NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After two years on the job, Dec. 31 will be the last day on the job for New York City’s 44th police commissioner.

CBS2’s Kristine Johnson sat down with Commissioner Dermot Shea to talk about the challenges he faced.

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“Is being commissioner of the NYPD all it’s cracked up to be?” she asked.

“And then some,” Shea said.

Watch Kristine Johnson’s interview —

“Did you face greater challenges than your predecessors, do you think? You had a lot going against you. You had the pandemic. You had the social unrest. You had the ‘Defund the Police’ movement,” Johnson said.

“You sit down at the table and you play the cards that we’re dealt. This is, this is, you know, the time we were in. You also, you know, I like to think that we do a pretty good job of holding the city together,” Shea said.

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“How would you describe bail reform?” Johnson asked.

“I would describe it as misunderstood,” Shea said. “If you make changes to that system with unintended consequences or not, you own it, and artificially driving down incarceration and putting hardened criminals back on the street and preventing the police from putting dangerous criminals into the system, because of these crazy walls, you own it, and the debate becomes political, and while this debate is raging, people are suffering.”

Johnson also asked Shea about the future of the department.

“Mayor-elect Eric Adams says that he was a minority woman to be your successor. Will that make a difference in running the department?” she asked.

“I don’t think it should … The challenge is, though, to improve. Take what’s here, make it your own. There’s always work to do. There’s always– there’s things that I wish I had gotten to that we didn’t get to,” Shea said. “Whatever the problems are, whether it’s crime, whether it’s internal, whether it’s mental health, there’s always things to do. I think they’ll do a great job.”

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As for what’s next for Shea, he says first, a well-deserved family vacation. He adds he’s excited to begin the next chapter of his life.

Kristine Johnson