The announcement that Suffolk County police commissioner Rodney Harrison is resigning caught numerous people by surprise.
Newsday reported his resignation Thursday, with Harrison saying Friday that he’ll leave the department in December. His departure will leave a new county executive, to be chosen Tuesday, to name his successor.
Appointed two years ago, Harrison is widely credited with focusing enough attention and resources on the Gilgo Beach killings that a suspect was finally arrested earlier this year.
Harrison, who came to Suffolk from the New York Police Department, seemingly popped up everywhere around Long Island, including Huntington. He came to Huntington to announce the return of ShotSpotter and other technology; he presided over a farewell event and joked about how the promotion of then-Second Percinct commander William Scrima was Huntington’s loss but his gain; he tossed a football around with kids at a Three Kings party in Huntington Station.
Ed Romaine, the Brookhaven supervisor and Republican candidate for county executive to succeed Steve Bellone, who is term limited, has touted his support for police and stand on public safety issues throughout his campaign.
His opponent, Democrat Dave Calone, on Friday said, “As a former federal and state prosecutor, I know what it takes to partner with our law enforcement officers to fight crime, and I am the only candidate who has a comprehensive plan to keep us safe. I will look to hire a Police Commissioner to work with me to implement that plan, including fully funding law enforcement, giving them the staffing and tools they need, safeguarding our schools, and getting drugs, most critically fentanyl, off our streets.”