De Blasio, Incoming NYPD Commissioner In Puerto Rico

WCBS 880 Newsroom
November 10, 2019 - 2:47 pm
De Blasio and Shea

Kena Betancur/Getty Images


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (WCBS 880) – Incoming NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea is starting off his new job in Puerto Rico with Mayor de Blasio.

Shea and de Blasio were attending a four-day conference in the U.S. territory that started Wednesday. The conference, which also includes legislative workshops, lasts until Sunday.

The "Somos El Futuro" conference focuses on the needs of Hispanics in New York State. Members of the City Council and the state legislature were also in attendance.

Just days after it was announced that he’ll be the incoming city police chief, Shea came with the mayor to the island.

“One-on-ones for the most part. Just really getting to know people,” Shea told NY1 of his plans. “Passing them in the halls, testifying at City Council — I know a number of people, but it's a little different when you can really sit down and talk one-on-one. Good to open the dialogue.”

“This part of the United States of America got ignored and continues to be ignored,” de Blasio said in a call with WNYC on Friday. “So today I'm going to work on shining a light on one of the places in Puerto Rico that needs help the most.”

The mayor says it’s “breathtaking and painful to see how little help got here.”

“And it’s all about race and, bluntly, a version of colonialism,” the mayor said.

Last week, the mayor praised former police Commissioner James O’Neill and his over 30 years in the NYPD before announcing his departure on Monday.

“Jimmy O'Neill is and was outstanding as a police commissioner on many, many levels. Including being the architect of neighborhood policing,” de Blasio said.