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NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison Nominated to be Next Suffolk Police Commissioner

Rodney Harrison
Chief of Department Rodney Harrison (Photo by Dean Moses/amNY Metro)

Rodney Harrison, who is retiring as the NYPD’s chief of department at the end of the month, has been nominated to be the next Suffolk County Police Department commissioner.

If the Suffolk County Legislature confirms his appointment, he will be tasked with implementing the department’s police reforms. He would replace Stuart Cameron, the acting commissioner who has been running the department since Geraldine Hart, a former FBI agent, stepped down.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who named the candidate following a search for Hart’s replacement, is expected to discuss the appointment at news briefing Tuesday. The legislature’s public safety committee has appointing a new police commissioner on the agenda for its Thursday meeting. If he is approved by the committee, he would have to be confirmed by the next full meeting of the legislature on Dec. 21.

Harrison is the only NYPD member ever to rise from cadet to the top of the department’s chain of command. His 30-year career coming to a close with the NYPD comes at a time of anticipated changes in leadership in New York City, with Mayor-elect Eric Adams expected to soon name a new police commissioner. 

Harrison, who grew up in Rochdale Village, Queens, became an NYPD officer in June 1991, at the urging of his father. At first, he was assigned to the 114th Precinct based in Astoria, Queens, but was later re-assigned to the NYPD Narcotics Division, working to combat violent drug dealers along the way.

He earned the Departmental Combat Cross in the mid-1990s after being shot by a drug dealer while working undercover as part of an investigation. Harrison later was promoted to detective, and worked in various Brooklyn commands.

Harrison gained a leadership position after being assigned as executive officer to the Bronx’s 47th Precinct; he later served as commanding officers of the 28th and 32nd Precincts in Manhattan. After being promoted to deputy chief, Harrison worked in the Internal Affairs Bureau, followed by holding posts in Staten Island and Brooklyn. 

In 2018, Harrison became Chief of Patrol, where Shea said he became an influential figure in helping 20,000 officers adapt to the NYPD’s Neighborhood Policing Strategy. The following year, Shea appointed Harrison as Chief of Detectives, making him the first Black member of the NYPD to hold that title. 

-With Robert Pozarycki via amNewYork Metro

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