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, the department’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, took the reins from Terence Monahan earlier this year after being tapped as the NYPD’s first black chief of detectives in December 2019.
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.”
He 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.
In 2018, former Police Commissioner James O’Neill appointed Harrison to chief of patrol.
He became the Chief of Detectives in December 2019.
“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.”