New York City Mayor Eric Adams has made a groundbreaking announcement today, that Edward Caban has been appointed as the 46th commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD). This historic appointment marks a significant milestone as Caban becomes the first Latino to hold such a prominent position within the nation’s largest police force, which has been in existence for 177 years.
Caban, who previously served as deputy commissioner under Keechant Sewell, the first woman to hold the position and who recently retired after only 18 months on the job, began his career at the NYPD in 1991 at 40th precinct in The Bronx and was the location of today’s announcement by the mayor.
The symbolism of not only selecting an officer from the 40th precinct who worked there when the precinct had one of the highest murder rates in New York City during the tumultuous crimewaves of the 90s as well as a precinct that has been embroiled in controversies due to also being the epicenter of stop and frisk which targeted Black and Latino men does not escape us.
This is not including the recent settlement by the city to pay millions of dollars to protestors that were wrongfully detained and arrested in 2020 during the George Floyd protests that spread across the country. During that incident in the midst of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a city under curfew, officers from the 40th precinct “kettled” in over 300 protestors blocking them from being able to leave the area in time to meet the curfew.
Chaos ensued which resulted in multiple injuries to protestors as a result of their abuse of power.
Caban’s father, a retired NYPD Transit police detective, was by his side during today’s announcement who Caban described as his mentor.
Not only is Caban the first Latino NYPD Commissioner but he’s also the first Puerto Rican from The Bronx to claim this title.
While the NYPD has a contentious history particularly with Blacks and Latinos in The Bronx, this is still a significant moment in the department’s history.
According The New York Times, the Legal Aid Society, which is the largest provider of legal aid for those in need, plans to work with the new commissioner to help him earn the public’s trust in the NYPD.