U.S. Marine as Police Commissioner of Yonkers

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YONKERS, NY – In the infamous words of the fictional character Gunnery Sargeant Thomas Highway, “Ooh Rah”.

U.S. Marine Gulf War veteran Yonkers Police Deputy Chief Chris Sapienza was named as the new police commissioner for Yonkers on Friday. Mayor Mike Spano announced the appointment of Sapienza who will serve as acting commissioner until confirmed by the city council.

Sapienza will replace outgoing Commissioner John Mueller, who retired earlier this week.

“Police Commissioner Chris Sapienza has the temperament and keen ability to cultivate relationships with the community and our officers to ensure they can all be the best versions of themselves,” said Mayor Mike Spano. “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. We look forward to advancing the progress we have made thus far to foster stronger community relationships and continuing to keep our residents safe.”

According to the city of Yonkers, Sapienza’s commitment to public service began in 1987 when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, proudly serving for over eight years. He is a Gulf War veteran and recipient of numerous awards, including the Combat Action Ribbon. After receiving an honorable discharge, Sapienza sustained that commitment to public service with a career in law enforcement in his hometown. A dedicated police professional with over twenty-seven years of service to the City of Yonkers, Sapienza recognizes the special relationship between the Yonkers Police Department and the communities it serves and will continue working together to drive down crime and enhance the quality of life for Yonkers residents.

Police Commissioner Sapienza said, “I am deeply honored with the responsibility and privilege the Mayor has entrusted to me to guide the Yonkers Police Department. 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. I look forward to building on that progress by working together with the community, administration, and City Council.”

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Sapienza began his career with the Yonkers Police Department in 1995 as a Police 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; he served as the President of the Captain’s, Lieutenant’s, and Sergeant’s Association from 2015 – 2019. In 2019, he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Support Services Bureau, overseeing multiple divisions and units responsible for the logistic operation of the Department.

Sapienza holds a Masters from Mercy College and is a graduate of the 245th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He and his wife Kat have been married for over 15 years and enjoy traveling together.

Mayor Spano added, “I want to thank Commissioner Mueller for his service to the residents of the city and to our police department. 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. I congratulate him on a stellar career and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Sapienza will serve as the City of Yonkers’ 23rd police commissioner.