NYPD Chief of Patrol Retires Over Suspected Tension with Bill de Blasio

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

NYPD Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo filed for retirement on Tuesday after a more than 20-year career with the department.

Pichardo, who is 43-years-old, was the first Chief of Patrol of Dominican heritage in NYPD history. Certain reports have claimed that Pichardo’s retirement was due in part to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s micromanagement of the department.

Asked whether he believes Pichardo filed for retirement after disagreements with him, de Blasio said, “I think Chief Fausto Pichardo has done a fantastic job and I felt that throughout ,and I’ve said it several times.”

“We all tried to get him to stay, but it was a personal decision,” de Blasio added, saying that he and Pichardo “have rarely disagreed.”

“The information out there isn’t accurate and doesn’t tell the story,” de Blasio concluded. “He’ll speak for himself on it.”

Pichardo released a statement on Twitter Wednesday clarifying his decision to file for retirement.

“As I officially announce my retirement, I want to thank all of the men and women of the NYPD for the remarkable work that you do day in and day out for all New Yorkers,” Pichardo wrote. “Every interaction that you have is an opportunity to forge a greater bond with those we serve.”

“Thank you to @NYPDShea and @NYCMayor for always trusting and supporting me while serving in this role,” Pichardo added. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the NYPD and the people of this great city.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. released a statement questioning de Blasio’s “ineptitude” to lead New York City:

The Mayor is once again displaying his ineptitude at being the leader of this city. During the height of the two biggest issues that have hit New York City hard (the COVID-19 pandemic and rising crime rates), this mayor has managed to push out the BEST assets he has had at his disposal. Moreover, the fact that he has alienated highly qualified Latinos such as Dr. Oxiris Barbot and Chief Fausto Pichardo, compels us in the community to question his commitment to us. I am disturbed how the Mayor’s office is hemorrhaging such great talent when New York City needs all-hands-on-deck as we try to recover as a city and as a community. I want to thank Chief Pichardo for having served New York City with dignity, class and distinction. ¡Tu eres el orgullo de nuestro comunidad! Best wishes in your future endeavors, hermano.

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch released a statement Wednesday and said the situation involving Pichardo is “what happens when elected officials play political games.” Lynch said:

This is what happens when elected officials play political games with police department operations. Our top talent in all ranks is being driven out the door and public safety is suffering. City Hall’s amateur-hour meddling has left the NYPD broken, almost beyond repair. We wish Chief Pichardo a long, happy and successful retirement. Wherever he goes next, they will be getting one of our finest.

Pichardo began his police career in July 1997 as a New York City Housing Police Department cadet. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration degree in Government from Marist College.
“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,” de Blasio’s office said in a statement.

In addition to support from multiple organizations across the city, the National Latino Officers Association also offered support with a statement from Executive Chairman Anthony Miranda.

“It is amazing that during these critical times the mayor and police commissioner fail to recognize the need for Hispanic representation in policy making positions,” Miranda said.

“The administration consistently fails to acknowledge the work and contributions of Hispanic law enforcement leadership,” Miranda added. “Hispanic NYPD executives always suffer discrimination and retaliation. Hispanic NYPD executives view executive promotions as being diagnosed with a terminal illness with a short life expectancy.”

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