Rodney Harrison chosen as first Black Chief of Detectives for the NYPD

Harrison's hire brings diversity to the leadership ranks of the nation's largest police force

Rodney Harrison, 50, made history in New York when he was selected as the Chief of Detectives to lead over 7,000 detectives in the city.

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New York has chosen its first Black chief to head up the detectives division.

Rodney Harrison, 50, made history in New York City when he was selected as the Chief of Detectives, according to CBS News. Harrison is a 28-year veteran who started as a patrol officer in Queens and worked his way up to chief of patrol. The NYPD is made up of roughly 7,000 detectives.

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New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea explained his rationale for the promotion, by saying Harrison is the “total package.” Shea most recently served as Chief of Detectives before he took over as Commissioner on Dec. 1.

“He’s exactly what we want,” Shea said, according to CBS News. “He’s well respected by the men and women that he leads. He’s a leader, and he possesses the skills necessary to take us where we want to go.”

Since joining the largest police department in the country, Harrison has gone undercover to investigate drug deals and was awarded the Police Combat Cross for valor in the line of duty.

But in a statement, he called the promotion heading up the detectives division, something he has always aspired to do.

Shea also promoted Fausto Pichardo, who is from the Dominican Republic but was raised in New York. Pichardo previously worked as patrol services bureau deputy but was moved up to take Harrison’s old job as chief of patrol.

The move to bring diversity to the leadership ranks of the NYPD is something Mayor Bill de Blasio has long backed. When the mayor appointed Shea to replace the former commissioner, James O’Neill who retired, he promised that the NYPD would soon reflect New York City’s diversity.

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But Shea said he didn’t need any push to make the promotions. He chose the best guys for the jobs.

Congrats, Harrison and Pichardo! The NYPD needs to bring more color to the top. This has been a long time coming.

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