Being in charge of a major police department is not a particularly easy job. Therefore, a commissioner of police salary has to appropriately compensate its chief for their hard work. The New York City Police Department, or NYPD, is the largest force in the country, followed by the police forces from Chicago and Los Angeles. It employs more than 55,000 people, most of them as active-duty officers.
NYPD Commissioner Description
Broadly speaking, the commissioner for the NYPD oversees all operations of the entire department, which is in charge of policing the five boroughs of the city of New York (the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island). The position of NYPD police commissioner has been held by Dermot Shea since 2019, says the NYPD.
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In some ways, though, the NYPD commissioner's job is different from that of other commissioners of smaller departments around the country. This is because the NYPD also has an entire hierarchy of ranking officers under them, including the first deputy commissioner, the chief of department, more than 15 deputy commissioners (who each oversee their own area of the force) and several chiefs. Each of these individuals reports directly to their superior and ultimately to the commissioner.
The commissioner sets the tone and mission of the force during their term. They often decide on specific problems facing the city that they want to tackle, in addition to general policing. These areas of focus could be anything from improving traffic flow to solving cold cases to eliminating gun violence. Usually, their areas of focus align politically with the goals of the current mayoral administration.
NYPD Commissioner Education Requirements
In New York City, the police commissioner is appointed by the mayor. Therefore, there are no strict education requirements. Usually, though, this person must have a strong background in law enforcement, preferably in the NYPD itself. Most of the recent NYPD commissioners have held advanced degrees from prestigious institutions.
The NYPD requires at least 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university or two years of active duty military service. All of their officers also must be United States citizens and reside in the five boroughs or one of five neighboring counties (Nassau, Orange, Rockland, Suffolk or Westchester). Again, these aren't strict requirements for the police commissioner, but they are usually expected to be upheld.
As explained by the NYPD leadership team, the mayor appoints the commissioner, who must have some political savvy, in addition to a policing background. The police commissioner for the NYPD is a very public figure and represents the department, especially during moments of crisis. Their demeanor reflects on both the entire department and the administration it serves.
NYPD Commissioner of Police Salary
Police departments across the country are facing scrutiny and calls for radical change. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that the position of commissioner will change dramatically in the coming years. The department will likely still need the kind of leadership that it has in place now.
With so much attention being paid to police, though, the choice of a commissioner is even more political than it was previously. While there is no higher ranking position within the NYPD, past commissioners may go onto other high-profile positions in the private or public sector.
The commissioner of police salary varies with each administration's budget, but typically they make around $200,000 per year. According to data reported on Govsalaries.com, current commissioner Dermot Shea's 2020 salary was $243,171. An NYPD chief salary varies depending on the department they oversee and their tenure, but the average is $113,987, per the writers at Salary.com.
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