Paterson swears in first Muslim American police chief | Paterson Times

Paterson swears in first Muslim American police chief


Ibrahim ‘Mike’ Baycora was sworn in as police chief on Tuesday afternoon, making him the first Turkish-American and Muslim police chief in the history of Paterson.

Baycora, who has 32 years of experience in the police force, was described as “humble” and “thoughtful” by men who have worked with him over the years.

“Paterson has been my home for the better part of half a century. Paterson has been in my blood my whole life and now to be its police chief after a 32-year career — what an honor,” said Baycora.

Born in Eskişehir, Turkey, Baycora was brought to the United States as an infant. His family settled in Paterson. He attended School 12, School 15, and Eastside High School. After high school, Baycora briefly attended Boston University, but had to return to New Jersey because it was too expensive. Baycora enrolled at Rutgers University and double majored in business administration and chemical engineering. He earned both degrees.

“We’re here to celebrate one of our own,” said mayor Andre Sayegh to a packed City Council chambers. “Ibrahim is a product of Paterson.”

More than 200 people from the city’s disparate ethnic groups that make up the Muslim community attended the swearing-in ceremony at City Hall. Many from the city’s Turkish-American community, largest in the country said the mayor, celebrated the ascension of one of their own.

Sayegh described Baycora as the embodiment of the American dream. He said Baycora is the first Turkish-American police chief in the United States.

Baycora outlined a simple plan for the police force. His goal as chief will be to get more police officers out into the streets, reduce operational costs, and implement more technologies for efficiency, he said. His plan also includes expanding the Narcotics Unit to target the drug trade and the gangs that run the illicit markets.

“This will help reduce crime, not only major crime, but quality life issues such as prostitution,” said Baycora. “We will also continue to expand our outreach into our communities as well as increase department transparency.”

Overall crime dropped 5-percent in 2019. However, shootings and homicides have increased.

Public safety director Jerry Speziale said Baycora has his full confidence.

“The thing that I have really come to admire most is that you are always thoughtful in deliberation, calm in the face of adversity and compassionate in your dealings with people. Each of those traits are admirable on their own merits,” said Speziale. “Collectively they’re reflective of the very qualities that define leadership. Great leaders are inspirational people. They have a uniqueness that sets them apart from everyone else.”

Speziale described him as a man of “undeniable strength, compassion, and unquestioned integrity.”

Baycora’s appointment as chief comes after the controversial ouster of popular police chief Troy Oswald. Sayegh and his cabinet members, business administrator Vaughn McKoy and chief of staff Kathleen Long, engaged in a bitter salary dispute with the former chief. Oswald sued naming all three in the lawsuit. His case was settled, part of the settlement included his forced retirement.

Both Sayegh and Oswald were allies until late 2018. So much so that Oswald was the architect of Sayegh’s public safety plan released during the mayoral campaign. Sayegh’s campaign did not release any other plans during that campaign.

Oswald was credited with dramatically reducing shootings and killings in 2018. However, both increased in 2019. He has also received praise for taking aim at corruption in the police force. Eight police officers have been arrested for violating people’s civil rights.

Council members have said Baycora has big shoes to fill.

“I’m all in and I will not disappoint you,” said Baycora, who previously served as deputy chief, to the mayor at the swearing-in ceremony.

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  • Truth Serum

    Shouldn't this article indicate that he has been named the "Acting Police Chief"? When did the Council vote to appoint this person permanently? Where did this guy rank on the civil service list or did he even take the test yet? Seems like a lot of putting the cart before the horse just so this Mayor can tout diversity and grab some headlines for what could very well be a temporary situation. Same with the Business Administrator position. How can you report that his Chief of Staff, Kathleen Long is the new Business Administrator when the outgoing Business Administrator hasn't event left yet? It was reported that his last day is on around February 14th. Even after he leaves, he could name her the "Acting Business Administrator" until he formally nominates her and the council votes to appoint her.

    • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

      What concerns me is the possible enforcement of sharia law, we now have a Muslim mayor and Muslim police chief and that's what they do as they seize control of local governments… Dearborn Michigan is run by Muslims and Sharia law is enforced throughout the city, many areas in Europe are now Sharia law zones as well..

      • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/YXNpZADpBWEdqTWgzTHRPVTNRM0F6N09qaEU2UDd6dmxvTzBTYXNwQXo3R2E5dk95MWJ1V0ZASZA3hjMVZAwTDZADX1FONU1lNkhrWDFUNXkzMnVXN0x4TXNUd2o4bkt2Y0g5U2prdGNuOUkZD/ Fethiye Fatos Temiz

        Before you make any assumption you need to know about countries. Turkey has no sheria laws. Still (Thank God) secular country. I advice you to meet some Turkish people to know how they are.

        • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

          I've been to Turkey. Under the dictator Erdogan Sharia law is in effect, de jure if not de facto.

          • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/YXNpZADpBWEdqTWgzTHRPVTNRM0F6N09qaEU2UDd6dmxvTzBTYXNwQXo3R2E5dk95MWJ1V0ZASZA3hjMVZAwTDZADX1FONU1lNkhrWDFUNXkzMnVXN0x4TXNUd2o4bkt2Y0g5U2prdGNuOUkZD/ Fethiye Fatos Temiz

            poor you.. still not.. Erdogan will go, he couldn't change the secular laws yet.. You guys unbelievable.. no wonder why Trump is a king.

          • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

            Trump is a President who puts Americans' interests before those of other countries for a change. Erdogan is going nowhere, he thinks he is the Caliph of a resurrected Ottoman Empire.

          • John

            TRUMP 2020 MAGA

          • John

            TRUMP 2020

        • John

          Of course there are Muslims who are nice. We are.not referring to that. We are.referring that this Mayor actions were racist. Being a Muslim should have bo play in promoting anyone. In general Muslim belief is anti westernization

    • John

      He probably never took the test. It's a Muslims thing. And much more to come.

  • John

    This is what you get when you vote in a person who obviously puts religion before qualifications. This is racist and should be challenged. He took out a Christian to put a Muslim. Why? If the past Chief was Muslim would he had replaced him with a non-Muslim? Paterson you voted for this now swallow it. You deserve it.

    • Frank Childs

      Psst, your racism is showing.

      • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

        Psst, your dhimmitude is showing.

      • John

        Exactly, finally someone with a brain from Paterson that realizes what this Mayor is doing is pure racism. Thank you

    • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/YXNpZADpBWEdqTWgzTHRPVTNRM0F6N09qaEU2UDd6dmxvTzBTYXNwQXo3R2E5dk95MWJ1V0ZASZA3hjMVZAwTDZADX1FONU1lNkhrWDFUNXkzMnVXN0x4TXNUd2o4bkt2Y0g5U2prdGNuOUkZD/ Fethiye Fatos Temiz

      So, everybody has to be a Christian to get a job done in United States? I thought this is a free country so everyone's business what to believe, not your job.

      • John

        No. The situation here is that a person was taken out for having to place a Muslim. That's wrong. Thats racist. That a low life. So now Paterson is paying over 500k per year because of what this racist mayor did. Bow do u understand

  • John

    Does this surprise any? This is only the beginning. Soon more Muslims will be appointed and perhaps one day when going into City Hall you will think you entered Palastian. This is so unAmerican. Wake up sleepy head Americans

    • Efe

      Doesnt surprise me that someone writing this doesnt even know the country's name..

      • John

        That's ok I rather not know the countries name. What I do know is we rather have them stay over there and we rather stay here. This country wasnt built on their beliefs (thank God, in your case thank allah)

    • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/YXNpZADpBWEdqTWgzTHRPVTNRM0F6N09qaEU2UDd6dmxvTzBTYXNwQXo3R2E5dk95MWJ1V0ZASZA3hjMVZAwTDZADX1FONU1lNkhrWDFUNXkzMnVXN0x4TXNUd2o4bkt2Y0g5U2prdGNuOUkZD/ Fethiye Fatos Temiz

      So, do you make the same comments when any Hispanic police officer became Police chief oooo so un-American? You have no idea about Turkey you ignorant

      • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

        Hispanics won't cut your head off for drawing a cartoon making fun of a pedophile.

        • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/YXNpZADpBWEdqTWgzTHRPVTNRM0F6N09qaEU2UDd6dmxvTzBTYXNwQXo3R2E5dk95MWJ1V0ZASZA3hjMVZAwTDZADX1FONU1lNkhrWDFUNXkzMnVXN0x4TXNUd2o4bkt2Y0g5U2prdGNuOUkZD/ Fethiye Fatos Temiz

          So Turkish does?

          • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

            Ask the Armenians…

          • John

            Sorry amigo, Muslims are feared by the world and not for a good cause. Since MOST muslims are anti westernization then why are Muslims invading all anti Muslim countries. 95% Muslim countries have came to non-Muslim countries within 30 years all a while these non-Muslim countries are begging them not to come.

        • John

          This is so true. live and let live.

      • John

        Hispanics beliefs are not anti American. I dare you compare a Muslims beliefs and mentality with a Hispanic. Shame on you.

    • shakib alam

      That's funny john. If it were a mexican that were appointed chief, suddenly we would be in mexico.

      • John

        Not true. Just having a Muslim belief is anti what America is all about. Most countries such as the one you mentioned is a Democracy unlike evil Muslims countries. All non Muslims countries despise Muslim countries. Why? Us non Muslim countries pray that Muslims would stay in your homeland, please go back, we beg you, actually the world begs you.

  • John

    It's any embarrassing day for Paterson

  • John Brown

    Anyone notice he didn't mention anything about weeding out corruption in the P.D.
    That will be business as usual.

  • John Brown

    This fecal matter of a mayor has to go!
    He's a disgrace to the city of Paterson this grinning urine sample. Must not! And should not be elected again.

  • Jason Y

    First of all, the Mayor is not Muslim as most of you claim. He is a christian, born christian. Second, why don't all the haters go back to where they came from (or where their ancestors came from) if they don't like the USA. Our constitution guarantees the rights of everyone regardless of their religion, color, etc. So if you don't like the constitution, feel free to leave back to Europe or to wherever you came from, I am sure you will be welcomed back. A lot of the high key positions in the city of have been held by individuals who don't demonstrate the diversity of the city and were not qualified, they have been granted their positions because their connections. The majority people of Paterson are Latinos, Blacks, Arabs, Turkish, Bangladashi and they are the ones who should be represented in the city through qualified individuals. 10-15 years ago you would walk in into the fire house, you will find most of the fire fighters are not from those groups. The new chief has a chemical engineering degree which reflect that he is very well educated. He is been there for 30+ years. If this country belongs to anyone, it belongs to the indigenous, who have been slaughtered by the Europeans. If to use your uneducated concepts, then their way of living should be practiced. My friend, this is not Italy or any other European country where you can dictate who and who is not. This the Great USA, you don't like its diversity, ship yourself back to where you came from.

    • Oranjoose

      Well said.

  • Kputt

    While Big America is asleep. the "Islamic Brotherhood" is fulfilling its dangerous way of conquering the U.S. exactly in the way as its written in their "Charta". This shocking document must be published everywhere.
    NOW AND NOT TOMORROW ! This "taking over" of such and many, many other Jobs,Positions everywhere are clear defined in this "Charta".

    Wake-up America – time is working against you!