After Mayor-elect Eric Adams chose Nassau County Chief of Detectives Keechant Sewell to command the nation's largest police force, New York City has its first female police commissioner.
In a statement to CNN, Adams said, "Keechant Sewell is a proven crime fighter with the experience and emotional intelligence to deliver both the safety New Yorkers need and the justice they deserve."
He added, "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."
Who is Keechant Sewell? Her Background
Keechant Sewell has been a police officer for 22 years and is currently the chief of detectives for the Nassau County Police Department.
She also made history by becoming the first Black chief. She had previously held a variety of senior posts, including overseeing hostage negotiations and heading major cases. She also established and led the Standards Bureau for the agency.
According to reports, Keechant, age 49, has been trained in hostage negotiations by the FBI. She also received anti-terrorism training at the FBI Academy in Quantico. She is a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force for New York and New Jersey in addition to her work at Nassau County PD.
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According to sources, the Long Island native spent much of her upbringing in public housing at Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City. Sewell is currently residing in Valley Stream, Long Island.
Other Police Departments' Reaction to Keechant Sewell
Following the announcement, the Police Benevolent Association of New York City, the city's police union, congratulated Sewell on her appointment and asked her to put the department, and the city, back on track.
In a statement, PBA President Patrick Lynch said, "We welcome Chief Sewell to the second-toughest policing job in America." "The toughest, of course, is being an NYPD cop on the street."
"We need to fix that gap in order to get our police department and our community back on track," Lynch said, after stating that New York City police officers "have passed their breaking point."
The Legal Aid Society also hosted Sewell, who they "hope will bring a new approach to the helm of an agency in dire need of top-to-bottom reforms."
"The next Commissioner must demonstrate an understanding that many community problems do not warrant a law enforcement response; that police misconduct must be taken seriously and addressed swiftly; and that tackling some of our city's most pressing public safety issues, especially gun violence, requires full funding for proven, community-based approaches." - Legal Aid Society’s Statement