Who or what is holding up Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan’s promotion to chief of department?
Was it something he said? Something he did? Or perhaps more likely, is Mayor Bill de Blasio, fresh from re-election, flexing his muscle by delaying the appointment of the NYPD’s highest-ranking uniformed officer to provide, to use one of his favorite words, “diversity.”
Monahan is, of course, Irish. So is Commissioner James O’Neill. So are crime statistics guru Dermot Shea and Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. These four guys run the joint.
Odd man out was Chief of Department Carlos Gomez, the highest-ranking Hispanic officer until he retired abruptly last month, foregoing the traditional “walkout,” when officers and commanders line up in formation to bid him farewell. His departure left the NYPD without a Hispanic among the highest-ranking chiefs despite the department’s rank and file being nearly 30 percent Hispanic.
Police sources say he felt he was treated as a figurehead and was miffed that City Hall made him go with de Blasio to Hispanic events.
A quiet and dignified guy, Gomez declined to comment about his departure.
As for Monahan, the deal was that O’Neill would promote him from his post as chief of patrol, where he commands the uniformed force of about 20,000. He is also credited with implementing de Blasio’s policy of neighborhood policing, which turns patrol cops into neighborhood problems solvers, or something like that.
Monahan’s African-American assistant chief, Rodney Harrison, is widely expected to replace him as chief of patrol.
But a snag has developed. Whether de Blasio objected to Monahan or sought to announce the promotion himself together with other top promotions is unclear. O’Neill had said he would make an announcement in the new year. But he has dodged the issue, saying at Friday’s Police Plaza news conference only that the delay was part of a “process.”
But instead of a new chief of department in the new year, we had another news conference, with O’Neill, Shea and de Blasio repeating the NYPD’s annual crime declines, which the mayor attributed to — guess what? — neighborhood policing.
Although de Blasio spouts a few sentences in Spanish at each news conference, “diversity” to him apparently doesn’t apply to Hispanics.