The Bronx Chronicle Welcomes NYC’s 43rd Police Commissioner, James P. O’Neill


James P. O'Neill, NYC's 43rd Police commissioner

James P. O’Neill, NYC’s 43rd Police commissioner. Courtesy: NYPD

James P. O’Neill was appointed the 43rd police commissioner of the City of New York by Mayor Bill de Blasio today. He had served previously as chief of department, the NYPD’s highest uniformed rank. He was instrumental in developing the neighborhood-based policing model that is renewing and recasting the NYPD’s patrol function to provide greater police and community interaction and collaboration.
Commissioner O’Neill has a clear vision of where he is taking the New York City Police Department.
“Fighting crime is what we get paid to do,” he says. “But we can’t do that unless we achieve full partnership with the community. Unless we have that connectivity, it’s not going to work.”
Police Commissioner James O’Neill presented his vision for “a completely safe New York City” at his public swearing-in ceremony Monday. On Saturday, his first full day on the job, a bomb in Chelsea injured 29 people. By Monday morning, a suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was under arrest.
Crain’s reported that O’Neill acknowledged at a press conference following the ceremony that Saturday’s events were a “pretty tough way to start in my new position of police commissioner.”

In his speech at the ceremonial swearing-in at One Police Plaza, O’Neill said it will be necessary to “overcome the barriers of mistrust” between communities and police, “not re-inflict those wounds, and to do all we can to heal them.”

“In the past two and half years, we’ve stopped thousands fewer people on the street, we’ve arrested thousands fewer, too,” he said, referring to the easing of stop-and-frisk policing. “And crime continues to go down. Why? Because we’re focused now on the quality of our actions, not the quantity.”

“For too long the department was focused on how many arrests individual cops had made, how many summonses they’d written—no longer.”

That was then, this is now.  Commissioner O’Neill will chart the Department’s course and his own legacy from today on out.
Congratulations and welcome to the job, Commissioner O’Neill! The Bronx remembers your good work here. We expect continued excellence.
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