Mayor Adams Forges Ahead with Phil Banks to Serve as Public Safety Deputy

Mayor Adams Forges Ahead with Phil Banks to Serve as Public Safety Deputy

By Yehudit Garmaise

Mayor Eric Adams has named Phil Banks, who previously served as NYPD’s chief of department, to serve as the city’s top public safety deputy.

Adams, who served under Banks as a police officer, has counted him as a close friend for years.

In addition, Banks has advised Adams’ transition team on public safety issues for months: working out of the NYPD’s downtown Manhattan headquarters and helping to interview candidates for top positions in the department, such as NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.

As deputy mayor of public safety, Banks will play a major role in implementing Adams’ agenda to drive down crime, such as by reinstating a controversial plainclothes anti-crime unit as an anti-gun unit. 

Banks is also ”likely to serve as Adams’ eyes and ears inside the department,” the NY Daily News said.

Banks’ appointment was controversial, however, because in 2014, Banks abruptly retired from his high-ranking NYPD post while the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office investigated accusations that he participated in a shady corruption scheme that had resulted indictments against other several top city and police officials.

Federal investigators had initiated a sweeping public corruption probe that resulted in time in jail time for the former head of the jails union Norman Seabrook and several top police officials, including ex-deputy chief Michael Harrington.

After Banks was named an “unindicted co-conspirator,” and he pled the Fifth [amendment, which allows for the right to remain silent], to avoid having to testify in court after, the former chief of department was never formally charged with a crime. 

In a New York Daily News Op-Op today, where Banks announced his new role, he pushed back against the former allegations and proclaimed his innocence.

“The central theme of the reports about my involvement in the corruption scheme was that I was party to it; that I traded favors as a senior NYPD official for some form of compensation,” Banks wrote. “That is 100% false.” 

 Other members of the NYPD, such as NYPD Detective Paul DiGiacomo, stand behind Adams’ decision to stick with Banks.

“We stand with Mayor Adams as we work together to reclaim our city’s streets for our citizens,” said DiGiacomo, who is the president of the Detective Endowment Association. “Phil Banks knows what must be done.”

Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Be in the know

receive BoroPark24’s news & updates on whatsapp

 Start Now

Photo Gallery: Uvos Ibunim in Beis Medrash Skever 12th Avenue
  • Jan 8 2022
  • |
  • 7:35 PM

TONIGHT: Klausenberger Kehillah and Capital Plus Present an Evening Focused on Finances
  • Jan 6 2022
  • |
  • 8:37 PM