Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio presided over a promotions ceremony Friday at One Police Plaza, where a few key positions within the department were also announced, including the new chief of transportation. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Chief of transportation hasn't been considered a high-profile position in the New York City Police Department until now, with the efforts by mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton to reduce the number of deaths because of car accidents. So Chief Thomas Chan will be in the spotlight.
"He is going to be a central leader in efforts to achieve Vision Zero and to end this epidemic of traffic fatalities in this town," de Blasio said.
Chan was transferred to transportation after heading up the community affairs bureau. He said that his goal is to work with multiple city agencies.
"Enforcement, engineering, education. Those are three areas that we're going to concentrate on," Chan said. "Not only enforcement, but educating the public, getting our school kids, targeting our seniors, who, unfortunately, some of them have been more higher share of victims."
Other promotions include Chief Kevin Ward, who is now chief of staff. Carlos Gomez leaves the Bronx and takes over as chief of the housing bureau, a position that Joanne Jaffe held for 10 years. She's now promoted to chief of community affairs. The mayor and police commissioner have stressed improving police-community relations.
"We have an unbelievable opportunity at this time to not only to build bridges, but to create pathways and roadways and open up courtyards and streets, and do everything we can to work with the community and build those relationships," Jaffe said.
Responsible for getting police officers to do better is Benjamin Tucker, who has been named deputy commissioner of training. He joined the NYPD more than 40 years ago and most recently worked in President Barack Obama's office of drug control policy.
Bratton said that his senior staff is now in place, and that he doesn't plan to micro-manage the positions.
"I have a busload of some of the best executives and leaders in the country," he said. "We intend to take that bus on the road through every corner of the city of New York."
Lots of communities will be waiting to see what that bus brings.