Mayor-elect Eric Adams is mulling a short list of candidates — including frontrunners former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, Philadelphia top cop Danielle Outlaw and former Newark Police Chief Ivonne Roman — to take the reins of the NYPD, The Post has learned.
The diverse list of successors for Police Commissioner Dermot Shea — the third white Irish-American cop under Mayor Bill de Blasio — has been narrowed down to six to eight women, multiple sources with knowledge of the nationwide search told The Post.
Leading the pack are Best, Outlaw and Roman, and the Adams campaign started making calls to candidates last week to gauge interest, sources said.
“It is a true nationwide search but it’s mostly going to come down to a few candidates, including Outlaw and Best,” a source said.
“They are both extraordinary police officers. Outlaw has more executive experience, while Best is viewed as a cops’ cop who is liked by Fox News and MSNBC viewers.”
The five-person search committee, which notably lacks a woman and is led by former NYPD Police Chief Philip Banks, is currently vetting the list.
The incoming Adams administration is expected to announce his pick in the coming weeks now that the former NYPD captain has sailed to victory over Curtis Sliwa, sources said.
Here’s a closer look at who could next run the country’s largest police department:
Outlaw became the first black woman to be named police commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, the fourth largest police force in the county, last year. But she faced public backlash after a scathing report over the police response to the George Floyd protests.
The report from the city’s controller blamed “failure of leadership” and “lack of planning” that led to tear gas being used on peaceful demonstrators and inconsistent use of force by police during the separate demonstrations across the city.
She also served as the chief of Portland Police from October 2017 to December 2019 and started her career in law enforcement at the Oakland Police Department in California, where she worked for 20 years.
Outlaw’s experience leading two separate police departments landed her on Adams’ short list, according to insiders.
“Her coming to Philadelphia as a black woman and an outsider shows she can handle that kind of challenge,” a source said.
Best had a 28-year career with the Seattle Police Department, a small force of just only 1,400 uniformed officers, before she retired last year as police chief — a top position she held for only a few tumultuous months.
During her short tenure in the summer of 2020, the department surrendered the East Precinct to anti-cop protesters, who created the lawless Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, where at least two people were shot dead.
Best, though, has said the retreat was not her decision and wanted to retake the abandoned precinct but the city “relented to severe public pressure.” She resigned after the city council voted to reduce the police force headcount.
Sources say Best caught the incoming administration’s attention with her refusal to give into overreach from the city council and her track record of standing up for the rank-and-file, including sacrificing her six-figure salary by stepping down.
Roman retired from the Newark Police Department, New Jersey’s largest police agency, in 2020 after 25 years and her name has been in the mix to take over the Columbus Police Department in Ohio earlier this year, reports say.
She was a key player in negotiating the consent decree — a legally binding set of reforms — between the Brick City police department and the Justice Department.
The former police executive co-founded the 30×30 Initiative, along with the Policing Project, to increase the representation of women in police forces across the country. The NYPD signed onto the group’s pledge earlier this year.
Juanita Holmes, who was named the NYPD’s first female chief of patrol last October, is also being considered — but isn’t likely to be chosen, sources said.
Sources told The Post that Holmes — who is close to de Blasio’s wife first lady Chirlane McCray and, after her return to the NYPD in 2019, was rumored to be the heir apparent to Shea — now says she’s not interested in the gig.
But an insider told The Post that Adams appears to believe Holmes isn’t the right fit. It’s unclear if that’s because she’s not an outsider — which he promised to pick as top cop — or if he has other gripes about the chief.
“Juanita knew she wasn’t going to get it, so she’s saving face,” the source added.
Former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s name has also been floated over the last few months — but sources say she was never a real candidate.
“Loretta Lynch would never apply unless she was guaranteed the job and I think that’s the same thing about Juanita,” a source said.