Dec. 6 (UPI) -- After years of oft-repeated criticism about a lack of minority officers in its senior ranks, the New York City Police Department has named two to leadership positions -- including the department's first African-American chief of detectives.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Thursday Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison has been named NYPD's chief of detectives. Fausto Pichardo was named to succeed Harrison as chief of patrol, which supervises neighborhood policing. He is the first officer of Dominican descent to be named to the post.
De Blasio appointed Shea NYPD police commissioner on Dec. 1, a move that drew some criticism from observers who were hoping to see First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker in the top role.
"This is a moment to celebrate and it's a moment to recognize as real progress and change at the NYPD," de Blasio said, while promising more leadership changes.
Harrison began his NYPD career in 1991 and Pichardo six years later.
"Rodney and Fausto bring tremendous leadership experience to their new positions, having served in critical executive roles, and leveraging neighborhood policing and precision policing to bring crime down to levels not seen since the 1950's," Shea said.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said the new leaders will help lead the department and New York City to "new crime-fighting successes."