An NYPD Blue breakthrough
The NYPD’s first Black woman to become a threestar chief has now become the first woman to be named the department’s chief of patrol, officials announced Thursday.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Chief Juanita Holmes’ promotion during Mayor de Blasio’s press briefing Thursday morning.
“She has walked the walk and talked the talk,” Shea said as Holmes sat nearby. “She understands this city and she understands the importance of neighborhood policing. She’s the complete package and I couldn’t be more proud to be here with her.”
In her new role, Holmes will be responsible for all uniformed police officers in the department.
Holmes has been in charge of the office of collaborative policing, which oversees partnerships with other government agencies and with community groups. The boost makes her the third most powerful person in the NYPD, under Shea and Chief of Department Terence Monahan.
She is replacing retiring Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo, who left the NYPD after weeks of friction with the mayor over the city’s George Floyd protests. Sources said the mayor badgered Pichardo with calls and text, to the point where he felt he was being treated as a whipping boy.
De Blasio denied those allegations and claimed Pichardo’s departure was simply “a decision based on personal and family factors.”
Holmes’ elevation comes as the NYPD shuffles the decks at police headquarters and adds more minorities to the NYPD’s highest positions. The promotions and reassignments will be effective Friday, Shea said.
Shea announced Thursday that Chief Ed Delatorre, the current head of NYPD Transit Bureau, will be moving to the Labor Relations Bureau.
Replacing Delatorre will be Assistant Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, the current head of Manhattan North, who will be getting a third star with the new assignment.
Delatorre’s relationship with the MTA has soured over the last year, transit sources said. The chief hasn’t attended board meetings since last November and he was unhappy with the MTA’s decision to split with the NYPD and hire 500 new cops on its own, sources said.
Shea has also moved Chief Kim Royster to head the Transportation Bureau to fill a vacancy left by Chief William Morris, who died from COVID-19 complications earlier this year.
“(These officers) represent all of New York City,” said de Blasio. “A police force that understands the people of this city will be more effective.”
Holmes comes from a large law enforcement family — her son, a brother, three sisters, two nieces and a nephew are all part of the NYPD and another sister is a retired sergeant — and said she was grateful and humbled by the promotion.
“I have 16 immediate family members who serve with me in the department and I have the NYPD family, they’re my inherited family and my chosen family,” Holmes said. “I wouldn’t be there without them.”
Chief Juanita Holmes was elevated to the No. 3 post in the NYPD on Thursday. She is the first Black woman to hold that position and is responsible for all uniformed officers.