What to Know
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, who is retiring after 35 years on the force, will blow the whistle to start this year's parade
Boyce, who turns 63 March 18, the mandatory retirement age for uniformed NYPD officers, had planned to make March 17 his last work day
Boyce and his wife of 34 years, Kathleen, have two children, Robert Jr. and Caitlin. They live in Bethpage
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert “Bobby” Boyce, who is retiring after 35 years on the streets of New York, will blow the whistle to officially start the 257th New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday, March 17, parade organizers say.
Boyce, who will be 63 years old March 18, the mandatory retirement age for uniformed NYPD members, had planned to make March 17 his last day on the job.
“I was going to march up Fifth Avenue as I had done for so many years and then just keep marching off into the sunset,” said Boyce, who says he missed only one parade in 35 years because he was working a case. “But they asked me to stay around for a few more weeks to help with the transition.”
“Chief Bobby Boyce, who leads the finest detective force in the world and who has played an integral role in making New York the safest big city in the nation, is more than worthy of this honor,” said John Lahey, chairman of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Board of Directors. “In fact, we are honored that this great leader – this great cop – will start us on our way.”
“With my long-term affiliation with NYPD’s Emerald Society and Holy Name Society, New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has always been significant for me. Now, in my home stretch as Chief of Detectives, this year’s parade will be particularly momentous for me, both personally and professionally, and it’s an absolute honor to start the parade,” Boyce added.
Boyce will blow the same whistle he used when he started on patrol in 1983.
Boyce and his wife of 34 years, Kathleen, have two children, Robert Jr. and Caitlin. They live in Bethpage.
Boyce and the 257th New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade step off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, and proceed up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street. You can watch the festivities live on NBC; the parade will also be streamed live on NBCNewYork.com.