Balcı was first appointed as İstanbul's deputy police chief in 1977. He then served as İstanbul's chief of police between 1978 and 1983.
The Police Academy Presidency sent a notice to the Bakırköy Municipality telling them that the name of all police vocational schools of higher education have been changed to “security education campuses,” and asked the municipality to delete the name of Şükrü Balcı from the name of the police vocational school in Bakırköy.
The Bakırköy Municipality complied with the academy's decision and sent the name change for approval by the İstanbul Municipal Council. The council approved the decision unanimously.
The Sept. 12, 1980 military coup was the bloodiest in the history of Turkey. Some 650,000 people were detained during this period and records were kept on 1,683,000 people at police stations. Over 230,000 people were tried in 210,000 cases, mostly for political reasons. A further 517 people were sentenced to death, while 7,000 people faced charges that carried a sentence of capital punishment. Of those who received the death penalty, 50 were executed. As a result of unsanitary and inhumane living conditions and torture in prison, a further 299 people died while in custody.