NYPD Chief of Patrol Pichardo resigns amid friction with City Hall

NYPD patrol vehicle. Credit: Tony Hisgett

New York City Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Patrol Fausto B. Pichardo filed for retirement on Tuesday ending a more than two-decade long career, a spokesperson from the NYPD said.  

Pichardo is reportedly retiring because of “micromanagement and undermining” from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, NBC New York reported.

After the contentious protests by the Orthodox Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn last week, which Pichardo commanded the response to, de Blasio started calling Pichardo directly and he didn’t answer, NBC New York reported. Tired of outside of the chain of command texts and calls from de Blasio and the alleged beratement he received, Pichardo threw in the towel. 

“Chief of Patrol Pichardo is a deeply respected leader in the NYPD and City Hall is continuing to have conversations with him regarding his future,” said Bill Neidhardt, City Hall Press Secretary, in response to whether the treatment of Pichardo was true or not.

Pichardo, 43, was the first person of Dominican heritage in NYPD history to be Chief of Patrol. The Patrol Services Bureau, according to the NYPD, “is the largest and most visible bureau in the NYPD, overseeing the majority of the department’s uniformed officers on patrol. The bureau, commanded by the Chief of Patrol, is divided into eight borough commands, which are further divided into 77 police precincts.” A typical precinct ranges from an estimated 70,000 to 150,000 residents.

Police said that Pichardo “has worked tirelessly in recent months to guide the men and women in uniform through a series of challenging issues that have strained the city and the agency.” 

Pichardo was sworn in as Chief of Patrol last December by Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, and began his career in 1997 as a New York City Housing Police Department cadet, the NYPD said.

“The loss of such a great leader with such experience in the police department due to the Mayor’s continued disrespect for the NYPD and his lack of real leadership will have devastating effects all around our city. I am fearful that the Mayor’s reckless abandonment of our police is going to cause a groundswell of other officers to put in their papers for retirement or resignation because they see that they don’t have the support of  City Hall, nor 1 Police Plaza. Not to mention the Mayor’s disrespect of Chief Pichardo is a serious slap in the face of the Hispanic community, especially that of our Dominican brothers and sisters,” said local community leader and police advocate Tony Herbert.

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