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To the editor:
Most New Yorkers who have followed the tenure of NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell would say that she has done well since she took office. She hasn’t made any big mistakes and she appears to be a role model for women as the first female police commissioner in city history.
However, it is reasonable to wonder whether she will remain in office through Mayor Eric Adams’ term in office. She is strong and independent and not one who is willing to kowtow to politicians or their friends who might try to push her around. She didn’t hesitate to end the police career of Adams’ friend, former NYPD Chief of Training Juanita Holmes for the ludicrous stunt of inviting rapper Cardi B to an event at the New York Police Academy for entertainment and to allow Cardi B to fulfill part of her court-ordered community service for her part in an assault in a Queens strip club.
Mayor Adams immediately named Holmes as NYC Probation Department commissioner, calling her a dynamic leader who understands the importance of safety and justice.
After being rejected by Sewell, Holmes went behind the commissioner’s back to get Adams to eliminate the requirement for police recruits to complete the 1-1/2 mile run in 14 minutes and 21 seconds. Sewell considers this to be lowering the standards to become a police officer, and 95 percent of the NYPD would probably agree with her.
It is worth noting that Sewell is one of the few people working for the mayor who was not a friend or confidant of Adams before getting the job. Loyalty to Adams is probably not going to trump Sewell’s ethical considerations or self-respect. I can see PC Sewell asking Adams whether she is in charge of the NYPD, or whether Juanita Holmes is the boss, or whether Philip Banks, the deputy mayor of NYC for public safety (and Banks the unindicted co-conspirator in an expansive corruption scheme that led to the criminal conviction of his close friend, Norman Seabrook) is the boss. I hope Keechant Sewell stays on the job as commissioner, but Adams may very well make it a very difficult choice for her.
Michael J. Gorman
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Wednesday, March 15, 2023 Report this