Christopher Ferro, a 29-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department, on Friday became its chief of detectives, overseeing approximately 350 investigators.
"I'm extremely humbled to take the position and humbled by the county executive and police commissioner having confidence in me," said Ferro, 56. "I'm excited for the opportunity. I just want to continue the great work by the detective division and continue keeping crime down in Nassau County."
Ferro, most recently a two-star assistant chief and the acting chief of detectives for the past few months, has received 10 departmental awards, said Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, who selected Ferro for the new post.
"He’s an investigator; he’s a detective’s detective," said Ryder, who referenced the department’s recent "shootout" with a suspect and work to take illegal guns of the street. "His investigators have answered the call."
County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who swore-in Ferro during a brief ceremony Friday morning, said he approved the promotion. "Chief Ferro has impeccable credentials," said Blakeman. "He has served this department with honor."
The Nassau chief of detectives post was last held by Keechant Sewell, who became the NYPD commissioner in January.
Ferro, who became the acting chief of detectives following Sewell’s departure, joined the Nassau police on Aug. 27, 1993.
"As you know, he’s got big shoes to fill," said Ryder, who said he "challenged" Ferro in the last few months. "He met any challenge with more than expected."
At the start of his Nassau career, Ferro worked patrol in the First and Third precincts, before becoming a detective and working in homicide. He moved up the ranks — promoted to a detective sergeant and then lieutenant — worked two stints in the homicide bureau and later became the commanding officer of several precinct squads and also oversaw the Major Case Bureau and Narcotics.
He was promoted to assistant chief in 2020 and designated the deputy chief of detectives.
He has a master’s degree in Homeland Security Management from Long Island University and attended the FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police.
Ferro’s law enforcement career began in 1986 with the NYPD. He worked as a patrol officer before working as an undercover narcotics detective.
"Chief Ferro has had a long, distinguished career in the Detective Division, being a detective, detective supervisor and Commanding Officer of Precinct Squads, Narcotics/Vice Bureau and Major Case Squad," said John Wighaus, president of the Nassau County Detectives Association. "He understands the cases detectives investigate and the complexity of our investigations. Chief Ferro is the right choice to lead our detectives and I look forward to working with him."
Ferro was paid $241,307.05 in 2020, according to Newsday’s database of public employees. Ryder said Ferro would receive an approximately $2,500 raise in his new role.