What to Know
- NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan announced his retirement Thursday to take on a public safety advisory role as the city looks to recover from the COVID crisis.
- During a press conference Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio named Monahan Senior Advisor for Recovery Safety Planning -- a new role that is part of the mayor's recovery agenda in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison was selected to take over the Chief of Department position. Harrison is a Queens native and was the first Black man to serve as the NYPD's Chief of Detectives.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan announced his retirement Thursday to take on a public safety advisory role as the city looks to recover from the COVID crisis.
During a press conference Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio named Monahan Senior Advisor for Recovery Safety Planning -- a new role that is part of the mayor's recovery agenda in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"Terry Monahan will be taking on this role," the mayor said. "And this role is so important because it is about answering one of the central questions everyone needs answered for us to come back strong: making sure this city is safe, working with all communities, working with city agencies, working with the business community, the non-profit sector, everyone."
Monahan, a Bronx native, said he "looks forward" to his new role, which will focus on working across agencies and with businesses on safety.
"For me to continue serving the people of this city and help to ensure its recovery, that's a true honor," Monahan said, while adding he had "the pleasure of a lifetime to work alongside the men and women of the NYPD."
Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison was selected to take over the Chief of Department position, overseeing the rank-and-file.
"[Harrison] makes that uniform proud...and he is going to make this city proud," Monahan said. "Rodney, you couldn't be a better person for this job. With Rodney taking the helm and Commissioner [Dermot] Shea at the helm the NYPD couldn't be in any better hands."
Monahan has served with the police department for 39 years, helping lead to a drop in crime. He was a supporter of community policing and helped lead its expansion in recent years, and called leaving the department "one of the toughest decisions I've ever made in my life."
But since the start of the pandemic and the resulting shutdown of much of the legal system, there has been a spike in crime across the city.
Monahan — the city’s highest ranking uniformed officer — also helped lead the department's response to the huge George Floyd protests amid criticism of the NYPD's response.
His first assignment was working in the 41st precinct in the Bronx. He rose through the ranks and served in various leadership posts in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens before rising to the upper echelons at 1 Police Plaza. Affable and well-liked by many officers and community leaders, Monahan may be best known publicly for holding hands and taking a knee alongside some protesters — a move praised by some while criticized by some police union officials.
Harrison is a Queens native and the first Black man to serve as the NYPD's Chief of Detectives. He has been with the department for 28 years, working in every borough after growing up in the Rochdale neighborhood in Queens.
Harrison said that he wants to continue focusing on community policing, "which is absolutely what this city needs."
"For the men and women of this police department, I want to make sure I make this very clear, I'm going to support you, I want to make sure we get through what was a very difficult time in 2020, but I can reassure everyone here that is listening that I have your back and we will get through this together," Harrison said.
"For the residents of New York City, I'm here to protect you. I'm here to serve you," Harrison went on to say. "I'm going to be knocking on your door, I'm going to be coming to your churches, I'm going to be coming to your community meetings. You may get tired of seeing me, but in order for me to be successful, in order to make this city safe, we have to work together. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Shea said Monahan "will be missed," but that selecting someone to take over the vacancy left behind by Monahan's retirement was an easy choice when it came to selecting Harrison.
"Rodney, I think you are going to do a phenomenal job," Shea said.
News of Monahan's expected departure was first reported by the New York Post.