NYPD brass on Tuesday announced a major reorganization, putting Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce in charge of virtually all investigative units and creating subordinates for him in the five boroughs.
The move, which officials announced late in the day, comes as the NYPD tries to better use its detective and specialized units at a time when violent crime is markedly down, Chief of Department James O’Neill said at a news conference.
As part of the reshuffling, the organized crime-control unit will be broken apart and its vice, gang and narcotics investigators put under borough investigative chiefs who will report to Boyce, who assumes what officials agree is a major position in the NYPD.
“Without question it is the most powerful chief of detectives position in the history of the department,” NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said of Boyce’s new role. “The scope of his command is greater than it has ever been for a chief of detectives.”
Boyce, 60, and a resident of Nassau County, said under the old structure patrol borough commanders essentially controlled many investigative functions. Now, narcotics, gang and vice investigations will be under the supervision of investigative commanders, he said. Officials asked that Boyce’s town of residence not be disclosed.
The internal-affairs bureau and intelligence unit aren’t impacted by the new structure, which takes affect in early March, O’Neill said.
Chief Thomas P. Purtell, current head of the organized crime control bureau, will assume command of citywide NYPD operations bureaus, such as the harbor and mounted units, as well as disorder control, O’Neill said.
Traditional organized crime investigations will shift over to the detectives bureau.
“The everyday detective who is doing that is not going to change a lot,” Boyce said.
Deputy Commissioner John Miller said the patrol borough commanders will have a matching counterpart on the investigative side who “will be in the same fox hole together.”
“They are responsible for the same geography,” Miller said.
The department will have a total of eight investigative commanders — all reporting to Boyce — O’Neill said.
Better coordination and communication are the goals of the reorganization, with the expectation that as a result homicides and shootings will continue to decrease, O’Neill said. The latest NYPD data show homicides through Sunday were down 38 percent from the same period in 2015, while shootings decreased 34.6 percent.