New York, NY – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that former New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner James O’Neill had joined his team as his coronavirus senior advisor but not everybody is happy about the appointment.
De Blasio called former Commissioner O’Neill one of “the finest public servants our City has ever known,” the New York Post reported.
“Jimmy will leverage his extensive management experience and knowledge of the City to ensure that our healthcare workers on the front lines have the supplies they need to save New Yorkers lives,” the mayor said.
O’Neill left NYPD in December 2019 to become head of security for Visa after serving as the city’s top cop for three years, the New York Post reported.
“Jimmy’s coming to aid us because of the willingness of his company Visa and particularly its CEO Al Kelly,” de Blasio said. “It’s going to be truly life-saving.”
The mayor thanked Visa for making it possible for O’Neill to join his team at this critical time.
“How could you not want to help this great city?” O’Neill asked a press conference with de Blasio on April 1. “I’m going to do my best.”
“It’s a responsibility of all New Yorkers to do their part,” he continued. “I always felt that way and I continue to feel that way.”
The mayor said O’Neill would work with City Hall and coordinate with other agencies to maintain the supply chain and staffing in the city’s hospitals, the New York Post reported.
Not everyone was happy about O’Neill’s return to emergency services in New York City, the New York Post reported.
“BREAKING NEWS Stupid [CENSORED] Mayor DeBlasio brings the worst Police Commissioner in NYPD history James ONEILL back to run Corona Task Force,” the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association (NYPDSBA) tweeted. “The guy is a coward. He ran out the door when crime stats went up & never prepared the NYPD for a true bio chemical terrorist attack.”
“I was really hoping the announcement was an April Fool’s joke,” an NYPD officer told Blue Lives Matter. “Unfortunately, it’s real. I have no idea why they brought him back. It’s certainly not good for officers’ morale at a rough time. This guy could have had the department ready to protect its officers. It’s his fault that we don’t have basic protective equipment.”