NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has appointed Chief of Training Benjamin Tucker as the city's new First Deputy Commissioner.
Tucker was named to the position following the abrupt resignation of Chief Philip Banks III.
Bratton made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday. His list of candidates for the position also included Chief of Brooklyn North Gerald Nelson, CBS2 reported.
"We salute the appointment of Benjamin Tucker as 1st Deputy Commissioner," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch. "He grew up in Brooklyn and has long been a part of the NYPD family. We wish him great success in the real challenges that lie ahead."
Tucker, who was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, started as a police officer in 1969 and is experienced in policing, law and government, 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported. He worked in the Koch administration and also served under President Barack Obama as deputy director at the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Most recently, he was in charge of police training at the NYPD.
NYPD Commissioner Appoints Benjamin Tucker As New First Deputy Commissioner
"To be standing here now...having been presented the First Deputy Police Commissioner shield, is really like a dream come true," Tucker said.
His new duties will include dealing with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the new Inspector General's Office, and he will also review the department's use of force, Papa reported.
Bratton said Tucker's background will be crucial in his new position.
"We're going to be dealing with a lot of very strong lawyers," Bratton said.
"It's almost a perfect match to everything we're being asked to address in the department at this particular time," Bratton said.
And as CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, experts agree.
"Now with federal overseers there's a court monitor, there's an inspector general. I think Mr. Tucker is uniquely qualified to navigate some very tough issues for the NYPD," Eugene O'Donnell said, a professor of law and police studies at John Jay College.
As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, Bratton fired back at critics who claim the post is just a figurehead position.
"The First Deputy Police Commissioner for the city of New York is at any time is an extraordinarily powerful and impactful position. In my style of leadership it will be even more so," he said.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Appoints Benjamin Tucker As New First Deputy Commissioner
Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife said Tuesday that they are standing behind Bratton, who has been under fire since Banks abruptly stepped down last Friday.
De Blasio said he supports Bratton's abilities to choose Banks' successor.
"I am very confident in his judgement on a host of matters," he said.
Banks resigned in a power struggle with Bratton over just what the first deputy commissioner position would entail, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported.
Now, Bratton said his new first deputy will have added responsibilities.
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