NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison is set to retire at the end of December
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In a Thanksgiving morning announcement, the agency said the NYPD’s highest-ranking officer, Department Chief Rodney Harrison, will retire at the end of December after a distinguished 30-year career.
Harrison’s departure, scheduled for December 30, comes at a time of expected leadership changes in the NYPD, with Mayor-elect Eric Adams expected to appoint a new police commissioner soon.
The current commissioner, Dermot Shea, has not named a successor to Harrison, the only NYPD member ever to have risen from an intern to the top of the department’s chain of command. Harrison became head of management only at February 2021After his immediate predecessor Terrence Monahan retired.
“Rodney was not only a trusted advisor and friend, but exactly the kind of innovative leader our city and our division needed in these difficult times,” Shea said. “He has conducted in every rank – from patrol officer to undercover officer of immense courage, to department chief – with great knowledge, skill, integrity and passion for our ongoing mission of always protecting life and property and building lasting relationships with those we serve. We will miss him, but we wish him well.”
Harrison, who grew up in the village of Rochdale, Queens, became an NYPD officer in June 1991, at the behest of his father. Initially, he was assigned to District 114 and based in Astoria, Queens, but was later reassigned to the New York Police Department of Narcotics, where he worked to combat violent drug dealers along the way.
He was awarded the Administrative Combat Medal in the mid-1990s after he was shot by a drug dealer while working undercover as part of an investigation. Harrison was later promoted to a detective position, and worked on various orders in Brooklyn.
Harrison secured a leadership position after being appointed as an executive in the 47th Precinct in the Bronx. He later served as the commanding officer of Manhattan’s 28th and 32nd Districts. Promoted to vice president, Harrison worked in the Bureau of Internal Affairs, followed by positions on Staten Island and Brooklyn.
In 2018, Harrison became president of the patrol, with Shea saying he became an influential figure in helping 20,000 officers adapt to the NYPD’s neighborhood policing strategy. The following year, Shea Harrison was appointed chief of detectives, making him the first black member of the NYPD to hold that title.
Looking at his career, Harrison said he is “extremely proud” of his service to the city, and we are honored that two of his daughters, Amber and Terra, continue the family tradition within the NYPD, where they currently serve as patrol officers.
“It is an honor to be a part of this great police department, and to implement our intelligence-driven policing strategies, to help develop many lasting reforms, and to build a meaningful dialogue with the youth of our city,” said Harrison. “I am honored that two of my children are doing this important work.”