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Westchester City Appoints New Police Commissioner

Acting Yonkers Police Commissioner Chris Sapienza
Acting Yonkers Police Commissioner Chris Sapienza Photo Credit: Maurice Mercado/City of Yonkers

A veteran public servant in Westchester has been tabbed to take over as the police commissioner in “New York’s third-largest city,” as the mayor likes to say.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced that Yonkers Police Deputy Chief Chris Sapienza has been chosen as the city’s new police commissioner, replacing outgoing Commissioner John Mueller, who retired earlier in the week of Monday, May 2.

Sapienza will serve as acting commissioner until the Yonkers City Council can confirm his appointment.

Spano touted Sapienza’s temperament and “keen ability to cultivate relationships with the community and our officers to ensure they can all be the best versions of themselves.”

“Chris has been a shining star in the Department for years, and epitomizes the meaning of true leadership, demonstrating his in-depth knowledge, training, and dedication to the men and women of our police force,” Spano stated.

“We look forward to advancing the progress we have made thus far to foster stronger community relationships and continuing to keep our residents safe.”

Sapienza's career in service began in 1987 when he enlisted in the United State Marine Corps., where he served for eight years, including a tour during the Gulf War.

Following his honorable discharge from the Marines, Sapienza returned home to Yonkers to serve in his hometown police department, where he has spent nearly three decades.

Sapienza began his career with the Yonkers Police Department in 1995 as an officer in the 3rd Precinct and then the Emergency Service Unit.

He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2006, Lieutenant in 2015, and Captain in 2019, serving as the president of the Captain’s, Lieutenant’s, and Sergeant’s Association from 2015 through 2019.

In 2019, Sapienza was appointed Deputy Chief of the Support Services Bureau, where he was tasked with overseeing multiple divisions and units responsible for the logistic operation of the Department.

He becomes the city’s 23rd police commissioner.

“Our police officers and supervisors have done incredible work during the Spano Administration to drive crime down to historic lows while enhancing community relations and improving our residents’ quality of life,” Sapienza said in a statement. “I look forward to building on that progress by working together with the community, administration, and City Council.”

In a statement, Spano also expressed his appreciation for Mueller’s tenure as police commissioner.

“Under his leadership, Yonkers has achieved unprecedented successes, including a reduction in overall crime, a more diverse police force, and the introduction of various community policing initiatives that have transformed our police department,” he said. “I congratulate him on a stellar career and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

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