Dermot Shea named next NYC Police Commissioner as James O'Neill resigns

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea will be promoted to New York City Police Commissioner after it was announced that James O'Neill will resign from the position of top cop.

Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted the announcement Monday afternoon ahead of a formal press conference.


De Blasio called Shea a "proven change agent" who has worked to build trust between police and communities and is "uniquely qualified" to serve as the city's next police commissioner.

As the next Police Commissioner, Shea will apply precision policing and Neighborhood Policing to target gang-related violence, take guns off the streets and continue the city's reduction in crime. He will take office on December 1st.

"This is a tremendous honor and a tremendous responsibility and I'm grateful to the Mayor for this privilege to serve," Shea said. "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."

PBA President Patrick Lynch released the following statement about Shea's promotion:

"The challenges facing the NYPD are enormous, but so are the opportunities. We look forward to working with Commissioner Shea to combat the current anti-police atmosphere and make positive changes that will improve the lives of our police officers and every New Yorker we protect."

Shea succeeded Robert Boyce in 2018. Before taking his current 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.

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Shea joined the NYPD in 1991. He 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

He grew up in Sunnyside, Queens, and was one of five kids in an Irish-American family.

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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