Nassau County Chief of Detectives Keechant Sewell is set to make history as the first-ever female police commissioner of the New York Police Department.

A representative for Mayor-elect Eric Adams confirmed reports Tuesday night that the incoming mayor has appointed Sewell, a former Queens resident, as the city’s next top cop. Adams and Sewell are set to make the announcement official at a press conference Wednesday morning at the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, where Sewell was born and raised.

The selection ends a lengthy vetting process in which Adams considered candidates from across the country seeking to lead the nation’s largest police force. Current Police Commissioner Dermot Shea is retiring at the end of this calendar year.

Sewell made history in September 2020 when she was named the first Black female Chief of Detectives for the Nassau County Police Department, where she spent 22 years on the job, as Newsday reported. Adams himself a former ranking NYPD officer who campaigned with a strategy of being tough on crime while continuing to support police officers and build a stronger relationship with the community.

If and when she takes office, Sewell will be coming into the NYPD at a time when the city faces higher crime rates in recent months, fueled largely by property thefts. Shootings continue to occur at rates higher than what the city experienced before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outgoing Nassau County Executive Laura Curran offered Sewell congratulations on her appointment as the NYPD’s top cop, as did the Police Benevolent Association, the union representing the city’s uniformed police officers.

“We welcome Chief Sewell to the second-toughest policing job in America. The toughest, of course, is being an NYPD cop on the street,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. “New York City police officers have passed our breaking point. We need to fix that break in order to get our police department and our city back on course. We look forward to working with her to accomplish that goal.”

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