The New York Police Department has appointed a Black woman to be its chief of patrol which makes her the first African-American woman and the first woman ever to hold the seat that manages most of the department’s uniformed officers patrolling the city.
It was announced on Thursday by NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who said he is “beyond proud” to name Chief Juanita Holmes to serve in the post.
Holmes will become the highest ranking African-American woman in NYPD history and the highest ranking uniformed woman ever, according to the presentation Shea put forward at a press conference.
Shea said, “She has walked the walk, and she talks the talk, I think she is the complete package.”
Holmes, whose appointment goes into effect on Friday, has 30 years experience with the NYPD. After beginning her career on patrol in 1987, Holmes rose through the ranks as sergeant, lieutenant, captain, deputy inspector, inspector, deputy chief, and finally assistant chief in 2016 — the first African American woman to serve as borough commander in that role.
She also oversaw the department’s School Safety Division and commanded both the Domestic Violence Unit and the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Training.
Holmes said that “equality, fairness, transparency, has always been at the very heart of what she does.”
“And as chief of patrol this is how I will lead every day” she said. Holmes also said she planned to address race relations in the city by “strengthening” relationships, stating that “community engagement is ever evolving in the NYC police department.”
“People want to be heard, and we’re there to listen to them, but they have to play an intricate part in crime reduction as well as improving quality of life,” Holmes said. “Strengthening those relationships is my plan.”
De Blasio praised Holmes saying, “The first African American woman to be chief of patrol. These are important steps for our city,”
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said, “New York City police officers desperately need competent leaders like Chief Holmes who can effectively push back against the politicians, empower us to do our job and help us to stop the city’s backward slide. That is the challenge facing Chief Holmes — we give her our support as she takes it on,”
Source of picture: CNN News