MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Former Mount Vernon Police Chief Terrence Raynor has officially been sworn in as the city’s new Commissioner of Public Safety.
Mount Vernon officials were joined by local politicians, a police contingency and eager residents who are happy to see a change of leadership in a police department that has come under fire in the past year.
Raynor was born and raised in Brooklyn before moving to Mount Vernon as a teenager. Beginning in 1984, he worked his way up the ranks at the police department before retiring as chief in 2006. Following his retirement, he served as the chief investigator for the Westchester County Police Department.
“Terrence Raynor comes back to us with even more experience than when he left us to work at the county,” Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis said at the ceremony. “I have always been impressed with his professionalism and excellent police work.
Interim Commissioner Richard Burke will step down from his temporary post, but will remain in office in a lesser capacity. Burke was appointed in February following the firing of former commissioner Carl Bell.
Near City Hall, resident Kimmie Tholes said that she hopes the appointment will mean that the rash of violence that has plagued the city may start to fade away.
“It’s been a pretty dark time, and it’s been full of turmoil both politically and within the police,” she said. “We’ll know soon whether or not Mayor Davis made a wise choice with his latest pick.”
Davis added that Raynor’s previous experience with the department will give him a chance to hit the ground running.
“By far, [Raynor] was the best candidate for the job,” he said. “Not only does he have the necessary experience, but an intimate knowledge of the community and most of the workforce.”
Resident Jon Brokaw said that as long as his neighborhood becomes safer, he doesn’t care who is at the helm.
“All I can ask anyone is to make it a safer city for all of us,” he said. “Mount Vernon used to be a great place to live, but recently, I think we’ve all been questioning that.”
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