Raymond Kelly

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Raymond Kelly : biography

September 4, 1941 –

Raymond Walter Kelly (born September 4, 1941) is the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the first person to hold the post for two non-consecutive tenures. A lifelong New Yorker, Kelly has spent 43 years in the NYPD according to its website, serving in 25 different commands and as Police Commissioner from 1992 to 1994 and 2002–present. During his tenure with the NYPD, Kelly held most of the department’s ranks, except for the Three-Star Bureau Chief, Chief of Department, or Deputy Commissioner. He was promoted directly from Two-Star Chief to First Deputy Commissioner in 1990.

After his handling of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, he was mentioned for the first time as a possible candidate for FBI Director.

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After Kelly turned down the position, Louis Freeh was appointed. 

Kelly was also in the running to become the first United States Ambassador to Vietnam, after President Bill Clinton extended full diplomatic relations to that country in 1995.

In March 2011, New York Senator Charles Schumer publicly recommended Kelly to become the next Director of the FBI., by Jonathan Lemire March 13, 2011


After Mayor Dinkins was defeated in his run for a second term, the victorious Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, replaced Kelly with Boston’s Police Commissioner William Bratton.

Clashes With Civil Liberties Group Over Transparency

On October 16, 2011, the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan seeking to force the New York Police Department to release the daily schedules of Commissioner Kelly, whom it characterized as “the most important appointed official" in city government. According to the suit the details of whom Kelly meets with remain largely shrouded in secrecy, in marked contrast to those of other high-placed officials, including the President of the United States, who are required to publicly disclose portions of their schedules. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last month began posting a detailed version of his daily schedules online. “There is no good reason for Commissioner Kelly to withhold this information from the public,” Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the civil liberties group, said in a statement. “If it’s safe for the leader of the country to disclose his schedule, then it’s safe for the N.Y.P.D. commissioner to do the same.”Al Baker "Lawsuit Seeks Release of Police Commissioner’s Schedule", In Mr. Kelly’s defense, Mitchell L. Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University, argued that a police commissioner should get “broad latitude” in a post-terrorist era. According Professor Moss, “The police commissioner of New York City occupies a special, appointed position. He’s our secretary of defense, head of the C.I.A. and, I would say, chief architect rolled into one. He may be the one person who we should treat with some respect on his privacy.”Baker, New York Times, Oct. 18, 2011. In an editorial entitled "They Like Transparency Until They Don’t", the New York Times admonished: In recent years, the New York Civil Liberties Union had to sue to get stop-and-frisk data from the police, details on the race of people shot by officers and shooting reports since 1997. Most recently, the group has filed a suit on behalf of an online columnist asking for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s calendar. The department has argued that the commissioner’s whereabouts are secret for security reasons. Civil liberties lawyers note that the president’s schedule appears daily on the White House Web site, so why not Mr. Kelly’s?Similarly, The Times was forced to go to court to get fuller access to police data. A judge ruled early last month that the New York Police Department had improperly withheld information about pistol owners and the locations of hate crimes.Such effort and expense to get public information is simply wrong. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has vowed to promote more open government, should tell his administrators to comply with the Freedom of Information Law quickly and thoroughly.