Commissioner James O’Neill with then Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.
By Irish Echo Staff
New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill is taking his leave of the NYPD’s top job. O’Neill, who is 62, headed the NYPD for three years and will be moving to the private sector. He became commissioner in September, 2016.
O’Neill’s resignation won’t take effect for several weeks. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea will be stepping up to take his place. Both O’Neill and Shea have attended, and spoken at, the Irish Echo Law & Order Awards.
The decision by O’Neill follows months of speculation at One Police Plaza that he planned to leave for a job in the private sector, and that he was frustrated by what those under him saw as increasingly blurred lines between City Hall and Police Headquarters, the Daily News reported Monday.
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O’Neill, however, said the decision was his. “What did (ex-NYPD Commission Bill) Bratton say? It’s never a good time but it’s the right time. I’ve been the commissioner for three years, I was Chief of Department for two years. I’ve been a cop for 37 years,” O’Neill told the News.
O’Neill, whose Irish roots are mainly in County Monaghan, dismissed any rumors that friction between him and City Hall had forced his hand.