Ruel Stephenson graduated from Xaverian High School in 1988 and went on to attend the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York for two years. He played Division 3 basketball during both years at The College of St. Rose. In February 2003, Assistant Chief Stephenson graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, and in May 2020 he obtained a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice.
On June 30th, 1995 he joined the New York City Police Department as a Police Officer and after graduating from the Police Academy he was assigned to the 70th Precinct in East Flatbush, the community where he was raised. With his hard work and ambition, he steadily elevated through the ranks. He successfully passed three competitive promotional exams and was promoted to Sergeant on September 29th, 2000, to Lieutenant on November 23rd, 2004, and to Captain on December 23rd, 2008. On September 22nd, 2010, he was assigned as Commanding Officer of the 30th Precinct. On October 31st, 2011 he received a Discretionary promotion to Deputy Inspector from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. On April 7th, 2013 he was assigned as the Commanding Officer of the 47th Precinct. On November 25th, 2014 he was promoted to Inspector by Police Commissioner William Bratton. On November 21st, 2017 he was promoted to Deputy Chief by Police Commissioner James O’Neil and was transferred to the Housing Bureau. On August 31, 2020, he was transferred to Patrol Borough Brooklyn South where he was assigned as the Executive Officer. He is currently assigned as the Commanding Officer of Patrol Borough Manhattan North since his promotion to Assistant Chief on April 28th, 2023.
During his tenure as Commanding Officer in the 30th & 47th Precinct, Assistant Chief Ruel Stephenson shared a genuine bond with the community. He had a great relationship with the community and demonstrated a commitment to reducing crime and improving the quality of life for all community residents while maintaining a level of respect and trust. In order to achieve this, he quickly recognized the importance of linking neighborhood residents specifically the youth, to the New York City Police Department. Incorporating this as a top priority in his management style as a precinct commander, he inspired the development of the West Harlem Empowerment Coalition (WHEC) to achieve greater youth involvement and cooperation in creating a better quality of life. A key component in building a relationship of trust and cooperation between the police and the community was the use of the clergy as a liaison between the police department and various congregations and faith-based groups in the community.
Assistant Chief Stephenson prides himself in fostering one of the strongest and most committed Precinct Clergy Programs in the 30th precinct, Patrol Borough Manhattan North, and the 47th Precinct, the Patrol Borough Bronx. He started a program called Building Bridges, which was designed to foster a more trusting relationship between community members and police personnel. Police Officers were charged with initiating positive contacts with community residents to ultimately open avenues for better lines of communication as it relates to information exchange and increase shared policing by both community members and the police. Utilizing the community as a resource, Assistant Chief Stephenson organized several outreach programs geared at assisting disadvantaged families and improving community-police relations. Programs such as, “47 Precinct Back to School Giveaway”, “47 Precinct Turkey Giveaway”, “47 Precinct Annual Toy Drive”, “47 Precinct Annual Senior Dinner”, “47 Precinct Memorial 5k Run”, “Call 2 Duty” (police officer youth mentorship group), “Shoot Hoops Not Youth” (basketball tournament, cops vs gang/crew & rival crews against each other). As a result of the implementation of these various programs and other crime-fighting strategies, the 47th precinct recorded a record low in overall violence (homicides, shooting incidents, and shooting victims) in the year ending 2015.
Assistant Chief Ruel Stephenson is married to his wife Andrea and from this union he has three children, Dyondra (26), Jenaye (22), and Ruel, Jr '20. (20). During his leisure time, he enjoys playing basketball, and cross training, and running. He completed two full New York City marathons (26.2 miles each) and two New York City Half marathons (13.1 miles). Assistant Chief Ruel Stephenson is widely known for his engaging manner and calm demeanor and those who have worked with him throughout his career in the New York City Police Department will also recognize that beneath that composed, genial exterior is a very disciplined, dedicated, and humble man.