NEW YORK — Rodney Harrison is readying for his next act, and it looks like it will be out on Long Island.
The outgoing NYPD chief of department, who has been a member of the NYPD’s senior leadership team for years, is set to takeover as the next commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone officially announced Harrison’s nomination for the position on Tuesday morning.
“When I talk about having leaders in place here with integrity, who are innovative and collaborative, that is Rodney Harrison to a T,” Bellone said.
Speaking at a news briefing on Tuesday, Harrison said accepting the nomination was a “bitter-sweet moment” as he reflected back on his decades with the NYPD.
“I’m looking to bringing those experiences out here to Suffolk County,” he said.
PIX11 initially reported Harrison’s nomination on Monday after sources confirmed the news.
It was on Thanksgiving Day that the NYPD announced Harrison would be stepping down, retiring after three decades on the force.
The department said Harrison will be retiring on Dec. 30, just before Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term as mayor comes to an end and Mayor-elect Eric Adams gears up to takeover.
Harrison, joined by two of his daughters who are also with the NYPD, spoke exclusively with PIX11’s Nicole Johnson at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
According to the NYPD, Harrison is the only member of service who rose from the rank of cadet to chief of department.
“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,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
A New York City native, Harrison was raised in Queens. At the urging of his father, Harrison came to view a career in law enforcement as a way to help make a positive change for his fellow New Yorkers.
Harrison joined the NYPD in June 1991 as a police cadet.
A year later he became a police officer and patrolled the 114th Precinct in Astoria, Queens. In 1994, he was assigned to the narcotics division.
After being shot at by a narcotics dealer while working undercover in the ’90s, Harrison was awarded the Departmental Combat Cross for extraordinary heroism, the NYPD said.
Harrison became chief of patrol in January 2018 and managed more than 20,000. Then, in December 2019, Shea tapped him as the next chief of detectives, making him the first African American to hold the title in the city’s history.
“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,” Shea said.
Earlier in 2021, Harrison was named chief of department, where he oversaw CompStat, and directed and coordinated recovery efforts after 2020’s protests. He also coordinated with community leaders to improve relationships while the ongoing COVID pandemic continued to impact New Yorkers.