15 Nov 2013

‘I have all the credentials’: First Deputy Commissioner Rafael Pineiro makes his case to lead the NYPD

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‘I have all the credentials’: First Deputy Commissioner Rafael Pineiro makes his case to lead the NYPD

New York Daily News
Rocco Parascandola
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 2:25 PM

Pineiro has been in the NYPD since graduating at the top of his academy class in 1970. He met with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio last week to discuss taking the top job.

[Photo by: Watts, Susan/New York Daily News]

First Deputy Police Commissioner Rafael Pineiro wants to be named the next NYPD Commissioner. [Photo by: Watts, Susan/New York Daily News]

  Rafael Pineiro has been in the New York Police Department for over four decades, rising from a beat cop in Brooklyn to First Deputy Police Commissioner.

Now, Pineiro is hoping to be tapped for the top job.

“I have the leadership skills and the communication skills to be commissioner, to reduce crime and to protect our city from terrorism,” Pineiro told the Daily News Wednesday. “I’ve spent 44 years in this department and I have all the credentials.

“I have a passion for this job.”

Pineiro met briefly last week with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio in Puerto Rico during a conference of Hispanic New York legislators.

Pineiro wouldn’t divulge details of their conversation but confirmed de Blasio knows he wants to be the next commissioner.

“I trust I’m going to be considered,’’ he said.

Pineiro, who was born in Spain but raised in Cuba before his family came to America when he was 12, is the highest ranking Hispanic cop in the NYPD.

The Latino Officers Association and the Hispanic Society have lobbied hard in recent weeks for Pineiro to be named the first Hispanic to head the nation’s largest police force.

But he said his credentials, not his race, matter most.

[Photo by: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio met with Pineiro last week to discuss the Police Commissioner job. [Photo by: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]

“I’m a proud Hispanic and it would be historic if I became commissioner,’’ he acknowledged. “But I want to be recognized as an individual who’s qualified for the job.”

Pineiro, 64, interviewed for the post over the summer with Mayor Bloomberg when it appeared Commissioner Raymond Kelly might be named head of Homeland Security , a source said.

Kelly didn’t get the job but with de Blasio having said he’ll replace him, there has been speculation over who’ll become the next commissioner.

The focus has largely been on former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Chief of Department Philip Banks.

The reserved Pineiro has stayed mostly under the radar, but he said that’s more a media issue than a reflection on him.

“I don’t know what low-key is,’’ he said. “I know I have a history of accomplishments and making decisions. I don’t walk away from any problems.

“I can do the job.”

Pineiro joined the NYPD in 1970, graduating at the top of his academy class.

He has served as First Deputy Commissioner since January 2010. Previously, he was Chief of Personnel for nearly eight years.

His operational experience include stints as second-in command for the Housing Bureau and running Patrol Bureau Bronx. He has also been cited for improving the NYPD’s technology capabilities.