NYPD appoints Juanita Holmes as first female chief of patrol


The New York Police Department made history on Thursday by appointing Juanita Holmes as its first female chief of patrol. 

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the appointment during a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday roughly two weeks after former Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo abruptly resigned from the post.  The move will take effect Friday, Oct. 30. 

Holmes is already the highest-ranking Black woman in the NYPD with 30 years of experience and previously served as the chief of collaborative policing. Holmes retired in 2018 and returned to the force in 2019 to work to the NYPD’s School Safety Division. During her career, she has also held roles in the Domestic Violence Division Unit, Office of the Deputy Commission in Training and served as Borough Commander of Queens North. 

“I think she is the complete package, I couldn’t be more proud to be here with her,” said Shea. ” I’ve seen her work up close, I’ve seen her leadership skills. I can tell you that she has walked the walk and she talks the talk.” 

Holmes has deep personal ties to the NYPD and has 16 immediate family members employed by the police department with 14 serving in uniform including her son, brother, five sisters, two nieces and nephew. 

The NYPD also made several other corresponding moves within their executive leadership.

Chief of Transit Edward Delatorre was appointed the NYPD’s chief of labor relations, which the NYPD described as “a critical assignment as the Police Department continues its work in reforming policing to best serve New Yorkers amid the continuing strain of budgetary and personnel challenges.”

Assistant Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, who previously served as commanding officer of Patrol Borough Manhattan North, will succeed Delatorre as the department’s new chief of transit. Replacing her at the helm of Manhattan North, which oversees police precincts in the northern part of the borough, is Deputy Chief Philip Rivera, who served as the borough’s executive officer.

Assistant Chief Kim Royster, meanwhile, was named the NYPD’s new chief of transportation, succeeding the late Chief William Morris, who died following a battle with COVID-19. 

Finally, Inspector Olufunmilola Obe was appointed as commander of the School Safety Division, succeeding Holmes.

With reporting by Robert Pozarycki

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