NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has named a new chief of department.
Philip Banks III, a 26-year veteran of the force, was officially installed as the NYPD’s highest-ranking uniformed officer at a promotion ceremony Thursday. He is the second African-American to hold the top uniform position.
Banks received a standing ovation from the rank and file when he was introduced at the ceremony.
Banks, 50, began his career as a patrolman in the 81st Precinct, and rose through the ranks in the ensuing years. He had most recently served as Chief of Community Affairs.
He takes over amid a controversy over the department’s stop-and-frisk policy, which Banks said he supports.
“I certainly believe that Stop, Question and Frisk is an effective strategy when it’s done correctly,” Banks said. “We’ve looked at it, we’ve implemented some changes. I certainly believe that we’re going to continue to do it, I believe that we should continue it.”
But as WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, he conceded that the process could be altered, “So that it will bring about the desired result, which is to keep the streets free from weapons and violence.”
The father of three from St. Albans, Queens has earned a reputation for being a builder of police-community relations, Diamond reported.
Commissioner Ray Kelly called Banks an outstanding field commander who is “adept in managing police personnel and operations.”
“Chief Banks has proven himself time and again to be an exceptional field commander, a skillful manager of police personnel and operations and a consummate builder of community relations,” Kelly said at the ceremony.
Banks replaced Chief Joseph Esposito who retired Wednesday after 44 years of service.
During his tenure, Esposito earned some of the NYPD’s highest medals and commendations, including the Combat Cross and Medal for Valor.
He turned 63 on Thursday, the force’s mandatory retirement age.