NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison to retire at end of the year

NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison to retire at end of the year

The NYPD’s barrier-breaking Chief of Department Rodney Harrison is set to retire at the end of the year from his post as the highest-ranking uniformed officer in the NYPD, the department announced Thursday.

Harrison, who took the reins from Terence Monahan earlier this year after being tapped as the NYPD’s first black chief of detectives in December 2019, is set to retire on Dec. 30, the NYPD said in a Thanksgiving press release. 

The native of Jamaica joined the department in 1991 as a cadet — making him the first person to rise up the NYPD’s ranks from cadet to Chief of Department, the NYPD said.

“I’m extremely proud to have worked tirelessly, over my entire career, protecting people and giving back to the city’s communities,” Harrison said in a statement. “It’s been an honor to be a part of this great police department, to carry out our intelligence-driven policing strategies, to help develop several lasting reforms, and to build meaningful dialogue with our city’s young people. And I am privileged that two of my children will carry on this important work.”

Harrison started off in the 114th Precinct in Astoria before moving up through the ranks, working as an executive officer in the 47th Precinct and commanding officer in the 28th and 32nd precincts.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced a anti graffiti program today in front of 108 Orchard Street.
Harrison has been with the NYPD for the last 29 years.
William Farrington for NY Post

In 2016, former Police Commissioner James O’Neill appointed Harrison to chief of patrol.

He became the Chief of Detectives in December 2019, where he “directed the investigations of crimes during one of the most violent years New York City has experienced in decades,” the department said in the release. He was the first African American to hold that title. 

As Chief of Department, he oversaw Compstat, managed recovery efforts after the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter riots last year, and worked to improve relationships with community leaders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, police said. 

“Rodney has been not only a trusted advisor, and friend, but exactly the kind of innovative leader our city and our department has needed in these challenging times,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement. “He has performed in every rank – from patrol officer, to undercover officer displaying tremendous valor, to Chief of Department – with knowledge, skill, integrity, and a great passion for our continuing mission to always protect life and property and to build lasting relationships with those we serve. We will miss him, but we wish him well.”

Harrison’s wife is a retired NYPD lieutenant, and two of their adult daughters, Amber and Tyra, were recently sworn in as police officers.

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