(NY Daily News) NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill is leading the nation’s largest police department toward a once-unthinkable record: a murder rate on track to dip below 300.
But as he wraps up his first year in the job, he points to three specific deaths that tested his mettle most.
Two were cops killed by gunmen — Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo and Officer Miosotis Familia — and one was a 66-year-old mentally ill woman, Deborah Danner, shot dead in a confrontation with police on Oct. 18, just a month after O’Neill took over as top cop last September.
“I kind of knew that coming into the position, that there’d be real difficult days,” says O’Neill, a 34-year veteran who served as chief of department before being named commissioner. “I knew what it felt like.”
“But to be their commissioner during these time periods — it’s just extremely difficult.”
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