New York City Police Commissioner

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Police Commissioner
of the City of New York
NYPD Commissioner.png
NYPD Commissioner's shield
Bill Bratton at the seminar on his new book Collaborate or Perish! Lessons for Politics, Business and Public Services.jpg
William Bratton

since January 1, 2014
Style The Honorable
Appointer Mayor of New York City
Term length Five years
Renewable at Mayor's pleasure
Constituting instrument New York City Charter[1]
Inaugural holder George W. Matsell (as Superintendent)
Formation 1845
Deputy First Deputy Commissioner
Website Office of the Commissioner

The New York City Police Commissioner is the head of the New York City Police Department. The Commissioner is appointed by the Mayor, and serves at the Mayor's pleasure.[1] The Commissioner is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the department as well as the appointment of deputies and subordinate officers. The Commissioner is a civilian administrator, and they along with their subordinate deputies are civilians under an oath of office and are not uniformed members of the force who are sworn officers of the law. There is a separate position of Chief of Department, the holder of which serves as the senior sworn uniformed member of the force.[2]

Governor Theodore Roosevelt, in one of his final acts before becoming Vice President of the United States in March 1901, continued reforms he began as Superintendent by signing legislation that replaced the police commission and office of police chief (previously superintendent) with a single police commissioner.[3]

The current Commissioner is William J. Bratton, who was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and took office on January 1, 2014. The longest serving Commissioner is Raymond W. Kelly who served for 13 years in two separate appointments (1992–1994, 2002–2013), under Mayors David Dinkins and Michael Bloomberg.

List of Superintendents, Chiefs, and Commissioners[edit]


Prior to 1901, the NYPD was run by a board of four to six commissioners that jointly ran the department. The following is a list of some of the most famous members of the Police Commission:


From 1901 onwards, the NYPD has been run by a single commissioner who solely ran the department. The following is a list of the commissioners:

In popular culture[edit]

In the popular TV show Blue Bloods, the fictional New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan is played by Tom Selleck.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "New York City Charter" (PDF). City of New York. 
  2. ^ "Administration of the NYPD". City of New York. 
  3. ^ "The Life of Theodore Roosevelt". National Park Service. 
  4. ^ Lankevich, George L. (1998). American Metropolis: A History of New York City. New York: NYU Press. p. 85. ISBN 0-8147-5186-5. 
  5. ^ "Death of George W. Matsell". New York Times. July 26, 1877. Retrieved 2011-05-10. George Washington Matsell, ex-President of the Board of Police, and twice Superintendent of Police in the City, died at 7:10 A.M. yesterday, at his residence in East Fifty-eighth-street, after an illness extending over three weeks. At his bedside were his wife, three sons, and his daughter. He was conscious and... 
  6. ^ "Hylan Tells Why He 'Fired' Bugher; His 23-Day-Policy Commissioner Was Only 'Negatively Honest,' Kiwanis Hear". The New York Times. October 20, 1921. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]