Kevin Burke, commander of the 50th Precinct, was promoted from captain to deputy inspector on Dec. 21.
Commissioner Raymond Kelly did the honors during a ceremony at NYPD headquarters along with a group that included three others who are making the same move.
Deputy Inspector Burke has been stationed at the 50th Precinct for 15 months. He received a phone call from police headquarters informing him of the promotion two days before the ceremony.
“I was told basically that I was getting an early Christmas present,” he said.
Deputy Inspector Burke said his focus at the 50th Precinct has been on addressing quality of life issues. They have ranged from nuisance abatement to shutting down venues allegedly used for prostitution — such as Riverdale Skin and Body and New Healing Touch — as well as identifying recidivists and working with the Bronx District Attorney’s office to keep them off the streets.
Seemingly mild mannered and humble, Deputy Inspector Burke would not say why he thought he was being promoted except that he was told he was “doing a good job” and that overall, crime and violence are down in the command this year.
“That always is helpful,” he said.
Deputy Inspector Burke has been working with the police department for more than a decade. With a law degree from the City University of New York School of Law and a master’s degree in history from CUNY’s Brooklyn College, he has been assigned to NYPD departments all over New York.
He patrolled East Flatbush; he spent a year in South Brooklyn investigating auto larcenies, and time as a lieutenant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and in Midtown. As a captain, he worked in three different Harlem precincts. Before coming to the Five-O, he was second-in-command in Washington Heights’ 33rd Precinct.
As a rookie, he partnered with his predecessor at the helm of the 50th and now Deputy Inspector of Manhattan’s 6th Precinct Brandon del Pozo.
And even though the new promotion doesn’t immediately mean a new job, if history repeats itself, it will not be long before he follows his predecessors right out of the 50th command.
Some of his officers already have a countdown clock going for him, he joked.
Still, he said, “I have no idea what the plans are for me.”