Robert J. Tracy, a veteran police official in Chicago and New Yok City has been named Wilmington Police Chief.
Tracy, an expert in the use of data and intelligence areas introduced today by Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzyck The mayor welcomed Chief Tracy, his wife, Brenda, and their five children to Wilmington.at a press conference.
“I am delighted to announce that Chief Robert Tracy has agreed to accept the position as chief of the Wilmington Police Department,” said Purzycki. “He is an outstanding professional with a reputation as a skilled strategist who devised, operated and enhanced the CompStat programs in New York City and the City of Chicago. His leadership contributed to a reduction in crime in both cities during his tenures. We chose the Chief in large measure because of his demonstrable technical and leadership skills, his reputation for fairness and building trust in the community, and his unmatched background in advanced policing strategies. After conducting a national search, employing the talents of experts in the field, we concluded that Bob Tracy is the best match for our city and our department.”
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve as Chief of Police and want to thank Mayor Purzycki for his confidence in me,” said Tracy. “I will work to build on the existing Wilmington partnership of police and community which, when coupled with effective policing strategies, will help us reduce crime and improve community relationships.”
Tracy’s policing career includes his most recent work as Chief of Crime Control Strategies with the Chicago Police Department from 2011 through January of 2016. His accomplishments include creating and implementing crime reduction strategies that resulted in the lowest murder rate in 50 years in the City of Chicago. Chicago and other cities have seen an upturn in homicides more recently.
He instituted the CompStat process and established strategy, policy and operational restructuring resulting in a 30 percent reduction in overall crime during a four-year period and the lowest overall crime rate since 1972.
The held a number of command positions with the NYPD.
Tracy holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from SUNY, Empire State College in New York City. In addition to holding high-ranking positions in the Chicago Police Department and the New York City Police Department, Chief Tracy also has experience in private security firms.
James O’Neill—Police Commissioner of New York City offered the following:
“I have known Bob since 1995. I was his supervisor and we worked together on a daily basis back then. He is a great human being. He was always hardworking and innovative at NYPD as he progressed through the ranks and was given highly responsible assignments. He made a major contribution at NYPD to help get violence on a downward trend that continues today. He did the same in Chicago during his time there. I couldn’t think of many people better than Bob for this job.”
Tracy will inherit a department that has struggled with a wave of homicdes and the lack of a consistent strategy and what some as a lack of emphasis on using data to combat crime.The homicide wave cast a shadow over investments in the downtown and riverfront.
Former Mayor Dennis Williams, a former Wilmington Police officer, at first vowed to go outside the department for a chief but ended up promoting two officers to become chief.
The homicide problem led to a state commission to study the problem and an offer of added funding that was rejected by Williams, who objected to turning over information.