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Politics: Mayor candidate Eric Adams’ search for new NYPD commissioner is national in scope, being conducted by staff of ‘dozens’

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  5 takeaways from the New York City mayoral debate The contest to become New York City's next mayor effectively ended early this summer, when Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams won the Democratic primary. © Craig Ruttle/AP New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams, left, and New York City Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa prepare before appearing together during a debate at the NBC 4 New York studios Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in New York. But on Wednesday night, Adams shared a stage with the Republican nominee, Curtis Sliwa, a founder of the Guardian Angels and media personality, for their first debate.

Eric Adams’ search for New York City’s next police commissioner has begun in earnest and is national in scope, according to a top aide who says the Democratic mayoral nominee has enlisted dozens of advisors to conduct the search.

One of the first steps in the selection process will be sending questionnaires to potential candidates, according to Adams’ spokesman Evan Thies, who noted that remaining candidates would then be vetted and interviewed.

Thies, who declined to share the entire questionnaire, sent the Daily News a small sampling of the questions, and said that if Adams defeats Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa in November’s general election, he’ll be ready to hit the ground running with the search once the results are in.

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New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams arrives for the grand opening of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, a skyscraper observatory on Manhattan's iconic 42nd Street, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in New York. © Provided by New York Daily News New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams arrives for the grand opening of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, a skyscraper observatory on Manhattan's iconic 42nd Street, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in New York.

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“Eric isn’t waiting until he’s elected the next mayor of New York to find the best candidate to run the NYPD. He launched a national search so that he and his transition team can begin interviewing just days after the November 2 election if he is elected mayor,” Thies said. “Eric tapped dozens of law enforcement, police reform and criminal justice experts and advocates to put together a battery of questions for each candidate to answer in order to qualify for a formal review.”

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Some of the questions include:

-How will you work to recruit civilian talent in positions such as IT, legal and other positions that can benefit the organization?

-How do you drive your vision for success through assessment and promotion of officers?

-What role do you think the community should play in defining and achieving public safety goals?

-There is tremendous tension between those who want to decrease police and those who want to increase the NYPD, especially in light of increasing hate crimes. What would be your plan to balance those two opposing views to increase safety in NYC?

Adams, who is expected to win handily in November thanks to the city’s vast majority of Democratic voters, continues to keep the names of candidates close to his vest, but he said during the primary that the next police commissioner would be a woman and is thought to be considering candidates within the NYPD for the role, including NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes, as well as prospects outside the city.

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“His criteria for the position includes his requirement that the next head of the police department possess both criminal justice expertise and emotional intelligence,” Thies said.

Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams tours Sunset Park on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York. © Provided by New York Daily News Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams tours Sunset Park on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York.

Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams tours Sunset Park on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York. (Tim Balk/)

Adams is also considering the idea of bifurcating the role of commissioner. Under that scenario, the commissioner would serve as the public face of the department and be responsible for its general direction and the “big picture,” according to Thies. The chief of department would handle more of the day-to-day management of the department.

Among those on Adams’ police commissioner search team are former NYPD Chief of Department Phillip Banks, whose brother David Banks is considered a leading candidate to become the next schools chancellor, and Karol Mason, president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Other members of the committee include Elizabeth Velez, chairwoman of the New York Building Congress, and Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation.

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Adams’ overall transition is being overseen by Sheena Wright, head of United Way of New York City. Wright is in a long term relationship with David Banks and is also a candidate to become Adams’ first deputy mayor.

Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams is surrounded by supporters in Sunset Park on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York. © Tim Balk Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams is surrounded by supporters in Sunset Park on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York.

Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams is surrounded by supporters in Sunset Park on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York. (Tim Balk/)

Of all the candidates Adams is considering for major appointments, Banks is considered the most likely to be a shoo-in. Other names floated for that post include John King, an education secretary under President Obama, and Shael Polakow-Suransky, a deputy schools chancellor under Mayor Bloomberg.

From Dinkins to Adams: What progressives see in New York’s 2nd Black mayor .
The condition New York City was in some 30 years ago was pretty similar to today: racial tension, crime concerns, economic pressure. So for many, David Dinkins, the city’s first Black mayor, was a welcome change at such a contentious time — unseating three-term incumbent Ed Koch. Some 12,000 people showed up at City Hall Park to see Dinkins sworn in. © Provided by NBC News “I stand before you today as the elected leader of the greatest city of a great nation, to which my ancestors were brought, chained and whipped in the hold of a slave ship,” he said then, according to The New York Times.

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