NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will join a prestigious foreign policy think-tank based in New York when he steps down later this month as the longest serving commissioner in NYPD history.
Kelly will become a visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, the group said in a statement Monday.
"Ray Kelly spearheaded the modernization of the New York Police Department," CFR President Richard Haass said in the statement.
"The result is that crime is down and the NYPD's counter terrorism capabilities are second to none. We are excited and proud to have his experience, expertise, and judgment at the Council."
Kelly's work at CFR will complement a contract he signed earlier this month to give highly-paid speeches with Greater Talent Network, whose roster of former law enforcement officials includes Louis Freeh, former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In a field where the average U.S. police commissioner serves only several years, Kelly has spent the past 12 years radically transforming the department in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks of 2001, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed.
Two of his key accomplishments have been the creation of the nation's first municipal intelligence division, and an innovative surveillance network.
Overall crime has dropped about a third since Kelly took office in 2002 at the start of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's three terms in office. Murder rates have fallen to levels not seen since the 1950s.
In the final year of his tenure, Kelly came under fire for aggressive policing tactics, both in high-crime minority neighborhoods and for the department's extensive monitoring of Muslim-American communities in the tri-state area.
Prior to this posting, Kelly also led the department from 1992-1994 under former Mayor David Dinkins.
(Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Bernadette Baum)