Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Wednesday that she had nominated Patrick Ryder as police commissioner.
“We have one of the best police departments in the nation … and our leader needs to reflect that excellence,” Curran said. “We have that leader in Patrick Ryder.”
Ryder, a 32-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department who has been acting commissioner since July, will have to be confirmed by the county Legislature before he becomes commissioner.
“I want to start off by thanking our county executive [for] giving me this responsibility that I do not take lightly,” he said.
After thanking his family and his colleagues, Ryder announced his first initiative: the formation of the Commissioner’s Community Council to improve neighborhood policing. It will be composed of three members from each of the county’s 19 legislative districts. The members will be nominated by their county legislator. Ryder said these members will be in closer touch with local residents to better address their issues.
“We’re going to take on this opioid crisis we have in front of us, this gang issue, this crime issue and every other community issue that we have will come through your community councils and up to… the commissioner’s office, and then we’ll see how to can move forward to fix those problems,” he said.
Curran said she chose him for his experience with the force, his handling of the department’s finances, and for the fact that crime continued to decrease during his six months as acting commissioner.
She singled out his limiting of police overtime, which has been a strain on county finances.
Ryder was appointed as acting commissioner by former County Executive Ed Mangano in July. Mangano selected him to replace acting Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, who had in turn been chosen to replace Thomas Dale. Dale was forced out of his position in 2013 after prosecutors found he had officers arrest a witness in a politically charged case.
If Ryder is approved, he will become the first permanent commissioner since Krumpter resigned in December 2013.
Ryder’s policing career began with the New York Police Department in 1984. After two years patrolling the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, he joined the Nassau County police. He became a detective sergeant in 1997 and was named commanding officer of the Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Unit in 2008.
During his time as commanding officer, he implemented a number of initiatives to help share information across the department. Among these were the Real Time Intelligence system, which used touch screen monitors to share community information and the R.E.A.C.H. program, which ensures police have all necessary information to find a missing person who has cognitive disabilities.