On 1 January 2022, Keechant Sewell, 49, took office as the first female chief of the New York City Police Department.

New York City’s new mayor, Eric Adams, who was elected to the mayor’s office last November and inaugurated on 1 January 2022, has appointed Keechant Sewell to head the 35,000-officer New York City Police Department (NYPD). This makes her the third black person to head the NYPD, and the first woman ever. With 23 years of police experience, Keechant Sewell has worked in various units, including narcotics, priority homicide, hostage negotiation, and most recently as the director of the Nassau County Investigations Department. Keechant Sewell is determined to bring down the crime rate, which has risen sharply during the pandemic.

Fighting crime is her priority

The public has a fragile and fractious relationship with its police force, and this new appointment to head the NYPD could help restore that bond. As well as being a turning point in American history, Keechant Sewell is aware of the stakes, and that she is at a pivotal moment in the city’s history. She said that her priority would be to fight crime and to represent all aspects of New York: “I am committed to making the police force look like the city it serves, and to ensuring that women and people of colour rise to positions of responsibility.

 A highly strategic position: fighting crime is one of the top concerns of New Yorkers in the municipal elections.

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