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Updated: July 17, 2023, 6:44 PM

Edward Caban named NYPD commissioner in history-making appointment

By Anthony M. DeStefano

Edward Caban was named NYPD police commissioner Monday, removing the "acting" title he assumed after Keechant's Sewell's abrupt resignation three weeks ago and also becoming the department's first Hispanic top cop.

Caban, 55, who started with the NYPD in 1991 as a patrol officer, assumed command as the city ‘s 46th commissioner after a ceremony at the Bronx precinct where he began his career as well as a steady rise through the ranks.

Until July 1, when he was named acting commissioner after Sewell's departure, Caban had been her first deputy commissioner.

“This is an amazing moment not only for the Hispanic community but our entire city,” said Mayor Eric Adams as he appointed Caban at 10:36 a.m. on the steps of the 40th Precinct on Alexander Avenue.

“He is a leader who understands the importance of safety and justice," Adams said.

In explaining what went into Caban being the final choice to lead the NYPD, the mayor said: “We know we have to get it right, we know we have to get the right person."

Caban is also seen by law enforcement sources as a commissioner who will follow Adams’ agenda on policing and crime.

For his part, Caban, who is Puerto Rican, told Adams, other city officials, as well as department brass and the rank-and-file, that he was "humbled to be on your team."

The crowd cheered and began chanting “Eddie! Eddie!"

A married Manhattan resident with two children, Caban takes on what is widely considered the top policing job in the country, but at a time when the crime picture is in flux. Serious felonies, as well as shootings, are generally down by more than 20% from the prior year but polls have indicated public concern and anxiety over the random nature of some high profile stabbings, murders and subway attacks. Retail crime has spiked in some areas. And Caban faces a rank-and-file force that has fallen in numbers because of retirements and resignations to just over 34,000.

”We know he knows what New York City police officers are going through right now and that strong leadership is needed to reverse the current staffing crisis,” PBA president Patrick Hendry said of Caban in a statement.

Adams and Caban mentioned Sewell by name almost a dozen times at the precinct ceremony, lauding her efforts to reduce crime. Law enforcement sources have said Sewell quit after only 18 months because she felt undermined by Adams, especially in the area of approving promotions.

Sewell sometimes seemed uncomfortable courting the news media. In contrast, the outgoing Caban likes to have small talk with news reporters.

On Monday, Adams also appointed Tania Kinsella, former commander of the 120th Precinct on Staten Island and recently executive officer of the patrol services bureau, to fill Caban’s old post as top deputy. Kinsella, who joined the department in 2003 and is of Jamaican and Guyanese descent, is the first woman of color to hold the job of first deputy commissioner. Alice McGillion was the first woman appointed to the post in 1989.