Duvar English / Anadolu Agency

İbrahim “Mike” Baycora was sworn in as police chief on Feb. 4 in the U.S. city of Paterson in New Jersey, making him the first Turkish-American police chief in the history of the country.

Baycora was sworn in with his left hand on a copy of the Quran as Paterson’s 17th police chief during a ceremony at city hall. 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.

Speaking at the ceremony, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said “Merhaba,” “Hoşgeldiniz” and “Nasılsın?” in the Turkish language, meaning ‘Hello,’ ‘Welcome’ and ‘How are you?’

Sayegh said Baycora is the first Turkish-American police chief in the U.S. “He will be the first Muslim police chief in the city of Paterson,” Sayegh said.

Baycora also took the floor during the ceremony saying: “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.”

“Paterson has been in my blood my whole life, and now to be its police chief after a 32-year career — what an honor.”

Born in Turkey’s western province of Eskişehir, Baycora was brought to the U.S. as an infant. His family settled in Paterson. He went through the city’s public school system and graduated from Eastside High School. He enrolled at Rutgers University and double majored in business administration and chemical engineering. He earned both degrees.