Who is Ivonne Roman? Frontrunner for NYPD top cop has what it takes to reset NYC

Who is Ivonne Roman? Frontrunner for NYPD top cop has what it takes to reset NYC
An NYPD squad car (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images) with an insert of Ivonne Roman (Women's Media Centre)

The New York Police Department is battling several crises at once. First, there's the pandemic and a large number of anti-vaxxers amongst the force. Then there's New York's massive crime wave, which only seems to be getting worse. To top it off, the city is also facing a shortage of police officers, with vaccine mandates, low morale, and poor pay all keeping cops away. Mayor Eric Adams has a plan to fix this and that could involve hiring Ivonne Roman as the next NYPD Commissioner.

The NYPD isn't the only city department facing challenges. In June, the Board of Elections also faced a massive error throwing the Democratic primaries into chaos. But, it's the NYPD that's currently plagued with issues. The department has been accused of covering up sexual misconduct and assault allegations, and a number of officers have been fired or arrested in recent years. 


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Amid all this, there's the new challenge of the shrinking police force. Data shows that 15% of the workforce left the NYPD in 2020, a 75% spike from 2019. It's an issue plaguing police departments nationwide but hurting New York City the most due to a surge in crime. To counter this, Adams is reported to be eyeing Roman for the Commissioner's role. Here's why she could be the ideal candidate for NYC. 

Who is Ivonne Roman?

A veteran of the force for 25 years, Roman has held every role from police officer to the police chief. She also worked across a large number of departments, from internal affairs to major crimes at the Newark Police Department. With this experience, Roman also has a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in Public Affairs and Public Policy degree from Rutgers-Camden. She's also currently pursuing a PhD from the university in Public Affairs and Community.

Former Chief of Police of the Newark PD Ivonne Roman (Ivonne Roman/LinkedIn)


The Women's Media Centre notes her specialties as - police and Criminal Justice Reform, Organization Legitimacy and Procedural Justice, Women in Police, Gender Discrimination, Disorder Policing, Broken Windows, Zero Tolerance Policing. Together with her impressive 25 years on the force, it adds up to quite a resume. In 2020, Roman retired from the Newark PD to take over the Columbus PD. 

However, it's not the degrees or her experience that make her an ideal candidate, but the tangible real-world results Roman has got. 

Going beyond the call of duty

In 2019, Roman was selected as a TED Talks fellow for her advocacy to increase female representation in the police force. Roman co-founded the 30x30 Initiative, a movement to do just that, by working with police departments, researchers, and other organizations nationwide. In March 2021, the NYPD became one of the 38 departments to sign the pledge, hoping to increase female representation to at least 30% by 2030. Her advocacy has also led her to address the very issue for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

In 2017, Roman also established the Women’s Leadership Academy and helped organize the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Women in Policing summit in 2018. Roman also helped negotiate the consent decree between the Newark PD and the Justice Department, under the Obama administration. Roman has constantly shown her willingness to go beyond the call of duty, which is exactly what the NYPD now needs.

Roman isn't the only person Adams is eyeing. He's also reportedly got Juanita Holmes, Danielle Outlaw, and Carmen Best on his shortlist. He's reportedly eyeing six to eight women for the role and has begun making calls according to insiders. 

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