NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New Yorkers are coming to terms with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s surprise pick of Dermot Shea for police commissioner of the nation’s largest police force.
Whether it’s Harlem, the Upper West Side, high crime areas or low crime areas, the mayor’s decision is, to say the least, generating a lot of buzz around the city, reports CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer.
“I thought it was such a snap decision,” said Neil Pelone of Bay Ridge.
“I would love to see a woman, to be honest with you,” said Marco Matute of Rego Park. “Women have a different understanding.”
“Be fair, just be fair and get in touch with the community,” said Ruthann Cohen-Aikens of Manhattan Valley. “Don’t come here and play cowboys and Indians, just want a fair shake.”
Many wonder why First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker didn’t get the top NYPD job.
“We were hoping he would have elected Mr. Tucker to be our next commissioner,” said Mary Collins of Harlem.
“I don’t know why he passed over the one he did pass over,” said Wayne Jones of the Upper West Side.
“Uh oh, not a good thing,” Muriel Fariello, also of the Upper West Side.
“For me, the best-qualified man should get the job,” said Dennis Stewart of the Lower East Side. “I don’t care whether he’s green, pink, yellow, whatever he is.”
Experts say that Shea will have a lot of challenges.
On the day he graduated from the police academy, the gold braid on his shoulder shows he was in the top 10% of his class.
“I’m hoping that he turns the corner and turns community policing into something other than a bumper sticker,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, himself a former NYPD captain.
Mark Peters, CBS2’s urban affairs expert, says Shea has to do a better job of dealing with cases of sexual assaults. Peter should know, as he investigated the unit when he was commissioner of the Department of Investigation and found it sorely lacking.
What Challenges Will New Police Commissioner Face?
He says Shea was in charge of fixing things.
“Although the NYPD talked a great deal about how they had staffing changes, in fact, those changes were at best cosmetic,” said Peters. “Although they added some additional staff, most of the people they added were not trained, experienced detectives but inexperienced patrol officers.”
The incoming commissioner will also have to deal with the state’s new criminal justice reforms: No bail provisions that will free a lot of people from jail, a requirement that defense attorneys be given the names of witnesses within 15 days of arraignment, including those who witness gang activity.