News James O’Neill to become NYPD commissioner: What to know about the chief of department By Nicole Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Updated August 2, 2016 2:15 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email James, or Jimmy, O'Neill will become the next NYPD commissioner after serving as the chief of department since 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. As the highest ranking officer in the department, O'Neill will take the place of Bill Bratton, who is set to retire in September. Here are six things to know about the new commissioner. O'Neill has served for over 30 years Photo Credit: Koki Takahashi The next commissioner began his career in the NYC Transit Police Department in 1983. He was promoted to sergeant in 1987, lieutenant in 1992, captain in 1997, inspector in 2003, deputy chief in 2005 and chief of department in 2014, according to the NYPD. He has promoted 'neighborhood policing' Photo Credit: EPA / Porter Binks As chief of department, O'Neill advocated for "neighborhood policing," encouraging officers to build relationships with the residents in their communities. This type of policing evaluates officers on how they handle themselves, rather than how many arrests they make. He almost left the department Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle According to a Wall Street Journal article, O'Neill considered leaving the police force and joining the private sector a few years after he was transferred from the narcotics department in 2008. He had been head of the narcotics unit until a scandal unfolded with some officers rewarding informants with drugs. Bratton convinced O'Neill to stay in the department and made him chief when he became commissioner. O'Neill views Bratton as a mentor Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt At the press conference announcing Bratton's retirement on Aug. 2, 2016, O'Neill said he views the commissioner as a mentor. "This is a bittersweet moment for me," he said. "Police Commissioner Bratton has been a mentor to me both professionally and personally." He attended John Jay College Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton The former chief of department graduated from John Jay College, earning a bachelor's degree in government and master's degree in public administration, according to the NYPD. O'Neill is a Brooklyn native Photo Credit: Bryan R. Smith O'Neill, who is 58 years old, was born and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. By Nicole Brown email@example.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.