New NYPD intelligence chief Rebecca Weiner inspired by grandfather who helped design atomic, hydrogen bombs

The NYPD’s new intelligence and counterterrorism chief says she was inspired by her grandfather, who worked on the Manhattan Project and later was one of the designers of the hydrogen bomb.

“I’m very proud of that legacy,” said Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Weiner, who was named to her new post Tuesday.

Her grandfather was Stanislaw Ulam, a mathematician who fled Nazi Europe and “served this country to help end World War II,” said Weiner, who first joined the NYPD 17 years ago as a civilian analyst.

“I think that was a key driver of mine for choosing this profession,” Weiner said.

“The scientists of that time, including my grandfather, wrestled deeply with the question of how their work product could potentially be used.”


Many were troubled by their massive power of the atomic and hydrogen bombs they helped create.

”Many of them felt very conflicted. I know my grandfather did,” Weiner said. “But they recognized, again, the power of using intelligence and using technology to prevent war, to prevent crimes and atrocities ... .

“That’s something that was held deeply in our household and part of the reason that I have devoted the last 17 years to try to ensure we’re all doing our part to protect this city.”

Police Commissioner Edward Caban, who on Monday was sworn as the first Hispanic top cop, noted Weiner is the first woman to fill the role of deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism.

Weiner, he said, “helped build what has become the single best intelligence analyst program of any municipal law enforcement agency in the world.”

“Her work has helped to foil terror plots, track down those willing to cause harm,” Caban added. “As the threat stream has evolved over the years so, too, has Rebecca’s approach.”

Weiner is married and has two sons, both of whom stood with her as she was sworn in.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Weiner was living in France, working for an international organization. She knew then, she said, she would switch gears and help fight terrorism.

Though terrorism threats have changed and evolved in the past 22 years, Weiner said, the “secret sauce” behind the NYPD’s intelligence and counterterror efforts is the same — a mix of cutting-edge technology and smart, dedicated cops.

“It’s a very powerful combination,” Weiner said.

Weiner has been rising through the ranks of the department for years. Before her promotion, Weiner was assistant commissioner of the counterintelligence and terrorism bureau.

Former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Weiner and her team have saved untold lives through the years.

“She misses nothing,” Bratton said.

Weiner replaces John Miller, who returned to television news last year.