The NYPD’s Chief of Community Affairs, Phillip Banks, has been tapped to replace the long-serving Chief of Department Joseph Esposito, who is retiring after 40 years, police officials said.
The post, held by Esposito for the past 12 years, is the highest uniformed rank in the 34,000-officer department, overseeing patrol and all other divisions.
Banks, who is 50 years old and African-American, has 26 years on the job. In addition to running community affairs, he commanded Patrol Borough Manhattan North, two Brooklyn precincts, and the Central Park precincts, among others.
“Phil Banks has proven himself time and again to be as outstanding a field commander, adept in managing police personnel and operations, as he has a consummate builder of community relations whose robust School Safety and Juvenile Justice Divisions, as well as New-Immigrant Outreach and Crime Prevention programs, flourished under his command.” Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Esposito, meanwhile, is slated to testify in the ongoing racially charged stop-and-frisk class-action trial sometime in the next couple of weeks.