New Suffolk Police Commissioner Vows Fresh Eyes on Gilgo Case

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Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison reviews a crime scene on Ocean Parkway on Dc. 31, 2021. (SCPD photo)

Newly appointed Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison pledged Friday to bring a fresh set of eyes to the unsolved Gilgo Beach serial murder case.

The news conference at Oak Beach was the former NYPD chief’s first since being sworn in as Suffolk’s first Black police commissioner this month. He said he surveyed the site where the bodies were found and spoke with key officials involved in the probe, including former commissioner Geraldine Hart and outgoing Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini.

“I want to make a commitment to the residents of Suffolk County as well as the family members,” he told reporters. “We will not rest until we bring those accountable to justice. I stated this when I was nominated as a commissioner for Suffolk County. Solving this serial case is going to be very, very important to me.”

Between 2010 and 2011, police found 10 sets of human remains along Ocean Parkway between December of 2010 and April of 2011 while searching for Shannan Gilbert, a New Jersey woman who was reported missing from Oak Beach, where she was later found dead. The victims were mostly sex workers, although four remain unidentified. They are thought to have been killed over a period of nearly 20 years.

Ray Tierney, a Republican who unseated Sini and will start as district attorney on Jan. 1, this summer joined calls for the New York State Attorney General to investigate whether disgraced former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke, who was convicted of corruption for beating a handcuffed suspect, actively thwarted the case. But no outside review was launched.

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