department's "numbers guy" who breaks down crime statistics at news conferences.

Related: Who is Dermot Shea, New York City's next police commissioner

Shea joined the NYPD in 1991 and rose through the ranks working in narcotics, investigations and plainclothes units in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. He commanded the 44th and 50th Precincts in the Bronx

His brother, James Shea, retired from the NYPD as a deputy chief. But he didn't go very far -- just across the Hudson River where he serves as Jersey City Public Safety Director. His other brother Paul is deployed with the U.S. Army.

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