De Blasio adds ‘Rooney Rule’ to NYPD to create diversity in upper ranks

March 31, 2021 By

By Craig McCarthy and Nolan Hicks | NY Post | March 31, 2021 | 1:14pm | Updated

The NYPD will now have to interview at least one candidate from an “underrepresented” race for any open position in its upper ranks, according to a new executive order signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio Wednesday.

The new rule — modeled after the NFL’s Rooney Rule — requires the department to “conduct a meaningful interview of at least one qualified applicant for each open position who is of a race that is underrepresented in senior positions at the NYPD.”

It will apply to all open precinct commander spots and any position above the rank of captain — with nearly 75 percent of those roles currently held by white cops.

Only 108 of the 414 — or 26 percent — senior positions in the NYPD ranks affected by the new rule are held by a person of color, according to department data. One in 10 of those roles are held by women, the data shows.

De Blasio, along with the chair of the Committee on Public Safety councilwoman Adrienne Adams and former chair Vanessa Gibson, touted the executive order Wednesday as a meaningful change to help diversify the ranks.

De Blasio, who has appointed three white men to the NYPD’s top job during his time in office, faced blowback in 2019 when he tapped Dermot Shea to replace James O’Neill as the NYPD’s police commissioner instead of a person of color.

The mayor said he has no regrets about appointing Shea, saying “we are talking about something much bigger than who is the commissioner.”

“I think it needs to be systemic, which is why we have the executive order.”

Last month, Shea appointed Chief Rodney Harrison to replace Terence Monahan as the city’s highest uniform officer, chief of department.

Harrison, who was the first black man to serve as chief of detectives, was officially sworn in Tuesday.

Last year, the department named NYPD Chief Juanita Holmes to chief of patrol, the first female to be appointed to the spot.

No one from the NYPD was present at the announcement.

The NFL’s Rooney Rule was established in the early 2000s and later expanded to require teams to consider at least one diverse candidate for a head coach, general managers and other front-office positions.