The surprise selection to many came as no shock to her colleagues in Nassau County, where Keechant Sewell is the respected chief of detectives and thought of as a brilliant problem solver.READ MORE: 'The Loss Of A Hero': New York Mourns Death Of 22-Year-Old NYPD Officer Jason Rivera
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan spoke with her current boss on Wednesday.
“It’s like you are the college football coach and one of your players is going into the NFL,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
Sewell will soon become the first female commissioner in the NYPD’s 176-year history. The historic announcement was made Wednesday by Mayor-elect Eric Adams outside the Queensbridge Houses, Sewell’s first childhood home.
“Queensbridge Houses is part of my story. I wish my parents were here to point out the building and the apartment where they began to give me a strong sense of purpose, commitment and confidence. To all the little girls within the sound of my voice, there is nothing you can’t do, and no one you can’t become,” Sewell said.
Freeport’s Kristin Crane said the hire gives her inspiration for her children.
“It sets a really positive message for young women in general to be able to aspire to do anything they want in life,” Crane said.READ MORE: NYPD Officer Jason Rivera Fatally Shot, Officer Wilbert Mora Critically Injured Responding To Harlem Domestic Dispute
“She is a collaborator. She is a person who can sit down with anyone and help everyone in the room understand that they are important to that conversation,” Acting Nassau DA Joyce A. Smith said.
Sewell, 49, lives in Valley Stream, loves to cook, and often hosts dinner parties for friends and family. Her neighbors said they have been influenced by her stellar character.
“An individual who has made the achievements in her life to get to where she is,” Paul Malone said.
“I’ve always liked the police and wanted to be a police officer,” Carmen Smith added.
Sewell will soon have to say goodbye to her Nassau department and to Valley Stream because city residency rules will require her to relocate to the Big Apple. She said she’s thinking about her hometown of Queens.MORE NEWS: SEE IT: Mayor Adams, NYPD Commissioner Sewell On Killing Of NYPD Officer In Harlem: 'An Attack On The City Of New York'
Her colleagues said Sewell can de-escalate any crisis and did so during Black Lives Matter protests. She won over Adams during a grueling interview process, with intelligence, fairness, compassion, and confidence.