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Hispanic Rises to 3-Star Chief in NYPD

April 27, 2002
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Hispanic Rises to 3-Star Chief in NYPD

by William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly promoted a veteran Hispanic officer yesterday to the three-star position of chief of personnel, making him the first Hispanic to hold that position in the department's history.

The new chief, Rafael Pineiro, 52, a lawyer with a master's degree in management from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, will oversee the processes by which the department recruits, screens, hires and promotes its officers.

Chief Pineiro is a 32-year veteran of the force. His two most recent posts were as the head of the Recruitment and Retention Unit and the Management Information Systems Division, two areas where officials said he had been assigned to help solve longstanding problems.

Chief Pineiro is the second Hispanic elevated by Commissioner Kelly to the position of three-star chief. In January, Mr. Kelly promoted Nicholas Estavillo to chief of patrol. There are nine three-star chiefs in the department; all are men. One, Douglas Zeigler, chief of the Housing Bureau, is black.

"No one is better equipped to handle the important responsibilities of the Personnel Bureau," Commissioner Kelly said during a promotion ceremony at 1 Police Plaza.

Lt. Eric Adams, the president of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, a black officers group, recently criticized Commissioner Kelly's recruitment efforts and said he had failed to promote members of minorities. Yesterday, he praised Chief Pineiro's promotion.

"I think Pineiro is an excellent choice for chief of personnel, and this sends the right message — the importance of qualified diversity at the management level is the direction that we hope the department is headed," Lieutenant Adams said.

Chief Pineiro in 1995 founded the National Law Enforcement Explorer Academy for youngsters.

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