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.

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