Police Commissioner Dermot Shea appointed Assistant Chief James W. Essig to the role of Chief of Detectives of the New York City Police Department on Monday. In his new role, Essig would prioritize crime reduction through building relationships with local communities. He is replacing Rodney Harrison, who took over for the retiring Terrence Monahan as Chief of Department.
“Throughout my career, my goal has always been to serve New Yorkers, to build ties between communities and their police and to prevent people from being victims of crime,” Essig said in a statement. “My philosophy was – and remains – that if you are one of the few individuals who endanger our communities by carrying an illegal gun, firing one or using a gun to harm another person, you are our focus. Ascending to this important position as Chief of Detectives is a tremendous honor.”
A 38-year veteran of the NYPD and a born-and-raised New York City resident, Essig has served as leader of the 41st and 44th precincts in the Bronx and been involved in guns reduction on the streets. Essig previously served as commander of the Violence Reduction Task Force, taking down street gangs and focusing on cracking down on individuals and gangs that disproportionally drive violence.
Essig was awarded a medal for valor in service in 1985, when he rushed to the side of a woman trapped under a crane, working urgently to free her and comforting her as she lay there, trapped and frightened.
“Chief Essig’s commitment to the public good, and his vision for fair, effective policing, has seen our city through to its historic crime reductions,” said Shea in a statement. “His experience makes him uniquely suited to carry on the department’s work in fighting violent crime. I am proud to announce his promotion to Chief of Detectives.”