Greenburgh promotes first African American captain in its police force
A Greenburgh police lieutenant just made history becoming the first African American to be promoted to the rank of captain.
Capt. Kobie Powell, who has been with Greenburgh Police Department for 24 years, was promoted Wednesday during a ceremony at Town Hall.
"When people see their police officers, they look like them, sound like them,” said Powell. “It can make you more comfortable. It can help with communication. It can help with trust, and we are at a time when trust between the community and police is at a paramount."
Despite a nationwide push to increase diversity within police departments, it’s not common for officers of color to hold high-ranking positions.
That is slowly changing.
"Greenburgh is a diverse community, and the department has taken efforts over the years and done well trying to have the demographics of the department (bud) match the demographics of the town,” said Powell.
Interim Chief George Longworth says Powell's promotion had nothing to do with race.
"We picked the most qualified candidate for the job,” said Longworth. "He's served in every division of the department. I would say it's safe to say he knows it like the back of his hand.”
Powell says he's honored to take on his new role and continue serving his community.