What to Know
- The NYPD promoted two minority officers to new leadership positions inside the department on Wednesday
- Rodney Harrison was named the new Chief of Detectives, the first African-American to hold that position in department history
- Filling his position as Chief of Patrol will be Fausto Pichardo, a Dominican-American with 20 years of experience in the department
The nation's largest police department has selected a black man to lead its detectives squad.
The NYPD promoted two minority officers to new leadership positions inside the department on Wednesday, according to a spokesman, after the somewhat controversial decision regarding who will lead the department.
Rodney Harrison was named the new Chief of Detectives, the spokesman said. Harrison, 50, previously served as the Chief of Patrol and becomes the first African-American to serve in the role.
"I’m humbled to become Chief of Detectives, a position I’ve always strived for, and will work tirelessly to build the strongest possible cases and bring those that commit crimes to justice," Harrison said.
Harrison joined the NYPD in 1991, before serving in Astoria and Brooklyn.
Filling his position as Chief of Patrol will be Fausto Pichardo, a 20-year veteran of the department, according to the spokesman.
“Since I came on the job in 1999, I wake up each day working to make the streets of New York City safer for police officers and the people we take the sacred oath and are sworn to serve," Pichardo said. "I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue supporting the thousands of patrol officers who, through Neighborhood Policing, both work to prevent crime from ever happening while also getting to the root of New Yorkers' problems."
The Dominican-American Pichardo previously worked under Harrison as executive officer in the patrol bureau.
“Rodney and Fausto bring tremendous leadership experience to their new positions, having served in critical executive roles, and leveraging Neighborhood Policing and precision policing to bring crime down to levels not seen since the 1950’s,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. "With Rodney’s investigative experience and Fausto’s role in bringing Neighborhood Policing to fruition, we will continue to work closely with the people we are sworn to serve to make New York City even safer.”
The naming of Harrison and Pichardo comes after some controversy surrounding Shea’s promotion to NYPD Commissioner. There were some city officials, as well as advocates like Rev. Al Sharpton, who were upset First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker was passed over for the job.
The new commissioner has pledged to diversify the department's upper ranks.
The appointments of Harrison and Pichardo come as the NYPD prepares for bail and other criminal justice reforms taking effect Jan. 1.
This story has been updated to remove an erroneous reference to the first black NYPD commissioner.