Eric Adams, New York City’s Incoming Mayor, will announce Wednesday that he appointed a woman to be the NYPD Police Commissioner for the first time during its 176-year history.
Keechant, 49, currently serves as Nassau County Chief Of Detectives. He will be the third black commissioner to the city after Benjamin Ward, who served in 1984-1989 under Mayor Ed Koch and Lee Brown, who served between 1990 and 1992 under Mayor David Dinkins.
Her appointment is scheduled for January 1. She will replace Dermot Shea who retired in December. This comes amid heightened violence and low morale of police officers following years of anti-police reforms by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Sewell stated that he was here “to meet the moment”, and added: “I am humbled to be even considered for this, it’s an incredible opportunity.
“And it is something I consider very serious, because of its historic nature.”
Keechant Sewell, 49, will be the next police commissioner of the NYPD after serving as the Nassau County Chief of Detectives
Sources familiar with incoming mayor Eric Adams’ decision to appoint her to the role say he was impressed by Sewell’s ’emotional intelligence’ she displayed during her interview. Adams can be seen here at West Side Story, November 29.
Adams made the decision not to appoint Sewell in the top-cop post because it was the right choice, according to sources. Adams has been vowing for months that she would appoint an African American woman to this position.
Adams stated in a statement that Keechant Sewell was a well-respected crime fighter who has the ability to provide both safety and justice for New Yorkers.
“Chief Sewell will rise every morning laser-focused on New Yorkers’ safety and improving our community,’ he stated. “And she is thrilled to be at the head of the NYPD.”
Adams and his team sought out the top candidate nationwide, according to the Post. They interviewed dozens of female police officers including Carmen Best (one-time Police Chief), former Chief Ivonne Rome, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.
However, sources claim Adams was most impressed with Sewell’s “emotional intelligence” during her interview. The conference culminated with an eight-hour press conference in which Sewell spoke out about the shooting of an unarmed man by a white officer.
The Post received information from people who were familiar with the process of interviewing her. They said she presented a calm confidence at the fake news conference, and that she was able connect with the community while she spoke.
According to the Post, Sewell was born in Long Island City (Queens), where she spent the first years of her adult life living in public housing.
Later, she moved to Corona, Jamaica and Queens where she met John Wesley Pierce, a former NYPD officer whom she called “Pop Pop.” He taught her, along with her US Marine father, the importance of honor and service.
She said that Pierce died in 2017 after a long and difficult retirement.
Sewell (second from right) was named the Law Enforcement Person of Year for Nassau County at the 47th Annual Law Enforcement Night.
Sewell (right) was one of the Nassau County’s first First Grade Detectives.
Pictured fifth right, she is being sworn into Patrol Deputy Chief for 2017
Sewell lives now in Valley Stream at the border of Queens County and Nassau County. He is a member of the Nassau County Police Department.
She was sworn into the office of Patrol Deputy chief in 2017 and helped establish and lead the Professional Standards Bureau for the police, the division that oversees Internal Affairs.
In September 2020, she was elevated to the position of Chief of Detectives for Nassau County. This made her the first African-American woman to attain this rank.
She was named the 47th Annual Law Enforcement Night’s Nassau County Law Enforcement Person-of-the Year in November for her leadership of 351 uniformed police officers.
“She has had a meteoric climb,” Adams’ spokeswoman Evan Thies stated to the Post. Thies pointed out that Sewell, who was the Chief Hostage Negotiator in the County, trained with the FBI and underwent counterterrorism training at Quantio, Virginia’s FBI Academy.
Sewell is also a member of the New York-New Jersey Joint Terrorism Task Force, he said.
Sewell will be replacing outgoing NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, pictured at a press conference at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation Celebration
Sewell was appointed amid rising crime rates and an increase of shooting incidents that have not been seen since mid 2000s.
Sewell stated that she would be “absolutely focused upon crime” in a sitting down interview with The Post. She claimed that ‘violent crimes are the first priority’
According to NYPD statistics, murders increased by 1.4 percent from November 29 through December 5. Grand larceny of autos rose by a staggering 14.1 percent.
The department released a report last week that showed overall crime rose 21.3 percent between November 2020 and November 2021. Robberies increased 24 percent, while felony assaults increased 11 percent.
Also, it noted that “Shootings continue in certain parts of the City, rising both in 2020 and November 2021 at levels not seen in the 2000s.”
“The November shooting incident rate in the city has increased by 2.6 percent compared with last year, and it is up 2 percent for year to-date.”
Sewell was asked about her plans for the solution to the shooting epidemic.
She expressed hope that the assessment will be completed quickly through aggressive meetings with both the police and the community.
Sewell indicated that she hoped to “kind of hit it off the ground running” beginning January 1.
Sewell also supported the use undercover agents in fighting gun and gang violence during her interview with Post, saying that ‘plain clothing units work.
They can go to places that they’re not easily identified. If you apply a surgical approach with well-trained personnel and understand their objectives, you’ll get tangible results.
Adams has pledged to reinstate an anticrime group after it was disbanded in December last year by Dermot shea, the Police Commissioner.
She was also reported to have been critical of the work done by plain-clothes officers in the city and told Adams’ camp that they were doing things wrong.
“If you begin busting heads, they will follow.” [the community]According to an insider, Sewell claimed that they would never work together.
Additionally, she said that she supported the broken windows theory. This holds that when someone is convicted of a minor offense, such as smashing a window, and no one fixes it, then another person might be attracted to do the same thing or commit a much more serious crime.
She stated, “I think it is important to examine quality of life crimes as they can sometimes lead to another thing.”
“You must ensure you are using broken window theory to enforce low-level crime, but not in discriminatory ways, and in a way which addresses the problem, rather than overpolicing it.