As the first Latino to head the 178-year-old agency, Edward Caban, who joined the New York Police Department as a young patrol officer in 1991 and advanced through the ranks, was sworn in as police commissioner on Monday.
Before the Bronx stationhouse where Caban began his career, Mayor Eric Adams took the oath of office and commended his new police commissioner as “representative of this blue-collar city.”
During Adams’ time as a transit police officer, Caban, the son of a transit police officer, said he joined the NYPD as “a young Puerto Rican kid” at a period when “the top bosses of the police department didn’t really look like me.” Adams is now the mayor.
As Caban took the oath of office as the city’s top cop, his beaming father, retired detective Juan Caban, and other family members stood with him. Caban expressed his gratitude to Adams for appointing him to lead the 33,000-person police force.
To be the first Hispanic police commissioner is an honor of the highest order,” stated Caban. Keechant Sewell, who announced her departure last month after 18 months, has been replaced as acting commissioner by Caban, 55.
Adams and Caban both praised Sewell, who did not attend the swearing-in of her successor.
Sewell, the first woman to lead the department, did not give a reason for her resignation, but there had been rumors that other officials, including Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III, an ally of Adams, were involved.
“Commissioner Sewell smashed a glass ceiling,” Caban added. “And she did so with grace, confidence, and honor.” Under Sewell’s leadership, Adams claimed Caban, who held the position of first deputy commissioner, had “worked side by side with Commissioner Sewell to deliver double-digit decreases in shootings and murders.”
As he advanced through the ranks from patrol officer to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, executive officer, commanding officer, deputy inspector, inspector, and first deputy commissioner, Caban worked in several precincts throughout the city.
The largest police force in the country that he will manage is more diverse than the predominantly white and male police force that he joined 32 years ago. According to department statistics, 31% of uniformed officers are Hispanic, which is slightly more than the Census Bureau’s estimate of 29% of the city’s population who identify as Hispanic.
In comparison to the city’s around 14% Asian and 24% Black population, approximately 11% of the department’s officers are Asian and approximately 16% are Black.