NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan is expected to announce his retirement Thursday and take on a public safety advisory role as the city looks to recover from the COVID crisis, several sources familiar with the matter said.
Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison is a leading candidate to take over the Chief of Department position, the sources said. Spokespeople for the NYPD and City Hall declined to comment.
Monahan has served with the police department for more than 35 years, helping lead to a drop in crime. He was a supporter of community policing and helped lead its expansion in recent years.
But since the start of the pandemic and the resulting shutdown of much of the legal system, there has been a spike in crime across the city.
Monahan — the city’s highest ranking uniformed officer — also helped lead the department’s response to the huge George Floyd protests amid criticism of the NYPD’s response.
His first assignment was working in the 41st precinct in the Bronx. He rose through the ranks and served in various leadership posts in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens before rising to the upper echelons at 1 Police Plaza. Affable and well-liked by many officers and community leaders, Monahan may be best known publicly for holding hands and taking a knee alongside some protesters — a move praised by some while criticized by some police union officials.
In Washington Square Park, New York City’s top uniformed member of the force, Chief of Department Terence Monahan, stepped into a crowd of protesters after items were thrown at police, and at the encouragement of protesters who urged the crowd to stop and delivered a message.
Harrison is a Queens native and the first Black man to serve as the NYPD’s Chief of Detectives. Officials say Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea consider him the front-runner to take Monahan’s post.
An official announcement of the changes could come later Thursday. News of Monahan’s expected departure was first reported by the New York Post.