The NYPD is making herstory, with two uniformed women running a bureau for the first time.
Assistant Chief Kim Royster, head of the candidate assessment division, has been tapped as the executive officer — second in command — at the Community Affairs Bureau.
Royster, 54, is replacing a retiring male chief and will answer to the commanding officer, Chief Joanne Jaffe, the highest-ranking uniformed woman on the force. Royster will assume her new position Tuesday.
Jaffe, a 38-year veteran, told the Daily News she was excited about the new partnership.
“I have a great respect for (Royster),” she said. “She’s very competent and she brings a lot to the Police Department.”
The change comes as the department continues to diversify. It’s far less dominated by white men than it was a generation ago, in the early 1970s, when there were fewer than 700 women in the uniformed ranks, according to the NYPD.
Women now make up 17.5% of the 36,320 cops on the force, or about 6,360. Of those, 73% are officers, while 11% are detectives, 12% are sergeants, 3% are lieutenants and 1% are captains or higher.
Those statistics are up slightly from five years ago. In 2012, when the NYPD had roughly 35,000 cops on the force, about 6,000, or 17.1%, were women. Of those, about 10% were detectives, 12.5% were sergeants, 3% were lieutenants, and 0.8% ranked as captain or above.
“We’ve come a long way as a Police Department. We’ve come a long way as a society,” Jaffe said. “You see so many women . . . moving up the ranks. Things are so different from how they were, and I think it’s just as important for Hispanics and Asians and African-American officers. It’s important for the communities to see.”
Of the women on the force, 30% are white, 29% are black, 38% are Hispanic and 3% are Asian.
It’s not the first time that Royster blazed a trail. In August 2015, the 30-year veteran was promoted from commanding officer of the NYPD’s public information office to chief, making her the highest-ranking uniformed black woman in the department’s history.
“We’re working towards making our Police Department more diverse, even though we’re probably the most diverse Police Department in the country,” Royster told The News. “But you can always do better, because you want to make sure your Police Department is representative of the communities you serve.
“We’re getting there and we’re going to keep pushing farther,” Royster said.