By Bill Parry
There’s been a changing of the guard at NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North.
Assistant Chief Martin Morales took over the Flushing-based command, which oversees operations of police precincts located in the northern half of Queens, replacing Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes after her 32-year career in the NYPD.
Holmes, one of the highest ranking African American women in the NYPD, announced her retirement earlier this month to move into the private sector.
Holmes announced the command transition on Twitter Saturday, Dec. 22, offering her congratulations to Morales saying “passing of the torch is a bittersweet moment for me” but she could rest assured that both the command and the community were in good hands.
Morales was the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Domestic Violence Unit which works with each of the five borough district attorneys to build stronger evidence-based cases to hold offenders accountable while collaborating with numerous victim’s advocacy groups “working together for victims rights, to give them hope, and most importantly provide them with safety,” he tweeted.
Morales could not be reached for comment but he thanked the police commissioner for entrusting him with the command.
“To all officers and residents of all neighborhoods of Queens North, I’m looking forward to meeting and working with all of you,” Morales said on Twitter.
Holmes was the commander of the Domestic Violence Unit before she was put in charge of Queens Borough North in 2016, becoming the NYPD’s first female African-American borough commander.
Upon hearing of her retirement, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Holmes had served the people of New York City with a confident professionalism earned through experience.
“Her efforts have strengthened trust and relationships between police and communities around the five boroughs,” O’Neill said. “She has inspired many of our members with her achievements, and I commend her unwavering dedication to our mission of fighting crime and keeping people safe. We wish her the very best, and know she will excel in all that lies ahead.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr