Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced today that Benjamin B. Tucker, who has served as the Department’s First Deputy Commissioner since November 2014, overseeing several of the department’s most integral operations, will be retiring on December 31, 2021.
Under his command, Commissioner Tucker oversees the Department’s Criminal Justice Bureau, Department Advocate’s Office, Force Investigation Division, Labor Relations Office, Office of Professional Development, Risk Management Bureau, Support Services Bureau, Training Bureau, and Trials.
Commissioner Tucker’s decision to retire is a capstone to an NYPD career that began in 1969 and led to his becoming the second-highest ranking departmental official – the NYPD’s 43rd First Deputy Commissioner, and the third African American to hold that position. Born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, his passion for justice has honed an intimate understanding of crime, drug abuse, opportunities for kids, and the fundamentals of the law. Simultaneously, his experience on the frontlines of law enforcement, over an unprecedented period of American history, has given him firsthand expertise on the challenges facing both policing and the public.
“Ben Tucker has been a singularly thoughtful leader, friend, and colleague across the arc of time in our policing profession,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “Our city, its people, and our Department have benefited for decades from his position as a beacon of integrity and public service. We’ll miss him, but we’ll all be watching with great anticipation for the next storied chapters of his life.”
Commissioner Tucker’s history of service in the NYPD spans the modern era. He worked closely with many former police commissioners, including Benjamin Ward, the city’s first African American police commissioner, who guided his career in the 1980’s including his service as assistant director of the Department’s nascent Civilian Complaint Review Board before it was carved out as an independent city agency in the early 1990s.
The Commissioner also carried out key policy and law enforcement roles in the administration of two past United States presidents – Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama – before he was appointed by former Police Commissioner William J. Bratton to lead the NYPD’s training programs at the beginning of the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, in February 2014.
“All good things eventually come to a close,” said Commissioner Tucker. “It’s bittersweet to leave a Department I love and helped to shape. But my heart is full and I will forever stand proud as successive generations of New York City police officers step forward, on our foundations, to make even deeper and more lasting contributions to this honorable profession, for our great city and for all its people.”