Mayor Eric Adams appointed Juanita Holmes as the commissioner of the city's Department of Probation Friday — making her another woman of color in a top leadership position in the Adams administration.

Holmes was previously the chief of training at the NYPD, but her tenure there became rocky after she was passed over to become Police Commissioner with the job going to Keechant Sewell.

Earlier this year, Holmes did away with the police department’s timed one-and-a-half-mile run, going straight to Mayor Adams for approval after the move was rejected by Sewell.

What You Need To Know

  • Mayor Eric Adams tapped Juanita Holmes to head the city's Department of Probation

  • Holmes previously served as the chief of training at the NYPD

  • The appointment comes amid some tension at the police department. Holmes allegedly was passed over for commissioner and recently made the decision to end the longstanding fitness requirement for police officers

  • Holmes’ decision to invite Cardi B to a mentorship program to talk to young woman also drew some ire within the department

Both Adams and Holmes refused to answer questions Friday on the surprise change.

“If you have questions about the one-point-five miles, we have a commissioner of the police department. She will handle questions on the department of probation,” said Adams amid questions about the longtime fitness requirement.

Holmes also ruffled feathers last month when she invited Bronx rapper Cardi B to an NYPD Girls Talk mentorship event.

The singer and rapper attended the event as part of her community service sentence in connection to a Queens strip club brawl.

“And Girls Talk. We just recently had Cardi B. The only disappointing aspect of you having Cardi B was that I wasn’t invited,” said Adams.

Last September, Cardi B was sentenced to 15 days of community service after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges stemming from the August 2018 fights.

“There are those who critique why would you bring Cardi B because she was arrested. The same reason you brought Cardi B is why people voted for me, because I was arrested. You don’t discard people,” said Adams.

The mayor seems to not mind that Holmes has a penchant for being a maverick, noting her ability to stand out in her leadership positions.

“Commissioner Holmes will bring that same level of creativity, boldness and unafraid to lean into areas where people were historically afraid to do so,” Adams said.

“She was the chief and now she is the commissioner. She respects the chain of command, so I don’t have any worries because no one is being rewarded that broke the chain of command,” he added.  

Holmes was a 36-year veteran of the NYPD where she worked with youth, including founding the police department’s Blue Chips program, a mentorship and enrichment program that connects police and youth.

“My experience with children, mentorship groups, youth programs really, really qualifies me for this position but more so because I am passionate about it,” said Holmes.

Holmes will now report to Deputy Mayor Phillip Banks, the deputy mayor of public safety.