Yonkers Police Commissioner Edmund Hartnett, who made it a priority of his five year term of office to improve relations between police and members of the Irish and Irish American community in the Westchester County city, has tendered his resignation and will be leaving the post on Dec. 31.
Hartnett, who was the chief honoree at the recent Irish Echo Top 50 Law and Order awards, stated his intention to move on in a letter to outgoing Yonkers mayor Phil Amicone who hired the then NYPD's Hartnett in 2006.
As is frequently the case, a new mayor means a new commissioner. Amicone leaves office on Dec. 31 because of term limits and will be succeeded in the office by Mike Spano who was elected last month.
"It is my desire to have my last day as police commissioner coincide with your last day in office. I leave with a deep sense of pride and a profound feeling of accomplishment," Hartnett wrote Amicone.
"The best thing you can say about any police officer is that people are safer because of his service," Amicone said in a statement.
In his letter, Hartnett heaped praise on the department, which, in years past, did not always have the best of relationship with the Yonkers Irish.
"They continue to provide high quality police service to the residents of Yonkers. In spite of the many challenges over the past several years, the men and women of the Yonkers Police Department have served admirably.
I am very proud of them. In my opinion, the YPD is the best police department in Westchester County and one of the finest in the United States. Being Police Commissioner of the City of Yonkers has been the highlight of my 32 years in law enforcement," stated Hartnett who also thanked the residents of New York State's fourth largest city "for working with me in partnership for the past five years."
Hartnett told the Echo that he was also pleased that during his five years the relationship between the department and the city's Irish had improved markedly.
Hartnett has not indicated what his immediate plans are. The former NYPD deputy chief, as is commonly the case with retiring police chiefs, could well work in the private sector for a time but he has not ruled out a top cop job in another jurisdiction.
Hartnett's name does crop up whenever talk turns to a future successor to current NYPD commissioner, Raymond Kelly.