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Beat Cop to Top Cop: A Tale of Three Cities

Thursday May 2010


John F. Timoney Former Chief of Police, Miami, FL & Philadelphia, PA

Introduction Remarks: Tom Wolfe, Journalist & Author

Born in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood of Dublin, John F. Timoney moved to New York with his family in 1961. Not long after graduating from high school in the Bronx, he entered the NYPD, quickly rising through the ranks to become the youngest four-star chief in the history of the department. Timoney and the rest of the command assembled under Police Commissioner Bill Bratton implemented a number of new strategies, protocols, and management systems, including CompStat, that led to historic declines in every category of crime. In 1998, Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell hired Timoney as police commissioner to tackle the city's seemingly intractable violent crime rate. Philadelphia became the great laboratory experiment. Could the systems and policies employed in New York work elsewhere? Under Timoney's leadership, crime declined in every major category, especially homicide. A similar decrease not only in crime but also corruption and police shootings marked Timoney's tenure in his next position as police chief of Miami, a post he held from 2003 to January 2010.

Beat Cop to Top Cop: A Tale of Three Cities documents Timoney's rise, from his days as a tough street cop in the South Bronx to his role as police chief of Miami. This fast-moving narrative by the man Esquire magazine named "America's Top Cop" offers a blueprint for crime prevention through first-person accounts from the street, detailing how big-city chiefs and their teams can tame even the most unruly cities.