The Gay Officers Action League of New York (GOAL-NY) extends both its heartfelt congratulations to the next Police Commissioner of the City of New York, Chief of Department James P. O’Neill, and its sincere thanks and gratitude to the outgoing Police Commissioner, William J. Bratton, who will retire effective September 2016.
Chief O’Neill has not only been a key part of the NYPD’s transformation over the past 30 months, executing a new vision for community and police interactions through the Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs), he has been an unwavering ally of GOAL. Since his appointment first as Chief of Patrol, Chief O’Neill stood alongside LGBT police officers and the City’s LGBT community, appointing an LGBT liaison in the Office of the Chief of Department, and attending every GOAL event for the past 30 months. Chief O’Neill is also the first NYPD official to receive a lifetime membership from GOAL for his commitment to progress for LGBT officers in the NYPD. We are thrilled to continue our relationship with him in his new role as Police Commissioner.
Hand-in-hand with our congratulations for Chief O’Neill is our incredible appreciation for Commissioner Bratton’s leadership over the past 30 months. Commissioner Bratton’s administration ushered in a true rethinking of local policing. From the outset, the issues and needs of LGBT officers were heard and the larger community in the City engaged by the NYPD. For the first time in over a decade, NYPD hosted GOAL’s annual Pride celebration, and Commissioner Bratton has walked with us at the annual March each year since his return. The NYPD loses a true public servant, a believer in community policing, and the man who set the NYPD on its current course more than two decades ago.
In the coming months, we will endeavor to meet with Chief O’Neill in his new role and express our strong desire to not only maintain but grow the partnership he built with GOAL. We have full confidence that our agenda will continue to advance and that the progress of the past two and a half years for LGBT officers will be the foundation of our future collaboration with the incoming Police Commissioner.