After days of controversy over the No. 2 post at New York City’s police department, Commissioner William Bratton yesterday named Benjamin Tucker as his new pick for first deputy commissioner, the New York Times reports. Tucker had been the department's top training official. Bratton’s original choice, Philip Banks III, abruptly quit as chief of department rather than accept a promotion to what he saw as a less powerful position.
Banks was the top uniformed officer in the department. His departure prompted expressions of frustration from some political leaders who said the city could not afford to lose him when the department was working to build better relations with black and Latino communities. Tucker’s job, while the second-highest position in the department, has had a low profile and a vague portfolio. Its last occupant was Rafael Pineiro, a holdover from the team of Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Pineiro, a 44-year veteran, was the department's highest-ranking Hispanic official.