NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced Wednesday afternoon the appointment of the new Chief of Department, Phil Banks III, who is replacing out-going chief Joseph Esposito.
Banks has been on the force for 26 years, and is currently the Chief of Community Affairs. The Chief of Department is the highest-ranking uniformed member of the NYPD.
Kelly praised Banks as a "consummate builder of community relations" and said the School Safety and Juvenile Justice Divisions and the New-Immigrant Outreach and Crime Prevention programs "flourished under his command."
Banks, 50, joined the NYPD in 1986, starting out as a patrol officer in the Bushwick/Bed-Stuy area.
First promoted to Sergeant in 1994, he rose steadily through the ranks, earning a promotion every two to three years, and served in six different precincts, as well as a patrol unit in south Brooklyn, the Harbor Unit, and the School Safety Division Investigations Unit.
Banks was born in Crown Heights and now lives in Queens with his wife of 24 years. He is a father of three. His own father was a lieutenant in the NYPD who served for 26 years. His positions included co-director of the Police Commissioner's security detail and Executive Officer in the Bias Crimes Unit.
Banks will be officially promoted in ceremonies Thursday afternoon.
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