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NYPD's First Deputy Commissioner Caban holds distinction as highest-ranking Hispanic in the force

News 12 spoke with Caban at police headquarters, where he discussed his efforts to create change and build on his father's legacy.

News 12 Staff

Oct 16, 2022, 2:08 AM

Updated 610 days ago


First Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD Edward Caban rose through the ranks to become the highest-ranking Hispanic in the department.
He is also the only Puerto Rican to ever hold the position.
News 12 spoke with Caban at police headquarters, where he discussed his efforts to create change and build on his father's legacy.
"I'm just a normal guy, an everyday New Yorker just like you, just like everybody out on that street. I love my community," Caban said.
Caban described himself as just a kid from the "Boogie Down" Bronx with deep Hispanic roots.
"I'm third-generation Puerto Rican. My parents, parents are from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Born and raised in the Bronx. My parents were raised in Harlem," he said.
Caban said he had a passion to protect, and so he joined New York's finest in 1991 on patrol in the South Bronx.
"Over my 30 years, working in 10 different commands, I've criss-crossed three boroughs, I worked 10 years in the Bronx, I worked 10 years in Manhattan North and 10 years in Brooklyn North," Caban recounted.
The father of two and husband to Leidy shared one of his fondest memories on the force.
"In the 90s working in the Bronx as a lieutenant, I had an opportunity to work every Yankee game and watch them win four World Series out of five. It was probably the best times of my career," he recalled.
Caban said he didn't need convincing to join the department -- his recruiter was the person he simply called dad.
"He was a first-grade detective of the New York City Transit Police Department. He was the driving force in telling me the only way you can make change is by being at the top. That's your way to helping others coming up behind you," Caban said.
His father's picture -- and the inspiration behind his career -- now hangs on a wall in his office.
"He always taught me and I'll always remember it's not what you have on your tool belt that's going to help you in the streets -- it's your mouth. How you talk to people, how you treat them," he said.
Caban said in his early days, he didn't quite see the possibilities of what he could become in the department.
"There wasn't faces that looked like me in the New York City Police Department," he said. Now he's the highest-ranking Hispanic in the NYPD, leading the largest police force in the nation.
Caban said he hopes to inspire other Hispanics and Latinos who join the force in that it will enable them to see that they too can rise through the ranks when they work hard.
As News 12 toured Caban's office at police headquarters, a photo of when he was promoted was on display.
"That's when I was sworn in as First Deputy Commissioner. It signifies pride not only for myself but standing next to the first African American female who shattered the glass ceiling -- 177 years -- those two next to each other, that's pride to me," Caban enthused.
While Caban said he didn't see himself represented in the early days of his career, three decades later he's confident that others now will.

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