Public Advocate's Statement On The Announcement Of The Next Nypd Commissioner

December 15th, 2021

Press Release

"I want to congratulate Chief Keechant Sewell on her selection to become the first female Commissioner of the NYPD. I believe that new leadership from outside the Department’s ranks could be crucial in bringing the changes in culture, policies and practices that are critical as the new administration takes office.

"We need a new era of transparency and accountability, and a new approach to co-producing public safety that recognizes law enforcement’s role without solely relying on it. This means more fully embracing and structuralizing successful strategies such as the crisis management system (CMS) as full partners in public safety. It was very encouraging to see the appointment announced at 696 Queensbridge, a CMS site that has shown impressive results. Amid a nationwide rise in gun violence and other crimes, the work ahead is real and daunting. It will require ignoring the loudest voices that fear monger against any kind of progress, and resisting a push to return to failed over-policing policies of the past. As even the creator of the distorted broken windows theory agreed when I spoke with him many years ago, police do not have to be the ones responsible for fixing a broken window.

"There is an immense amount of work to be done to reimagine and protect public safety, and I look forward to speaking with the incoming Commissioner about what the role of police will be in our city, and how we can create new systems to make and keep New York safe without relearning painful lessons."

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