The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the appointment of former Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller as the MTA Chief of Police. Mueller comes to the MTA following 28 years of service at the Yonkers Police Department. Mueller will oversee the more than 1,000-member MTA Police Department that is responsible for patrolling and securing the MTA’s operating region that stretches from Montauk to Poughkeepsie.
Mueller began his law enforcement career in 1992 with the NYPD, joining Yonkers PD in 1994 as an officer in the 4th Precinct. Mueller rose the ranks over the years, leading up to his 2019 appointment as Police Commissioner. Among his many credentials during his recent 10 years at Yonkers PD, the City of Yonkers saw a 45% reduction in crime through a hyper focused, precision policing philosophy. This reduction has been credited to focused community engagement by officers, a program Mueller pushed during his time as the Commanding Officer of the 4th Precinct.
“Yonkers is the second largest city in the MTA region, and the Chief understands many of the same issues we are facing,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “His experience in leading and developing police operations, and his ability to effect positive change was what made him such a strong candidate.”
“John Mueller is everything the MTA needs to lead a growing police force that riders depend on to keep our transportation system safe,” said MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren. “John’s experience in leading and developing police operations, and ability to effect positive change was what made him such a strong candidate. In his time at Yonkers PD, he understood the importance of community collaboration that built trust and helped reduced crime nearly in half in the third largest city in the state.”
“I am honored and excited to be joining the officers of the MTA Police Department whose outstanding reputation is well known,” said Incoming Chief of MTA Police John Mueller. “Together we will demonstrate the skills and professionalism, listening to our riders concerns and addressing those concerns, as we strive to make the MTA system the safest transit system in the country.”
Chief Mueller brings with him a passion to improve the quality of life and safety to MTA riders as exemplified in volunteer activities that support a variety of civic organizations including the Pleasantville Strong, a substance abuse prevention program for adolescents that he founded. He is also a co-founder of the Yonkers Police – Fire Toughman Competition in 2000, a charity boxing competition that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
Born and raised in Yonkers, Mueller holds a graduate degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, has attended the Police Executive Research Forum, the United States Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Defense and Homeland Security and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He has been married to his wife Donna for 28 years. The couple has three sons: Jack, Sean, and Shane.
"John has been a devoted public servant to the City of Yonkers,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “John helped our residents feel safer. I'm happy to see John's ascent to MTA Chief of Police, a great responsibility and honor. I can personally attest that MTA riders' and employees' well-being are in good hands. I wish John well in this exciting new chapter."
"I have known John Mueller since he served in Yonkers' 4th Precinct, and I know he has the experience, temperament, and commitment to be a strong leader for the MTA Police,” said Senator Shelley B. Mayer. “He is deeply devoted to the community and the people he is charged with protecting. He holds strong views about best policing practices but has always remained open to genuine dialogue and new ideas. He knows that his primary job is to keep the people he serves safe under a system of justice that treats all equally and unbiasedly, and I am confident he will be a terrific Chief."
“As the Assemblyman of Yonkers, I got the chance to collaborate and see firsthand the hard work and dedication of Police Commissioner Mueller,” said Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow. “Of course, it pains the community and me to see him go, but he has paved the way through his exemplary leadership for his successor. I know the MTA will greatly appreciate John Mueller’s fortitude and leadership, and he will continue to make us all proud. He deserves it, and we cannot thank him enough for his contributions to reducing crime in our great city.”
“John Mueller is an exemplary policeman with a long track record of proven, effective leadership,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “A track record he earned in Yonkers rising through the ranks and dedicating his life to protecting its residents and visitors. Now at the MTA, John will bring the same smart, focused policing to protect the millions of riders they serve each year. I congratulate John and the MTA on this new role.”
“John Mueller is an exemplary police officer in every way, serving 28 years for the residents of our city with honor and respect,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “As Commissioner, he strategically led Yonkers Finest to become one of the top police departments in the nation, making us one the safest cities of our size with his laser–focus approach to fighting crime, including increased community engagement and precision policing. I am confident his transparent and dedicated approach to law enforcement will transition well to the MTA Police in providing greater public safety for all.”
“When I was elected, John Mueller was one of the police officers that I reached out to because I wanted to bridge the gap between the community and the police department. John took that mission head on,” said Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Tasha Diaz. “He made a very impactful statement on Yonkers, and while it was sad to see him go, we're confident the city’s progress can continue because he has trained the people underneath him so well. New York City is getting an asset and will see what he did for Yonkers, and he is going to implement that for New York City.”
“I had the pleasure of working with John over the years and can say he raised the standard for law enforcement leadership,” said Lt. Charles Walker, Yonkers Police Department and President of Yonkers Guardians Association. “John’s work in the aftermath of the George Floyd incident is what I am most proud of. He set the tone, leading from the front on how police and the communities they serve can work cohesively to impact necessary change. That willingness to hear people out and work with community organizations will serve him well wherever he goes and what makes him such an effective leader.”
“John has a clear understanding that working together with the people is the proper way of policing the community,” said Luis Muniz, Founder of the Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association and President of the Yonkers Hispanic Culture Foundation. “The discussions I would have on a national level at White House roundtables about law enforcement following the Ferguson incidents were the types of conversations I was already having with John on a local level. I always looked forward to those conversations because I always knew I would get a straight answer from John and walk away feeling like I have been heard.”
“When John and I first met, I quickly realized he was an authentic person that cared deeply about his community,” said Karen Edmondson, Former NAACP President of the Yonkers Branch. “John welcomed outside advice to improve community relationships and thought of innovative ways to address diversity concerns within the police department. This showed me just how progressive a police commissioner he was, and I know he will bring those same values and approaches with him to the MTA.”
The MTA Police Department was formed in 1998 with the consolidation of the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad police departments. After 9/11, MTAPD increased their counterterrorism capabilities, adding canine teams and emergency services officers. In 2005, the Staten Island Railway Police Department merged with the department.
On March 3, 2016, MTAPD attained accreditation status from the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services—Accreditation Council. Known primarily for patrolling the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, MTAPD also patrols Staten Island Railway and assists the NYPD’s Transit Bureau in patrolling the New York City Transit subway system.