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NYPD major reshuffling of top echelon announced

Philip Banks III, center, Chief of Department of

Philip Banks III, center, Chief of Department of the New York City Police Department speaks during a news conference at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton announced a major reshuffling of the top echelon of the department Tuesday night with the elevation of current chief of department Philip Banks III to the job of first deputy commissioner, the highest civilian rank after Bratton's.

Also promoted to fill Banks' old job, the highest uniformed position, is James P. O'Neill, the current chief of patrol. Chief of Housing Carlos Gomez was promoted to take the spot O'Neill will be vacating.

The promotions take effect on Monday.

As first deputy commissioner, Banks will not only be the highest ranking African-American commissioner, but also will effectively fill in for Bratton when he is out of town. Banks, a 28-year veteran, had previously been promoted to chief of department in the waning days of the Bloomberg administration. In becoming a deputy commissioner, Bank will retire from his uniformed position.

"These three exceptional leaders have demonstrated dedication, motivation and a deep devotion to community relations throughout their impressive law enforcement careers," said Bratton in a statement Tuesday night.

O'Neill, who has been with the department for 31 years, becomes the 38th individual to hold the post, which before 1973 was known as chief inspector and from 1973-1985 as chief of operations, the NYPD said in a statement.

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