Former Philadelphia Police Comm. Timoney dies at 68

From New York City boy, to Philadelphia's top cop, former Police Commissioner John Timoney worked his way up the ranks, while dedicating his life to public safety.

"He was an on the ground kind of guy. We have the expression a cop's cop . He definitely was that," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

Timoney came to Philly in 1998, after serving as a top deputy to New York City's Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Philadelphia's mayor at the time, Ed Rendell , hired Timoney to head up the city's police department.

Tiimoney led the department through the protest heavy Republican National Convention in 2000. He initiated Compstat, which is a weekly meeting of commanders to review crimes and crime patterns. He utilized bike patrols to keep the troops mobile and fighting crime whenever it happened.

Police brass in Philadelphia today say Timoney was a role model.

After leaving Philadelphia in 2002, Timoney went into the private sector for a short time before heading back into public safety, and leading Miami's Police Department as chief for 7 years.

In Miami, Chief Timoney also brought change, he reduced officer involved shootings. At one point, no officer fired his gun in a 20 month period.

John Timoney was 68-years-old, and had been battling lung cancer for several years.

"He was a true change agent. He was one of those people you could point to and say he was an example of leadership," said SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel.

"The men and women of the Department extend our heartfelt condolences to his family," said Commissioner Ross. "John Timoney truly loved policing and certainly contributed a great deal to the profession. He was hard charging, confident, and very outspoken. Although he had no patience for those who preyed on the defenseless, he also had tremendous respect for our Constitution and the freedoms that it affords the people of this nation. He never took them for granted."