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James Patrick "Jimmy" O'Neill Jr. is an American police officer who has been the Police Commissioner of New York City since September 2016. Prior to his appointment as Police Commissioner, O'Neill served as NYPD's Chief of Department, the highest uniformed position in the department, in 2014–2016.

James P. O'Neill[1]
James P Oneill.jpg
43rd Police Commissioner of New York City
Assumed office
September 16, 2016
MayorBill de Blasio
Preceded byWilliam Bratton
NYPD Chief of Department
In office
November 3, 2014 – September 16, 2016
Appointed byWilliam Bratton
Preceded byPhilip Banks III
Succeeded byCarlos M. Gomez
Personal details
James Patrick O'Neill Jr.

1957/1958 (age 61–62)[2]
Alma materJohn Jay College

Early life and educationEdit

O'Neill was born to an Irish American family, the fourth of seven children, to Helen and Joseph O'Neill.[3] He was raised in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn.[3] He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and a Master of Public Administration degree from John Jay College in New York City.[4]


O'Neill joined the New York City Transit Police in 1983, and began his career as a patrolman in Transit District 1. He was promoted to Sergeant in September 1987 and to Lieutenant in April 1991. In 1995, the transit police were merged into the NYPD. In 1997 he was promoted to Captain. Additional promotions were to Deputy Inspector in December 2001, to Inspector in August 2003, and to Deputy Chief in October 2005. On June 2, 2014, O'Neill was promoted to Chief of Patrol. Several months later, in November 2014, he was promoted to Chief of Department. In September 2016 he became police commissioner.

Promotion to Chief of DepartmentEdit

On October 28, 2014, O'Neill became the Chief of Department for the NYPD's 36,000 uniformed officers, the highest-ranking uniformed position.[5]

Police commissionerEdit

On August 2, 2016, O'Neill was appointed Police Commissioner of New York City by Mayor Bill de Blasio, effective September 2016.[6] O'Neill was succeeded as Chief of Department by Carlos M. Gomez.

Vapor wake caninesEdit

O'Neill's quick adoption and wide deployment of vapor wake canines through locations in the city and transit hubs is proving to be providing valuable real-time intelligence that can stop threats before they become a danger as these dogs can track explosive trail to bombers and suicide bombers.[7][8]


  1. ^ Al Barker and J. David Goodman (Aug 2, 2016). "James O'Neill, Officer Since 1983, Will Step into Police Dept.'s Top Job". New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Debbie, McGoldrick (March 17, 2017). "Irish American NYPD Commissioner couldn't be prouder this St. Patrick's Day". Irish Central.
  4. ^ "James O'Neill: 5 Fast Facts". CBS New York. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  5. ^ Goodman, J. David (October 28, 2014). "Shuffling of Top Assignments at New York Police Department". New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  6. ^ J. David Goodman and Al Baker (August 2, 2016). "William Bratton, New York Police Commissioner, Will Step Down Next Month". New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Re, Gregg (November 23, 2017). "NYPD to use secret weapon at Thanksgiving Day Parade: 'Vapor Wake' retrievers". Fox News. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Leshan, Bruce (December 11, 2017). "Super 'Vapor Wake' dogs track explosive trail to bombers". WUSA. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
Police appointments
Preceded by
Bill Bratton
Police Commissioner of New York City
Preceded by
Philip Banks III
NYPD Chief of Department
Succeeded by
Carlos M. Gomez