New York county top cop Geraldine Hart, first woman to lead the department, to step down


A New York county top cop Geraldine Hart will be stepping down next month after three years on the job, according to a Wednesday report.

Hart, 53, was the first woman to lead the 2,400-member department in Suffolk County. An FBI veteran, Hart took the job after the department was reeling from a series of corruption and police misconduct scandals.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart is shown in her office at police headquarters in Yaphank, New York on June 19, 2020. 

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart is shown in her office at police headquarters in Yaphank, New York on June 19, 2020. 
(Getty Images)

“I wanted to leave this department better than when I got here,” Hart told Newsday in an interview. “I hope I have accomplished that.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told the outlet that Hart “led the department through the most difficult time in policing and also got police reform done.”

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Hart’s departure comes as the department was poised to implement a number of police reforms ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the wake of nationwide protests sparked by the police custody death of George Floyd.

The Suffolk County Legislature approved a 1,000-page plan in late March and has submitted it to state officials.

Bellone said Chief of Department Stuart Cameron will serve as acting commissioner until a replacement is named.

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Hart will be joining Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York to lead its department of public safety. She said the new job will allow her to spend more time with her family.

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