Incoming mayor Adams expected to name first woman NYPD commissioner in coming days

Incoming mayor Eric Adams’ promised choice of the city’s first female police commissioner appears imminent, with a number of candidates still in the mix for the history-making selection.

The decision could come as soon as Monday, sources said, with former Seattle chief Carmen Best and current Philadelphia top cop Danielle Outlaw considered by many as the two leading candidates to break the gender barrier atop the nation’s largest police department.

“Carmen Best is looking like the one, (but) that could change,” said a source with knowledge of the process.

Mayor Elect Eric Adams in the Bronx on November 25, 2021.
Mayor Elect Eric Adams in the Bronx on November 25, 2021. (Theodore Parisienne/for New York Daily News)

The incoming mayor’s pick will face a number of daunting challenges, including the NYPD’s frayed community relations, the sagging morale of the rank and file, and the city’s pandemic surge in gun violence.

Best resigned as police chief in August 2020 after the Seattle City Council moved to cut police funding, while Outlaw insisted Thursday that her attention remained on the City of Brotherly Love.

“I think it’s a rumor that is just out there,” she said. “It’s wild and it’s out of control … it’s quite flattering quite frankly, but I will tell you I am still continuing to focus on my work here.”

Seattle Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best smiles at a news conference in 2017.
Seattle Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best smiles at a news conference in 2017. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Multiple sources confirmed three-star NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey was the choice for the police Chief of Department under the new administration despite a recent controversy.

Maddrey stepped in to void the arrest of a retired police officer busted on Nov. 24 for brandishing a firearm at three youths in Brownsville after their basketball hit his family’s storefront camera. The website The City reported on Maddrey’s intervention in the case.

The most notable top internal candidate for commissioner remains NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes, according to sources.

A pair of former NYPD chiefs offered different takes on Best’s candidacy, with one hearing she was the choice while another said her selection was not etched in stone.

In this Aug. 5, 2019, file photo, Danielle Outlaw poses for a photo in Portland, Ore.
In this Aug. 5, 2019, file photo, Danielle Outlaw poses for a photo in Portland, Ore. (Craig Mitchelldyer/AP)

Another source indicated the pool of choices was down at least one candidate: Janet DiFiore, chief judge of New York Court of Appeals and former Westchester district attorney, bowed out of the running.

A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration, which is run by DiFiore, said he knew nothing about whether the judge was ever eyeing the job.

Best, who served 28 years with the Seattle Police Department, is likely to face questions about the night when her officers abandoned a police precinct during the George Floyd protests, with activists turning the areas into a “no cop” protest zone. She abruptly departed the job in August 2020.

Adams began reviewing potential candidates for the top spot even before his November election, with a top aide promising a national search with input from a team of law enforcement, police reform and criminal justice experts.

Among the other candidates mentioned since ex-NYPD captain Adams’ November election are former U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, currently practicing law at the white-shoe firm Paul Weiss, and several members of the department: Chief Judith Harrison, who oversees precincts in north Brooklyn, Chief of Transportation Kim Royster and Assistant Chief Donna Jones, who runs the Criminal Justice Bureau.

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