On Thursday, the New York City Police Department appointed Juanita Holmes to be its new chief of patrol. Making her the first woman to ever hold the seat and the highest-ranking woman in NYPD history.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and police commissioner Dermot Shea announced Holmes’ promotion on Thursday.
“She has walked the walk, and she talks the talk,” Shea said. “I think she is the complete package.”
Holmes replaces outgoing Chief Fauto Pichardo, who abruptly submitted his retirement papers earlier this month.
Holmes, who has 30 years of experience with the NYPD, began her career on patrol in 1987 and rose through the ranks as sergeant, lieutenant, captain, deputy inspector, inspector, deputy chief, and finally assistant chief in 2016. She retired in 2018, only to return to the NYPD the next year.
Holmes said at the press conference that amid tense race relations in New York City, she hopes to restore the community’s “trust and faith” in its police department by strengthening relationships.
“People want to be heard, and we’re there to listen to them,” she said. “But they have to play an intricate part in crime reduction as well as improving the quality of life and strengthening those relationships… That community should have faith in their police department and that’s my ultimate goal, to make sure that happens.”
With the NYPD being the largest police department in the country with over 36,000 full-time active officers, Holmes will have direct leadership over more officers than are members of any other police force in America.