New York City Alumni of The Lincoln University Honor New Police Chief and Fellow Alum

NEW YORK – The New York City Alumni of The Lincoln University and university officials honored newly-appointed Police Chief and Fellow Alum Philip Banks III during a Manhattan reception Monday evening.

The reception, which marked the kick-off event for the New York Lincoln Alumni Club, whose goal is to reach out and bring together the approximately 660 Lincoln alums living in the tri-state area, attract new quality students to the university and support the institution in every way possible, included the presentation of a plaque and U.S. congressional proclamation recognizing the day in honor of Chief Banks, said Judge Kenneth Holder, presiding Justice of the Supreme Court in the State of New York, alumni club first vice-president and a 1981 graduate of the university.

The club’s president and fellow presiding Justice, Judge Ruth Shillingford, also a 1981 alum, was unable to attend due to family illness.

“It’s a very good feeling and I am humbled by it,” said Chief Banks.  “Lincoln has done more for me than anything in my entire life.  It was a game changer.  When I had times in my life where there was trouble, turbulence or I needed to be inspired or motivated, Lincoln entered into the equation.  Being honored by Lincoln is the best honor I have ever had and that’s from the bottom of my heart.”

Banks, a 1984 graduate of The Lincoln University, where he became a member of the Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., joined the NYPD in July 1986 on patrol in Precinct 81.  He was promoted to Sergeant in March 1994; Lieutenant in May 1997; Captain in September 1999; Deputy Inspector in June 2001; Inspector in December 2003; Deputy Chief in December 2006; Assistant Chief in June 2009 and Chief of Community Affairs in July 2010.

“To know that there is a Lincoln man at the helm of this city’s police department, we should all feel very safe,” said Dr. Robert R. Jennings, university president, who also spoke at the gathering.  “We are so honored that you are a Lincoln Lion, that you have distinguished yourself and in doing so you have distinguished us. I know that you will inspire many of the young men and women majoring in criminal justice and those who are not.”

Before being appointed Chief of Community Affairs in July 2010, Chief Banks also served as Commanding Officer of Patrol Borough Manhattan North and alsocommanded the 79th, 81st and Central Park precincts. He also served as Executive Officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, and of the 73rd Precinct.

“To have a Lincoln alum in the most prestigious position (in the NYPD) is an honor,” said Lincoln Trustee Warren Colbert ’68, a private wealth manager for UBS.  “It’s a real statement for New York City to have an African American male as Chief of Police.  He’s a role model for this city.”

Banks, a 2001 graduate of the Police Management Institute at Columbia University, more recently completed advanced management training for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Executive Leaders Program in Counterterrorism at the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security, in Monterey, California.

He has been married to his wife, Vonda, for 24 years, and they have three children: Philip, Tenai, and Elijah.



Dr. Robert R. Jennings, The Lincoln University President presents Lincoln alum and newly-appointed NYPD Police Chief Philip Banks III ’84 plaque honoring achievement.

The Lincoln University, founded in 1854 as the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), combines the elements of a liberal arts and science-based undergraduate curriculum along with select graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly-technological and global society.  Today, the University enrolls a diverse student body of approximately 2,000 men and women.  Internationally recognized for preparing and producing world class leaders such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Lillian Fishburne, the first African American woman promoted to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, Langston Hughes, the noted poet, Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria. 

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