Adams’s spokesperson Evan Thies confirmed on Tuesday that Sewell was chosen by the mayor-elect among a field of potential candidates within the New York Police Department (NYPD) and other police departments around the U.S.
Sewell’s appointment was seen as one of the most important for Adams as he begins filling out his administration.
A source close to Adams told the Times that the mayor-elect had been impressed with Sewell’s confidence and competence and her experience working undercover.
Keechant Sewell spent 23 years with the Nassau Police Department working in the narcotics and major cases units, and as a hostage negotiator.
Sewell was then promoted to chief investigator of the department in September 2020, the Times reported.
In a statement, Adams called Sewell “a proven crime-fighter with the experience and emotional intelligence to deliver both the safety New Yorkers need and the justice they deserve.”
Sewell, the city’s third Black police commissioner, is set to take over as questions of American policing have created efforts to reduce policing in communities even though crimes are higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adams, the city’s second Black mayor, has criticized the defund the police movement and vowed to remove guns from the streets, saying the city will be more proactive in removing abusive officers from its department as well, The Times noted.
Chief Sewell’s appointment is expected to be announced on Wednesday.