Four NYPD Chiefs, With a Combined 140 Years Experience to Retire
Nearly a century and a half of combined experience is leaving the New York Police Department, with the year-end retirement of four chiefs — including in the crucial housing and transit bureaus — who make up a fifth of the law enforcement agency’s leadership team.
The leadership turnover comes at a perilous time for the city, with dramatic crime scenes in public housing and on mass transit spooking people. The subway system, for example, has only recovered about 65 percent of its pre-Covid ridership, with surveys showing that people fear they will be victims of emotionally disturbed homeless people who inhabit the system.
David Barrere, the chief of internal affairs, began his career with the department as a beat cop in Flatbush 32 years ago. He was charged with preserving the integrity of the NYPD by rooting out bad officers.
As Chief of Transit, Jason Wilcox was responsible for the safety and security of the 5.6 million daily passengers of the city’s subways and joined the NYPD’s Bronx precinct in 1987.
Kathleen O’Reilly was Chief of Housing, meaning she oversaw security for the half million residents and visitors to public housing projects. She began her policing career in 1991 when she became an officer in the former New York City Housing Police Department. She previously served as Chief of Transit and Chief of Patrol.
Of the four, Harry Wedin served the longest. He joined nearly 42 years ago, back in 1981, serving as a patrol officer in East Flatbush. He eventually ascended to the post of Chief of Special Operations, which oversees the department’s response to special situations, including when a criminal barricades him or herself inside a location, emotionally disturbed persons, jumpers from city bridges, waterborne incidents, searches of missing people, executing a search warrant, air and sea rescues, public disorder events, and major disasters.
In addition to these four, Deputy Commissioner of Support Services Robert Martinez’s retirement will also take effect at the end of December.
Commissioner Keechant Sewell thanked the quin for their service, noting the combined 140 years of public service.
“Kathy O’Reilly, Harry Wedin, Jason Wilcox, and Bob Martinez are dedicated public servants,” she said. “Collectively, these executives devoted nearly a century-and-a-half of service to the NYPD and the people of New York City, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their tireless contributions.”