First Deputy Commissioner named to NYPD
Benjamin Tucker has been appointed First Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD, making him the highest ranking black official in the department.
Tucker replaces retired Chief of Department Philip Banks III, who resigned on October 31 ahead of his impending promotion, due to an inability to “bridge that gap” between what the Commissioner William Bratton required of the role and “the police work and operations that I love so much.”
Tucker joined the NYPD in 1969 and came out of retirement in January, 2014, to lead the retraining of police officers. Between his tenures with the NYPD, Tucker served with the Justice Department as an advocate of community policing and with the Office of National Drug Control Policy as deputy director for state, local and tribal affairs.
Some elected officials expressed cautious optimism at Tucker’s selection.
Brooklyn Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries noted that Banks’ departure “left a gaping hole that the police department will struggle to fill” and “Tucker has an interesting background, but there is no recent evidence of any meaningful community-based experience. Let’s hope he will be successful.”
Brooklyn Councilmember Jumaane Williams and Bronx Councilmember Vanessa Gibson added that they “hope that he believes in and has the authority to help lead the department toward the cultural systemic shift that is needed. . . to deal with tensions that have plagued the NYPD and communities of color for decades.”
–Heather J. Chin
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