NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the first time in department history, a woman has been named the NYPD‘s Chief of Patrol.
Commissioner Dermot Shea made the announcement Thursday.
WATCH: NYPD Commissioner Announces New Chief Of Patrol Juanita Holmes
Chief Juanita Holmes is taking over the job and spoke about her new role.
“As chief of collaborative policing and in every role I think I’ve played in this department, equality, fairness and transparency have always been at the very heart of what I do,” she said. “As chief of patrol, this is how I will lead every day.”
Holmes is the highest ranking African-American woman in NYPD history. She has 16 immediate family members who also serve in the department.
The Police Benevolent Association supported her promotion in a statement.
“Chief Holmes’ entire family embodies the NYPD’s proudest traditions, so she understands better than anybody how our work and traditions are being undermined and attacked. 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 this city’s backward slide,” PBA President Pat Lynch wrote. “That is the challenge facing Chief Holmes – we give her our support as she takes it on.”
Holmes’ first test may come within days.
The intense and frantic scenes in Brooklyn this week when police in riot gear were trying to cope with hundreds protesting the fatal shooting of a Black man by Philadelphia cops could be a taste of what is to come — possible protests in and around Tuesday’s election.
In a sit-down interview with CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer, Holmes calmly said she’s ready and so is the department.
“We have been preparing for this since June. You know, we were met with things that we were not used to, I should say. You know, when you’re met with a mass demonstration that we were met with in May and June, it makes one think about how do we prepare if this ever happens again,” Holmes said.
Although she officially becomes Chief of Patrol on Friday, the department has been working hard to retrain and retool.
The mayor and police commissioner announced the decision to name Holmes as part of a major reshuffling of the upper management of the NYPD.
Two other African-American women, a Latino and one other woman were also given top positions.
“What you see here is a lot of really deserving people getting their opportunity to lead,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “What you’re showing here, you’re seeing a leadership that understands the whole reality of life as it’s lived in this city.”
Shea said he picked Holmes “because she’s the best qualified, and she’s earned it.”
Kramer asked the mayor about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s demand for wholesale change within the NYPD.
“I don’t look at it through the prism of what people someplace else want for New York City. I look at it through the prism of what the people in New York City want,” de Blasio said.
Holmes responded to the same question.
“I say we were doing that to begin with. We have always been engaging the community, trying to better ourselves,” she said.
The appointment has a lot of people wondering what is next for Chief Holmes.
“Would you ever want to be police commissioner?” Kramer asked.
“I love this city, so I would welcome being police commissioner of New York City,” Holmes said.
Holmes left the department back in 2018 for a job in corporate America. She came back, she says, because she missed it.
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