Michael O’Looney is the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner for Public Information — a position he has held since early in the New Year. This former TV reporter left a position with CBS to work for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The two had met during Kelly’s first term as commissioner in the early 90s while O’Looney was working at NY1, covering NYPD-related stories. They hit it off and since then, Ray Kelly and his wife have become friends with O’Looney and his wife.
O’Looney explains why he left a private sector position to work in the public sector. “After September 11th, like a lot of people, I had a desire to do more public service. The NYPD offer was an opportunity to change gears for a while — take on a new challenge and get an inside look at how the Police Department works.” He adds that the number one reason he took the job was the opportunity to work with Ray Kelly himself. “The hours are crazy, it’s an all-consuming job with reporters calling at all hours, but it’s always interesting. I think Ray Kelly chose me because I had been a TV reporter who would know the challenges and frustrations that TV reporters face — his son, Gregory, is a reporter with NY1. We both have the same goal for the NYPD: the more access the better.” ♦