The New York Police Department is slated to get its first female police commissioner after the current head of the police department retires at the end of the year. Nassau County Chief of Detectives Keechant Sewell, a Black woman, will become the 45th top cop of the largest police force in the nation.
Sewell, 48, has held several leadership positions in the past. Originally from Queens, she has headed major cases to hostage negotiation and is well-liked by her department. "I'm here to meet the moment," Sewell told The Post in an exclusive interview. Sewell will replace Dermot Shea, who is retiring from the NYPD after 30 years.
The Back Story
Mayor-elect Eric Adams had earlier promised to hire a woman as commissioner. A former NYPD captain, he had pledged new strategies to fight crime, including the return of foot patrols.
Sewell had greatly impressed the Adams during their meetings, sources told NBC New York. Other candidates included former Seattle Chief Carmen Best, Philadelphia Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, former Newark chief Ivonne Roman and NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes.
"She is a proven crime-fighter with the experience and emotional intelligence to deliver both the safety New Yorkers need and the justice they deserve. Chief Sewell will wake up every day laser-focused on keeping New Yorkers safe and improving our city, and I am thrilled to have her at the helm of the NYPD," Adams said.
Sewell will be the third Black person to run the city's police department after Benjamin Ward and Lee Brown, who served in the 1980s and 1990s respectively.
New Hope For NYPD
The NYPD has been constantly struggling to keep crime records low, over the past few years. There has been an evident rise in shootings and killings in New York since the onset of the pandemic.
The Police Benevolent Association of New York City welcomed Sewell as the next police commissioner, asking her to get the department, and the city, back on course, as per CNN.
"We welcome Chief Sewell to the second-toughest policing job in America," PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. "The toughest, of course, is being an NYPD cop on the street." He added that the city's police officers had passed their breaking point and said there was a "need to fix that break" in order to get the police department and the city back on course.