Innovative Policing Pioneer John F. Timoney Dies at 68

Innovative Policing Pioneer John F. Timoney Dies at 68 -

John F.  Timoney, whose leadership reduced police shootings and crime in three major U.S. cities, died August 17 in Miami of complications of lung cancer. Timoney rose through the ranks rapidly to become a top official in the NYPD and after being passed over for the commissioner post, was recruited to become commissioner in Philadelphia and later chief in Miami. His innovations resulted in reduced crime and fewer complaints of police abuse in all three cities.

Although his colorful career was widely heralded as successful he did anger police unions with his radical changes that focused on preventing crime not in accumulating arrest statistics. According to an Esquire article by Tom Junod he told new New York colleagues in 1994 that they “were wrong, and had been wrong all along, the last 25 years, for they had built an entire organization on the probability of failure when they ought to have built one on the possibility of success… they were out cleaning up dead bodies when they should have been out saving lives.”

He banned the use of chokeholds in New York and in Miami institued a policy of not shooting at cars.

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