Chief Juanita Holmes becomes highest-ranking Black woman in NYPD history

Juanita Holmes became the first Black woman to rise to three-star chief in the NYPD, but before this promotion--she had retired for about a year.

News 12 Staff

Oct 27, 2020, 2:39 AM

Updated 1,305 days ago

Share:

Juanita Holmes became the first Black woman to rise to three-star chief in the NYPD, but before this promotion--she had retired for about a year.
Holmes says after retiring for a year, she came back with a goal to restore trust within the community.
She says her goals were originally a little different.
"I was in the medical field, my bachelors was in medical, I thought I wanted to be a doctor,” said Holmes.
Her personality, as she puts it, is strong--but it’s her leadership that is now being put to the test.
"I'm used to being challenged, but it's a different time now,” said Holmes. A time in which she says her promotion has made her the highest-ranking Black woman in NYPD history.
She says this is also a tumultuous time for officers and the communities they serve.
"How do we go overnight from neighborhood policing to now being met with being the police department that perpetuates systemic racism?" said Holmes.
This is an accusation that Holmes says she grapples with now as the head of collaborative policing.
She says she is breaking barriers and what she says is the perception of a “Blue Wall of Silence” protecting police.
"Even if the vast majority wants to keep people safe -- if there is one bad apple it needs to be dealt with and dealt with swiftly,” said Holmes.
As the head of collaborative policing, Holmes is tasked with fostering government and community partnerships. She says her office focuses on “non-enforcement” options for police.


More from News 12