THE BRONX (WABC) -- Edward Caban was raised in the Bronx and has been an NYPD officer for the past 31 years. Earlier this year, he became First Deputy Commissioner for the largest police department in the country.
"I represent every member of this department. But it's important to also make sure that minorities have a seat at the table when decisions are being made," Caban says.
That is something that First deputy Commissioner Caban says meant a lot to his father, Juan, who was an NYPD Transit detective and led its Hispanic Society.
"He was one of the guys who fought. And I was so proud of my father," said Caban.
Caban called himself a true New Yorican - third generation, raised in the Bronx, with roots in Ponce. He and three of his brothers joined the department with their dad's encouragement.
"My father kept on telling me, 'take those exams, you want to go to the top,'" adds Caban.
Caban began his service patrolling the Bronx in 1991.
"The City of New York had over two thousand homicides. About five thousand shootings. We would go to shootings every single day. It was a tough time. And now in 2022, we've come a long way. But we still have a lot of work to do for our residents of the City of New York," he says.
In that time, the number of department members with Hispanic heritage has nearly quadrupled to 14,000 - Caban is the highest ranking in its history.
"It's an honor and a privilege for me, but I think it also signals to the entire NYPD - it should reflect the City of New York and who we serve," says Caban.
His biggest promotion early this year would also come with challenges.
"During those first 40 days, we have seven officers shot. Two fatally. That was probably the most difficult time of my career, of my 30-year career," he added.