After nearly three years commanding the New York Police Department’s 50th Precinct — and more than three decades on the force — Capt. Emilio Melendez is retiring.
Melendez expects to leave Sept. 7, citing ongoing health issues.
“After 31 years, I have to walk away,” Melendez said. “I just had a knee replacement and neck surgery. I cannot function 100 percent. And it's a liability to me. It's also a liability to the city. So, the next commanding officer better be completely fit to fill my shoes.”
Before taking command of the 5-0, Melendez was the executive officer for a dozen years at the 42nd, 44th and 46th precincts, including areas like the Grand Concourse, Fordham and University Heights — all which typically suffer much higher crime rates than what Melendez experienced in this part of the Bronx.
Melendez also served in the military for three decades, joining the U.S. Air Force at 17.
Melendez replaced Deputy Inspector Terence O’Toole as precinct commander in November 2018.