The NYPD celebrated Tuesday the 34-year career of Chief of Department Kenneth Corey, the department’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, in an emotional sendoff at police headquarters.
ChCorey left One Police Plaza for the final time on Nov. 29 after a storied tenure in law enforcement. Top police brass shared their appreciation for a man they cited as unequaled.
Hundreds of police officials gathered inside the building’s main auditorium where they showered Corey in praise for his time ranging from a police cadet, all the way to chief of department with the interim including having commanded various precincts.
“I have seen Chief Corey interact and speak with the gambit of this city, those in despair, those just trying to find their way, those just going about their day,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said of the retiring Corey. “For more than 30 years, he has approached his job with dignity, decency, and concern for his fellow men and women and with his whole heart.”
Some members of the department were so sad to see Corey depart, some tearful at his leaving. Still, they yearned to wish him well in his future endeavors. Corey himself became emotional as he bid farewell.
“I have been incredibly proud to wear this uniform. This morning. I put it on for the last time and in a few hours, I will take it off for the last time but that’s okay. Positions are temporary,” Corey said. “The content of your character, that’s what’s important. So, while I will never again wear this uniform, in my heart I will always be a New York City cop.”
Hundreds of officers and police officials lined up outside police headquarters and gave the Chief of Department a rousing round of applause as he joined his family as he walked out of his job for the very last time. The Chief of Department offered a somber wave as he rode into the sunset.
The NYPD has yet to appoint his successor.