NYPD’s New Commissioner Takes Charge As Challenges Loom

Rich Lamb
December 02, 2019 - 3:10 pm
Dermot Shea

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio lavished the new NYPD commissioner with praise on his first day on the job Monday.

De Blasio underlined that he’s watched former NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea on the job for six years and he’s confident that Shea will make an excellent commissioner.

“When you see him in a strategy session, you see an extraordinary active mind,” the mayor said.

Shea was sworn in as the 44th NYPD commissioner Sunday, succeeding James O’Neill.

O’Neill, 62, officially began his new job as Visa’s head of global security on Monday after 36 years with the police department. He was the commissioner for three years.

Shea says he “could not possibly be more proud to serve as the 44th police commissioner of the greatest police department in the world.”

“It is truly humbling and I’m looking forward to working with everyone who lives and works and visits here to make New York City even safer,” the commissioner said.

As commissioner, Shea has the ultimate responsibility for keeping crime low. He'll also have to contend with looming bail reforms and pressure to reduce arrests, along with dissent among some of the department's 36,000 officers.

The 50-year-old Shea started as a Bronx patrolman in 1991 and gained prominence in the department as a crime stats guru.

De Blasio says he's “one of the best-prepared” incoming commissioners the city has seen.

(© 2019 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)