The New York City Police Department's highest ranking uniformed officer, a 28-year veteran of the force, announced Friday he is stepping down.
As first reported by NY1, Philip Banks was expected to become first deputy commissioner, the number two spot on paper.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Banks said, "Thanks for your support, the men and women of the #NYPD are truly the Finest, but due to professional reasons I have decided to retire."
Speaking to reporters outside 1 Police Plaza on Friday, Police Commissioner William Bratton said the resignation came as a surprise.
"Basically after a great contemplation, a discussion with his family and thinking about the position that he opted that he did not feel it was for him," Bratton said.
The first deputy position is sometimes perceived as having lower visibility by some in the department, though Bratton quickly disputed such claims.
"To be quite frank I could care less what others impressions or anybody talking to you. I'm a police commissioner so I know what that position means to me. It's the key advisory position to me and one that I need a person whose competence and advice can trust," Bratton said.
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, in part, "We were disappointed to hear of Chief Philip Banks’ personal decision to step down. He has served New York City admirably during his nearly 30 years on the force, and we were enthusiastic about the leadership and energy he would have brought to the position of First Deputy Commissioner."