Ibrahim Baycora appointed US city police chief, swears in with hand on Quran
He is the first Turkish police chief in American history, the Paterson mayor said.
The US city of Paterson in New Jersey has appointed its first Turkish-American and Muslim police chief.
Ibrahim 'Mike' Baycora was sworn in with his left hand on a copy of the Holy Quran as Paterson's 17th police chief during a ceremony at city hall earlier this month. He has been serving at the city's police department for more than three decades.
The ceremony began with the national anthem and prayers and was attended by members of the Turkish community in New York and New Jersey, senior officials from Paterson's local government and Baycora's family and relatives.
Baycora replaced Troy Oswald, who retired as of February.
Speaking at the ceremony, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said Baycora "will be the first Turkish police chief in the history of the United States of America. He will be the first Muslim police chief in the city of Paterson".
"As a kid from the east side of Paterson who grew up here attending school, Paterson has been my home for the better part of half a century," Baycora said.
"Paterson has been in my blood my whole life, and now to be its police chief after a 32-year career -- what an honor."
"I don't think my religion makes the difference," Baycora was quoted as saying by nj.com. "But my background does, being a first generation immigrant. People often tend to relax and they feel like they'll be treated fairly. Especially if they feel like they're from a marginalized group."
Baycora, 60, came to the US as an infant and grew up in Paterson.
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