New York City Mayor Eric Adams has appointed acting police chief Edward Caban as the first Hispanic police commissioner in the city’s 178-year history.
Caban, who joined the department as a young patrol officer in 1991 and rose through the ranks, was sworn in Monday and will oversee the largest police force in the United States.
Keep readinglist of 3 items
Adams administered the oath of office in front of the Bronx stationhouse where Caban started his career, and praised his new police commissioner as “representative of this blue-collar city”.
Caban, the son of a transit police officer who served with Adams when the now-mayor was on the transit force, said he joined the New York City Police Department (NYPD) as “a young Puerto Rican kid” at a time when when “the top bosses of the police department didn’t really look like me”.
His beaming father, retired Detective Juan Caban, and other family members joined Caban as he was sworn in as the city’s top police official who will supervise roughly 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilian employees.
Edward Caban has played a central role in driving crime down these last 18 months. With 30 years experience, he is the right choice to be our next NYPD Commissioner.
A Bronx native and our first Latino commissioner, he's an inspiration to our city.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) July 17, 2023
Caban thanked Adams for choosing him.
“To be the first Hispanic police commissioner is an honour of the highest measure,” Caban said.
Caban, 55, has served as acting commissioner since the resignation of Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who announced last month that she was stepping down after 18 months.
Sewell, the first woman to lead the department, did not provide a reason for her resignation, but there had been speculation that other officials including Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III, an Adams ally, were undermining her authority.
Adams and Caban both praised Sewell, who did not attend her successor’s swearing-in.
“Commissioner Sewell smashed a glass ceiling,” Caban said, “and she did so with grace, confidence and honour”.
Adams said Caban, who served as first deputy commissioner under Sewell, had “worked side by side with Commissioner Sewell to deliver double-digit decreases in shootings and murders”.
The amount of crime is down in New York City over the last three months, including a 17 percent reduction in shootings and a 3 percent drop in homicides in June compared to the same month in 2022, department data showed.
Caban had worked in several precincts across the city as he climbed the ranks from patrol officer to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, executive officer, commanding officer, deputy inspector, inspector and first deputy commissioner.
The police department he will lead is more diverse than the largely white and male police force he joined 32 years ago.
According to department figures, 31 percent of uniformed officers are Hispanic, a slightly higher number than the 29 percent of the city’s population identified as Hispanic by the US Census Bureau.
About 11 percent of the department’s officers are Asian and about 16 percent are Black, compared with a city population that is about 14 percent Asian and 24 percent Black.