New York Daily News
Updated: Sunday, November 30, 2014, 9:27 AM
Robert Gonzalez, the assistant commissioner for training, is retiring. Sources said he was disappointed he did not get his former boss Benjamin Tucker’s job as deputy commissioner of training when Tucker was promoted to first deputy commissioner earlier this month.
Another high-ranking Hispanic cop has filed for retirement from the NYPD as critics continue to hound the department for lacking diversity in its leadership.
Robert Gonzalez, the assistant commissioner for training, will retire effective New Year’s Eve, the Daily News has learned.
With Police Commissioner Bill Bratton having ordered a re-emphasis on training following the chokehold death of Eric Garner this summer, Gonzalez’s position takes on greater importance.
And Gonzalez’s departure means one fewer Hispanic in the department’s upper echelons. The NYPD’s uniformed ranks are 26.7% Hispanic, 51.5% white and 15.6% black. But just 10% of cops in the ranks of deputy inspector or higher are Hispanic, compared with 82% for whites and 6.8% for blacks, according to NYPD data.
“They have a lack of respect for, and an inability to retain, high-ranking, qualified minorities in the department,” said Anthony Miranda, a retired NYPD lieutenant and head of the National Latino Officers Association.
Gonzalez, 42, who has a doctorate in education leadership from St. John’s University, wants to pursue a career in academia, cop sources said. The 21-year veteran was disappointed he did not get his former boss Benjamin Tucker’s job as deputy commissioner of training when Tucker was promoted to first deputy commissioner earlier this month, sources said. That position went to Michael Julian, who is white and previously served as a chief under Bratton when the latter ran the NYPD in the 1990s.
Tucker was named to the NYPD’s No. 2 spot after Phillip Banks, who, like Tucker, is black, left the NYPD over concerns he would be sidelined in the new role. Banks had been offered, and briefly accepted, the first deputy commissioner post after the retirement of its previous occupant, Rafael Piñeiro, who had been the department’s highest-ranking Hispanic.
“It is crucial for the senior ranks of the NYPD to be fully reflective of the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of the more than 8 million New Yorkers in the Big Apple,” said Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson (D-Bronx), chair of the public safety committee.
Promotions to the rank of sergeant, lieutenant and captain are test-based. Promotions to deputy inspector and higher ranks are discretionary, with the commissioner making the final call.
A high-ranking police source pointed out that Hispanics first began joining the force in great numbers in recent decades and are still working up through the ranks, which takes time for any officer. The ranks of Deputy Inspector and above are 10% Hispanic, the same as captain ranks, indicating Hispanics are being selected for senior leadership at the expected rate, the source said.
With Barry Paddock