Juanita Holmes promoted to NYPD Chief of Patrol, first woman to hold role

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Juanita Holmes, who was just promoted last month to Chief of Collaborative Policing, has been promoted again to Chief of Patrol.

The 33-year NYPD veteran is continuing to blaze trails as the first woman to hold the position. She is also one of the highest ranked African-American women in the department.

Holmes was also previously in charge of the School Safety Division.
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Holmes is the only woman to ever hold the position of NYPD Chief of Patrol.

Holmes has 16 immediate family members who are employed by the NYPD with 14 of them serving in the uniformed ranks including her son, a brother, five sisters, two nieces and a nephew.

Related: 20-year NYPD veteran Michael King takes helm of Special Victims Division

On Thursday morning, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Dermot Shea announced her promotion.

She said "equality, fairness and transparency" are at the core of how she says she plans to lead.

With her promotion comes a host of other leadership changes for the NYPD:
- Chief Edward Delatorre has been appointed as Chief of Labor Relations, a critical assignment as the Police Department continues its work in reforming policing to best serve New Yorkers amid the continuing strain of budgetary and personnel challenges.

- Assistant Chief Kim Royster has been appointed to lead in the important arena of transportation as Chief of Transportation.

- Assistant Chief Kathleen O'Reilly has been appointed as Chief of Transit. Assistant Chief O'Reilly has, until this time, served Borough Commander of Manhattan North.

- Deputy Chief Philip Rivera has been appointed Borough Commander of Manhattan North where he most recently served as Executive Officer.

- Inspector Olufunmilola Obe has been appointed as Commander of the School Safety Division.

Chief Holmes says that she considers herself an innovative thinker and a role model.

"I always mentor and say to all the women, it's achievable," she said. "It's not easy, but it's achievable."

The two-star chief still has her eyes on the prize -- top cop in the city.

"Looking at my wonderful Commissioner (Dermot) Shea now and all that he's met with, challenges I can plainly say, yes, I still would never turn that opportunity down," she said.

Related: New NYPD commander looks to rebuild relationship with community

Holmes joined the NYPD in July 1987 and began her career on patrol in the 101 Precinct.

She was promoted to Sergeant in December 1995; Lieutenant in May 2002; Captain in June 2007; Deputy Inspector in August 2009; Inspector in January 2012; Deputy Chief in September 2014; and Assistant Chief in September 2016. She was promoted to Chief of Collaborative Policing in September 2020.

She has served in the 81, 100, 101, 103, 111, and 113 Precincts, as well as Police Service Areas 2 and 8, the Patrol Borough Bronx Investigations Unit, Housing Borough Bronx/Queens, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Training, the Domestic Violence Unit, and the School Safety Division.

On September 16, 2016, Holmes became the first African American woman to serve as Borough Commander in Queens North. She has also served as Commanding Officer of the Domestic Violence Unit, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Training, Police Service Area 2 and the 81 Precinct.

She also served as the Executive Officer of the 100 and 103 Precincts.

Holmes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from St. Joseph's College and is a graduate of the Police Management Institute.

She retired in December 2018 to join the private sector as Global Head of Corporate Security at BNY Mellon, rejoining the department on December 31, 2019.

"New Year's Eve is very special to me," she said. "It's like out with the old in with the new."

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