NYPD Commissioner O’Neill Resigns After Bail Reform Law

Police car with emergency lights on.

Police car with emergency lights on.

After three years of being the head of the nation’s largest police force, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill resigned following shortly after the city reformed their bail laws allowing nearly 900 inmates to be released in the next two months.

Resigning From Office

The 61-year-old O’Neill has worked for the New York Police Department for over 30 years now, “this is not an easy job, the job of police officers,” he said earlier in his career.

When asked about his retirement, O’Neill said that it was the right time for him to stop working in the police force.”This is the right time for me,” O’Neill said. “This job comes with a lot. It comes with a lot of pressure. This (job) is all I have thought about for the last 38 months – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s all you think about, is keeping the people of this city safe, and it was an honor to serve.”

New York Mayor, Bill De Blasio, released a statement on Twitter, saying O’Neill “is the architect of neighborhood policing. He drove crime to record lows while working tirelessly to bring police and communities together. He leaves behind a city that’s safer than it’s been in decades. I’m lucky to have worked with as good a man as Jimmy O’Neill.” [1]

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want to express deep gratitude to Jimmy O’Neill for dedicating his entire career to keeping our city safe,” De Blasio said. “Jimmy transformed the relationship between New Yorkers and police, and helped to make the Department the most sophisticated and advanced in the country.”

Bail Reform Law

Shortly before O’Neill announced his plans to resign, New York had passed a bail reform law, which could end up releasing 900 city jail inmates before the law goes into effect on January 1, 2020. The law will reportedly drop bail for people charged with various misdemeanors and felonies, and, as the law is retroactive, inmates can request that their bail be lifted- allowing them to go free. [2]



  1. ^NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill resigns, Dermot Shea to be new top cop at end of month.” ABC7 New York, 5 Nov. 2019, abc7ny.com/nypd-commissioner-resigns-new-top-cop-takes-over-end-of-month/5672972. (go back↩)
  2. ^New State Law Could Release Hundreds of NYC Inmates.” 6 Nov. 2019, www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2019/11/04/new-state-law-could-release-hundreds-of-nyc-inmates. (go back↩)

Leave a Reply