John Barry to serve as acting Suffolk police commissioner
John Barry, who overhauled the Suffolk County Police Department’s internal affairs bureau as first deputy commissioner, will serve as acting police commissioner as the search for the leader of the approximately 2,500-member force continues, officials said Tuesday.
Barry, an NYPD veteran, will oversee the police department until a new commissioner is chosen to replace Tim Sini, who was sworn in Tuesday as Suffolk County district attorney. Barry then will begin work as the chief investigator for the district attorney’s office under Sini, said Jason Elan, spokesman for County Executive Steve Bellone.
By law, following the departure of the police commissioner, the first deputy commissioner becomes the acting commissioner.
Barry, who began his law enforcement career with the NYPD as a patrol cop in 1991, was a criminal investigator for the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York for six years and was the chief investigator in the prosecution of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges.
With Barry overseeing internal affairs, the department closed 276 cases — the most in the past decade, officials have said. Previously, the bureau was beset with hordes of cases with complaints older than 18 months — the cutoff for the department implementing discipline.
Bellone said in a November interview that he hopes to choose a new permanent police commissioner by early 2018. The county legislature must vote on his selection.
“It’s not something I’m looking to drag out,” Bellone said Tuesday. “It’ll happen sooner rather than later.”
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