By Tom McDermott
Rye’s Commissioner of Public Safety Michael D. Corcoran abruptly resigned on June 26. When we asked City Manager Marcus Serrano to comment, he would say only that Corcoran “wanted to spend more time with his family.” Asked if the departure was due, as widely rumored, to Corcoran’s not being a resident of Westchester or an adjoining county, a requirement for the job, Serrano declined to comment.
Corcoran was hired as Rye’s Police Commissioner in December 2015. Less than a year later, after the City Council amended the City Charter and created the position of Commissioner of Public Safety, with the police and fire departments under Corcoran’s command.
His arrival in Rye seemed to raise morale and energize the police department and helped lead to improved communication with the community, especially in regard to the prevention of drug abuse.
Serrano suggested that the “personal nature” of Corcoran’s departure prevented him from commenting further, and the public nature of a Commissioner’s role did not change that policy.
Mayor Josh Cohn had no comment on the matter beyond acknowledging that Corcoran had resigned.
Former City Councilman Terry McCartney’s commented that “I was shocked and saddened at the news of Commissioner Corcoran’s departure. He was one of the City’s very best employees. He was an excellent leader. He was always available and responsive to the City Council and the community. It is a shame that we could lose someone of his importance without an explanation from the Council.”
Serrano has appointed longtime RPD Lieutenant Robert Falk as interim Public Safety Commissioner. According to Serrano, Falk is busy “getting up to speed” on the Rye Fire Department, which now also reports to him.
Serrano also told the paper that he was not aware of any internal discord within RPD that might have been a factor in Corcoran’s resignation.