New York Daily News

August 22, 2016, 11:35 PM

  

 

John Timoney, who rose from Bronx beat cop to become first deputy commissioner, dies at 68

BY THOMAS TRACY

John Timoney leaves a City Hall press conference after being promoted to first deputy commissioner in 1995.  (MAGES, EVY DAILY NEWS)

John Timoney, a revered Bronx beat cop who rose through the ranks to become Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s first deputy commissioner in 1995, died following a battle with lung cancer, family and friends said Wednesday. He was 68.

Born in Dublin, Ireland and known for his lilting brogue and street smarts, Timoney left the NYPD under controversy in 1996 after calling Bratton’s replacement, Police Commissioner Howard Safir, “a lightweight.”

Timoney went on to become the commissioner of the Philadelphia police force and the chief of police in Miami, officials said. He was also hired to head Bahrain’s police force in 2011.

Family members said he had been battling lung cancer for some time, but the disease progressed to Stage IV in June.

He died in a Miami hospital Tuesday night.

Timoney on Jan. 20, 1994.

"With John Timoney's passing, police officers everywhere have lost a true friend and defender,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said in a statement. “John helped create and advance the ideals of modern, professional law enforcement. But he remained a cop, first and foremost, and he led from the front, often standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his police officers as they took police action on the street.”

Timoney began his career in law enforcement as a beat cop in Bronx’s 44th Precinct in July 1969.

He quickly moved up the ranks and in 1994 became the youngest chief of department in the NYPD’s history before serving as Bratton’s first deputy commissioner.