New York’s top transit cop retires amid wave of robberies, stabbings and shootings on the subway

New York City’s transit chief and three other senior police officials announced their retirement on Thursday, creating a turnover in the department’s senior ranks as Mayor Eric Adams attempts to focus the department on crime in subway and remove people with mental health issues from city streets.

The departures come amid a push announced by Adams this week to involuntarily hospitalize people deemed too mentally ill to care for themselves.

Adams tried to make the subway system safer for riders in a system that only recovered 65% of pre-pandemic ridership. He announced his intention to cover stations with 1,000 more police officers and to aggressively pursue low-level crimes.

Among the departing New York Police Department officials is Transit Chief Jason Wilcox, a 35-year veteran who led the city’s subway police and fought off a string of high-profile incidents this year.

NYPD Housing Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, Special Operations Chief Harry Wedin and Support Services Deputy Commissioner Robert Martinez will also retire on Dec. 30.

Wilcox and O’Reilly were appointed to their positions this year.

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the four were dedicated officials with nearly 150 years of combined experience. “It has been a privilege to serve alongside each of them, and I wish them the best in their future endeavours,” she said.

The city’s top uniformed police officer, Department Chief Kenneth Corey, also left the NYPD this week after more than 30 years. He announced his retirement in October.

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