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Lisa White

After Eric Adams, Lisa White’s former roommate (or is it landlord?), became mayor, White was placed in charge of NYPD officer morale—too bad she tanks it.


  • NYPD 911 dispatcher
  • Field supervisor, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Interim supervisor of the NYPD Communications Division
  • Volunteer board member and treasurer, One Brooklyn Fund
  • Landlord
  • Consultant, Eric Adams Brooklyn borough president campaign


  • NYPD ​​Deputy Commissioner for Employee Relations
  • Co-working with a ghost

Is she funny? Is she a really good listener? Does she pick you up from the airport every time you ask? From the outside looking in, it’s unclear what makes Lisa White such a good friend—but it’s evident that Eric Adams values their relationship. In May, White was appointed as NYPD’s deputy commissioner for employee relations; prior to this position, she was a field supervisor with the U.S. Census Bureau, where a description of her role indicated she led a team of six to 15 employees—a pretty far cry from the 36,000 NYPD officers and their families whose “health, well-being, and morale” White is now tasked with ensuring.

Adams and White’s friendship goes back years. White spent more than two decades working for the NYPD as a 911 dispatcher; during that time, she was a member of, and one-time spokesperson for, the advocacy group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, which Adams co-founded in 1995. In 2019, she retired from the department with a base salary of just over $53,000. That makes her new salary as a deputy commissioner—more than $241,000 a year—especially eye-watering. (She also has a $30,000 pension from her dispatcher days.) White has also volunteered for Adams’s nonprofit One Brooklyn Fund, which Adams founded in 2014 during his borough presidency; donated to Adams’s borough president campaigns twice; and received a one-time $1,000 fee for unspecified consulting during his 2013 run.

But White and Adams are more than just friends and former colleagues. They were also, apparently, roommates. According to Board of Elections records for Adams, as well as his 2021 campaign spokesperson, he lived with White in her Crown Heights apartment from 2013 to 2017, a period of time that coincided with his first term as Brooklyn borough president. He could have lived in his Bed-Stuy townhome, which he bought in 2003, but sometimes you just want to live with a good friend. (White isn’t the only female friend Adams has entered into a somewhat perplexing housing situation with, either.) 

The NYPD’s decision to hire White as deputy commissioner was apparently set in motion just three months after her predecessor in the role was asked by then-Commissioner Keechant Sewell to step down amid a good, old-fashioned “misuse of police helicopter” scandal. In May, City & State obtained emails about White’s hiring through a FOIL request. The NYPD only released 15 short emails, none of which included correspondence with the mayor. But what the records do show is that White was referred to as a “new hire” in April 2022—days before she even submitted a resumé to the department. The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment on White.

So, is White good at the job she was seemingly handpicked to do? After 24 years of talking to New Yorkers in need of assistance, one might assume White has skills that would transfer over to dealing with distressed cops and their families. But according to some anonymous police sources assigned to her office, White is making their work lives demonstrably worse. 

“This person has zero qualifications and knew nothing about the position,” one police source told the New York Post in April. “I don’t blame her. Who wouldn’t take this job if they had a friend that was going to just give it to them?” 

Other sources told the Post that turnover in White’s office had been high in the first year of her tenure. One detective, assigned to be White’s driver, said she put in a transfer request after the deputy commissioner hopped into the driver’s seat of a department SUV to speed through traffic because she was running late for work because the detective refused to turn the vehicle’s lights and sirens on for her. Another source told the Post that White has expressed paranoia that her employees have bugged her phone lines and her office, and has told employees that there are ghosts in her office. 

Who hasn’t had a boss like that?

Last updated: 12/18/2023

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