New York City is to get its first female police commissioner next year. Mayor elect Eric Adams officially chose Keechant Sewell to become the next police commissioner of New York Police Department (NYPD), on Wednesday. Sewell, who is the Nassau County Chief of Detectives, will be the first woman and the third black person to lead the NYPD in its 176-year history.
Sewell said that she accepted the position of New York City policy commissioner “with a humble heart and clear eyes.” She also said that it was a privilege. The New York Post had reported on her appointment, late Tuesday evening.
Sewell said that it has been said that the NYPD was the best of the best and that they were “about to get even better.” She said that she would have the backs of her officers but they “must have the backs of the public.”
Sewell has been with the force for 22 years. She graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy. She has also been a member of the hostage negotiations team for many years.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams said that her appointment sent a powerful message to the young girls and women across New York City that there was “no ceiling” to their ambitions. He called Sewell the “personification of emotional intelligence” and a “real winner.”
Pat Lynch, the head of the PBA said that the police officers of New York City had passed their breaking point and needed to fix that break in order to bring both the city as well as the force “back on course.” The head of the detectives union added that they looked forward to “working with her to accomplish that goal.”
Sewell will become the 45th police commissioner of the NYPD on January 1, when Eric Adams will take over the mayorship from Bill de Blasio. She will take over from Dermot Shea, who will retire after three decades of service.