Ray Kelly: Back to Duty

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

By Irish America Staff
April / May 2002

On January 4, 2002, Ray Kelly was sworn in as New York City Police Department’s 41st Police Commissioner. Kelly previously served as the NYPD’s 37th commissioner and is the first person to be appointed to the position for a second, separate term. Kelly’s biggest challenge is how to raise morale in a damaged department that lost 23 officers on September 11th and which, despite being one of the most dangerous police departments in the United States, is also one of the most lowly paid. As well as combating serious crime, Kelly is determined to emulate his predecessors in targeting quality of life crimes. “Our core mission is to keep the public safe” while tackling the “bread and butter” crimes such as panhandling and prostitution. Kelly left a high-paying job in the private sector with Bear Steams and took a pay cut in moving to his current position. When asked why, Kelly replied, “I had to. Life isn’t just about money. It’s also about experience. After September 11, I felt helpless. I wanted to do something to help. I didn’t want the world to pass me by.” Kelly lives with his wife Veronica in Battery Park City. ♦

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