A 63-year-old NYPD deputy commissioner with extensive political chops and ties to the Obama administration has been named Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s new second in command.
With his wife of 45 years Diana by his side, Benjamin Tucker, 63, the department’s current deputy commissioner of training, was sworn in as the NYPD’s 43rd first deputy commissioner Wednesday afternoon.
“This is an amazing moment in my life,” Tucker said. “To be standing her with this shield is like a dream come true.”
“I love this department,” he said, staring down at his first deputy commissioner shield. “I kind of grew up in this department and this department gave me opportunities that I never would have had as a kid from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.”
Tucker will replace Bratton’s first choice, four-star former Chief of Department Philip Banks, who surprised the commissioner by retiring Friday — three days before he was scheduled to be promoted to first deputy commissioner.
Banks, the NYPD’s highest-ranking black officer, quit after he and Bratton butted heads over the role he would play as first deputy commissioner, which some regard as a promotion with very little power.
In accepting the post, Banks told Bratton that he wanted all department chiefs to answer directly to him, and he wanted control over the Internal Affairs Bureau, according to sources.
That, for Bratton, was a deal breaker, sources said.
Tucker, a retired NYPD cop, was President Obama’s choice to head up the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy before Bratton scooped him up earlier this year to head the NYPD’s training initiatives.
Bratton said Tucker’s widespread law enforcement, political and legal experience will be a boon for the NYPD.