NYPD veteran who doubles as forensic nurse tasked to lead Special Victims Unit

Deputy Inspector Michael W. King. (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Forensic evidence is critical to solving the heinous, sexually-based offenses that the real-life NYPD Special Victims Unit investigates every day — and no one in the NYPD understands that better than Deputy Inspector Michael W. King.

The 19-year veteran of the NYPD is a registered forensic nurse with a track record of success in the Detective Bureau, using science to help bring the suspects responsible to justice. King has worked on special victims cases both on- and off-duty at the NYPD; he also spent two years working with a local hospital’s to help deliver justice for sexual assault victims seeking treatment there.

On Thursday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea tapped King to lead the Special Victims Unit, which primarily investigates sex crimes. 

King comes to the Special Victims Unit after previously serving as commander of the NYPD Crime Scene Unit and executive officer of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force. He’ll report to Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison in his new role.

“Our Special Victims Unit is victim-centered, with a relentless focus on bringing justice to brave survivors,” Harrison said in a Sept. 3 statement. “Throughout his NYPD career, Deputy Inspector King has been a relentless investigator whose integrity is reflected in his passion for representing New Yorkers in every neighborhood, on every case. I look forward to seeing him at work in this important new assignment.”

King called his appointment to the Special Victims Unit “a dream job” since he became a forensic nurse in 2009.

“I thought that if I could one day be the commanding officer of the Special Victims Unit it would give me the platform I needed in my fight for victims’ rights and in the pursuit of justice and integrity of special victims’ investigations,” King said.

Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, King came to New York in 1991 after graduating high school. Nine years later, he joined the NYPD, with his first assignment at the 113th Precinct in southeastern Queens. He’d later serve at five other precincts in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

After being promoted to lieutenant in 2010, King served as commander of the 62nd Precinct Detective Squad. He also had stints with the Queens South Task Force, the Staff Services Division, the Medical Division and the Internal Affairs Bureau. He’s also been deputized as a U.S. Marshal, and is now pursuing a Master’s degree in cyber security from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn.

As for his forensic experience, King graduated from American Sentinel University and became a registered nurse in January 2005. Four years later, he secured a specialty to his nursing license as a forensic nurse examined.

For two years, King spent time off-duty serving as coordinator of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center’s sexual assault response team. He responded to the hospital on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border in Brooklyn whenever a sexual assault victim was brought there for treatment.

King would examine the victims and collect DNA and other forensic evidence, preparing official evidence kits for further investigation.

The deputy inspector succeeds Assistant Chief Judith Harrison, the former Special Victims Unit commander, who now serves as the commander of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North.