Less than a year after becoming the NYPD’s highest-ranked uniformed officer, Chief of Department Kenneth Corey will retire from duty at the end of November.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced on Thursday Corey’s impending retirement. Corey had spent more than three decades with New York’s Finest, starting out as an officer in July 1990 while patrolling the streets of the 62nd Precinct in southern Brooklyn.
Corey said he’s leaving the NYPD after getting what he described as “an opportunity to improve policing on a national — and even international — level,” though neither he nor the NYPD provided more specific details as to the nature of that opportunity. Nevertheless, Corey explained that it was one opportunity he could not pass up.
A Staten Island resident, Corey had been the NYPD’s Chief of Training when he was elevated to Chief of Department at the start of 2022, coinciding with both the departure of his immediate predecessor in the post, Rodney Harrison, and the arrival of Sewell as the NYPD’s new commissioner.
During his tenure as the four-star chief, Corey assisted Sewell in launching the NYPD’s Neighborhood Safety Teams, dedicated groups of officers targeting gun violence across the city. In recent months, while the NYPD continues battling an increase in overall crime, Corey had been outspoken at press conferences over recidivism rates among suspects arrested for one crime, then quickly released back to the streets, only to be nabbed additional times for other felonies.
“From day one, I have seen Chief Corey conduct himself with unparalleled integrity and I have marveled at his strength and vision,” Commissioner Sewell said on Thursday. “Chief Corey has been a beacon of excellence for officers in every rank – at every station. The light of his leadership will remain a shining guide forward for all of us and his contributions to our profession will be everlasting.”
Though his 34-year career included stints with other offices including the Detective and Patrol Service Bureaus, the Queens District Attorney’s office and the Intelligence Division, Corey became a familiar face in Brooklyn. He completed tours of duty at the 62nd, 70th, 72nd and 78th Precincts, and had a stint as commanding officer of the 76th Precinct.
He also served as commander of Patrol Borough Staten Island in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Staten Island Advance reported.
“Policing is among the great passions in my life, and I have always committed myself to doing everything possible to improve policing in New York City,” Corey said. “I have spent more than three decades serving New York City, and I will miss the NYPD every day. But I know the department is well-positioned under the leadership of Commissioner Sewell.”
The chief of department oversees the day-to-day operations of the NYPD, America’s largest police force, with more than 34,000 uniformed and plainclothes officers working to keep the five boroughs safe.
The NYPD said that Sewell is expected to name a new chief of department in the days ahead.