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Timoney hired as Miami's top cop

December 20, 2002

Former NYPD top cop John Timoney has been appointed police chief of Miami, another of the growing number of the city's former top brass who now head departments elsewhere.

The voluble Timoney, 54, who served as first deputy commissioner under Commissioner William Bratton, left the department in 1996 after then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani passed him over for the commissioner's post, choosing Howard Safir. In departing, Timoney called Safir "a lightweight."

Two years later, Timoney was appointed police commissioner of Philadelphia, where he served until last December, when he resigned to join the private investigative firm of Bo Dietl, a former NYPD detective. In Philadelphia, he was credited with reducing crime as well as police-community tensions.

"Last year was a nice respite," Timoney said yesterday of his year with Dietl's firm. "Now I'm back in the fray."

Dietl said Timoney's commitment to public service "speaks louder than his wanting to make money. Whatever makes him happy makes me happy."

When a position opened up in Los Angeles this year, Timoney threw his hat in the ring at the last moment, but the job went to Bratton, who took over a few weeks ago.

Ed Norris, another former top NYPD cop, heads the Baltimore City Police Department.

Timoney said Miami has a police force of 1,000 officers.

"The real issue here is one of police shootings," he said, speaking from Miami. "Over the past decade, 13 cops have been locked up."

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© 2002 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.