NYPD Diversifies Ranks, Naming First Black Detectives Chief

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, the incoming New York City Police Commissioner, attends a news conference at New York’s City Hall. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

In a first, the nation’s largest police department has selected a black man to lead its detectives squad.

New York City police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday that incoming Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison is the “total package” with a wealth of investigative experience.

Harrison has been a detective, went undercover investigating drug crimes and was shot in the line of duty during an 28-year NYPD career. He’s currently chief of patrol.

Shea was chief of detectives before becoming commissioner on Dec. 1.

Shea appointed a top patrol services bureau deputy to replace Harrison as chief of patrol. Fausto Pichardo is of Dominican heritage.

The new commissioner has pledged to diversify the department’s upper ranks.

The appointments of Harrison and Pichardo come as the NYPD prepares for bail and other criminal justice reforms taking effect Jan. 1.