The formal announcement of King’s appointment, was made yesterday by Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. He replaces Judith Harrison, who became a Brooklyn borough commander this summer.
King, who has been with the New York Police Department for nearly 20 years, takes over a sex crimes unit that has gotten mixed reviews from victims, advocates and watchdogs in recent years.
King is not only a veteran police investigator, but also a forensic nurse who has conducted the physical exams and evidence collection vital to solving such cases.
"I don't know of any other law enforcement officer anywhere in the country that has that background," King said. "When we go to a hospital and a rape victim is being examined, a cop can't even be in the room. So imagine a cop who actually knows how to do that."
King, 45, joined the force in September 2000, and previously served as commander of the Crime Scene Unit. Since 2017, he’s been the executive officer of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force.
He oversaw forensics for major cases, including the Chelsea bombing in 2016 and the box truck terrorist attack on the west side.
In a press release, King said, “Reaching this position in the NYPD has been a dream job for me since I became a forensic nurse in 2009. I thought that if I could one day be the commanding officer of the Special Victims Unit it would give me the platform I needed in my fight for victims’ rights and in the pursuit of justice and integrity of special victims’ investigations.”
King says he wants to bring forward training in compassionate interview techniques, known as trauma-informed questioning, advocating sensitivity training for patrol officers, who are often the first NYPD representatives victims see after calling 911.
“The attitude of a patrol officer can make or break a victim wanting to go forward in reporting that complaint,” King said.
King was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where he attended Mount Alvernia Preparatory school and Cornwall College High School. After completing high school, moved to New York when he was 16 in 1991.
He joined the NYPD on Sept. 29, 2000, and began his career on patrol in the 113th Precinct. He served in several other precincts and held a variety of leadership roles.
In 2005, he earned a nursing degree from American Sentinel University and became a registered nurse, going to nursing school and working in city hospitals in his off hours. Four years later, he became a sexual assault forensic examiner.
The new SVU commander worked his way up the investigative ranks - first in internal affairs and later as a crime scene commander and the executive officer of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
According to ABC news, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, John Miller, recommended King for the sex crimes post.
"If we didn't have Mike King, I am not sure we could have invented him," Miller is quoted as saying, noting his career path and breadth of knowledge.
"At SVU he can combine his experiences of helping people in trauma, his knowledge of science, forensics and investigation and his sense of justice in a way no one else - at least no one else I know - could," Miller said.
King said his parents taught him the importance of education, discipline, and how to be compassionate to people.
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