In a Pix11 interview Tuesday, Mayor-elect Eric Adams confirmed that he has chosen a police commissioner and he will have a Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, in an effort to get law enforcement officials and the mayor’s office to work as a team.
“We have to stop operating in silos,” Adams said. “All of those officers, they wear different patches, but it does not mean they should be on different teams and I want one person to coordinate how we better utilize them.”
Adams pointed out that Mayor Bill de Blasio currently has five deputy mayors including in administration, housing and economic development, operations, strategic initiatives, health and human services. However, he does not have one focused on policing or public safety.
Adams made it clear that this position is not a police commissioner, nor is it a deputy mayor of policing. “We have several law enforcement entities in our city. The police are not the only one, sometimes we miss that.”
In terms of other appointments, Adams is still coy about the specifics. He already announced David Banks as the school’s chancellor, replacing Meisha Porter since she will be stepping down.
He also did not address the possibility he will be working with a new health commissioner instead of current Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi. Adams teased that more appointments will be announced in the coming days.
“I’m going to sit down with the doctor and my leadership team. To look at all of the commissioners and leaders and see if they remain to standard positions that they are in or if they can be used in other parts of the city administration,” Adams said.
As for the police commissioner, he’s narrowed down his search to one final candidate, to be announced in a couple of days.
“I’m just really excited about this decision,” said the mayor-elect. “I gave my staff a difficult task. I gave them a description of what I wanted and I’m just amazed that they were able to actually find what I requested.”
After a bit of silence on the topic, Adams has also commented on the race for City Council speaker, which has yet to be decided. Press reports currently have Queens City Council members Adrienne Adams and Francisco Moya as the frontrunners.
“As I stated from the beginning, I’m not going to be heavy-handed in this race,” Adams said, adding that he has given his analysis of the candidates when colleagues call for his opinion.
“This speaker does not work for me. The speaker works for the people of this city and their fellow city council people. I give my opinion, but it’s up to the council people to determine who the next speaker is going to be,” he said.