NEW YORK - Saying she was the 'complete package,' NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Thursday that he had promoted Chief of Collaborative Policing Juanita Holmes to the role of Chief of Patrol, the first woman in the department's 175-year history to hold that position.
A Brooklyn native, Chief Holmes also becomes the highest-ranking African American woman within the NYPD. She will oversee the majority of the department's uniformed officers on patrol at 77 precincts.
"I have a long history, a friendship with Juanita," said Shea during a briefing from City Hall. "I have seen her work up-close. I have seen her leadership skills. I can tell you that she has walked the walk and talks the talk."
"First, I want to thank Commissioner Shea for this privilege to continue to serve the people of New York City as the Chief of Patrol," said Holmes. "I'm grateful and humbled to continue serving under his leadership. The NYPD is my family."
A 'blue family,' Holmes has 16 family members including her son working within the department.
"I want to thank each and every one of them because I wouldn't' be here if it weren't for so many of them who shared my vision," said Holmes.
She takes over for former Chief Fausto Pichardo who resigned suddenly last month.
In an interview with FOX 5 News in September, Holmes said strife between the police and some communities in NYC during protests in recent months needed to be resolved.
"We have to bring those communities into our world, sit down and go back to the drawing board and get it right," said Holmes.
Holmes was one of six women to ever be named a three-star chief as Chief of Collaborative Policing. Three of the former female officers are suing the NYPD for gender bias. Holmes was promoted to the position one of the plaintiffs, former NYPD Chief Lori Pollock, resigned from.
Pollock quit following more than three decades on the job.
"We don’t have positions of consequence, we don’t make policy decisions, we make mere suggestions to the men that are at the top," said Pollock.
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