Grillo appointed as city’s ‘recovery czar’
by Benjamin Fang
Mar 03, 2021 | 4579 views | 0 0 comments | 412 412 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lorraine Grillo has been appointed as senior advisor for advisory.
Lorraine Grillo has been appointed as senior advisor for advisory.
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Rodney Harrison first joined the NYPD as a cadet in 1991. (Photo: Ed Reed/Mayor’s Office)
Rodney Harrison first joined the NYPD as a cadet in 1991. (Photo: Ed Reed/Mayor’s Office)
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A longtime de Blasio administration official and a high-ranking NYPD leader have been tapped to serve as senior advisors for the mayor.

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Lorraine Grillo as senior advisor for recovery, also known as the city’s “recovery czar.” Her role involves monitoring the city’s progress on recovery efforts.

Terence Monahan, the NYPD’s Chief of Department, will leave the department to serve as de Blasio’s senior advisor for recovery and safety planning. He will work alongside Grillo on public safety strategy.

“As New York City’s first-ever recovery czar, Lorraine will cut through bureaucracy, coordinate across all agencies and reach out to nonprofit and private partners to make sure our recovery is felt in every borough, every neighborhood and every block,” de Blasio said.

Grillo, an Astoria native, will transition out of her current roles in the de Blasio administration. She has served as president and CEO of the School Construction Authority (SCA) since 2010. Several years ago, she also assumed the role of commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

Her appointment as recovery czar is effective immediately.

In a statement, Grillo said every job she’s had in city government, from responding to Hurricane Sandy to expanding Universal Pre-K, has required “intense coordination across different agencies, companies and nonprofits.”

She said she will take the same approach when it comes to the city’s recovery.

“I build things, that’s what I do,” she said. “And together, we are going to build a recovery that lifts up every New Yorker.”

Grillo’s appointment drew praise from lawmakers, nonprofits and labor unions. Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said this is a move they have been advocating for “for quite some time.”

“As a daughter of Queens, Lorraine Grillo is uniquely qualified to understand the needs of Queens and the entire city of New York,” he said.

Three days later, de Blasio announced a reshuffling of NYPD leadership, with Monahan taking on the role as senior advisor for recovery and safety planning. He will be replaced as Chief of Department by Rodney Harrison, who previously served as Chief of Detectives and Chief of Patrol.

Monahan spent nearly four decades in the NYPD and led the implementation of neighborhood policing. Before serving as Chief of Department, the highest-ranking uniformed member of the department that includes 40,000 uniformed and civilian officers, he was the commanding officer of the 34th, 46th and 48th precincts.

He also served as commanding officer of Narcotics Borough Manhattan North, executive officer of Patrol Borough Bronx and Patrol Borough Queens North.

In a statement, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Monahan’s “dedication and spirit was felt by everyone around him.” He called Monahan a key driver of the NYPD’s neighborhood policing philosophy.

“The NYPD’s loss is the mayor’s gain,” he said. “I am certain that Terry’s natural confidence and capabilities will be felt as he helps New York City move towards recovery.”

Harrison, who grew up in Rochdale Village, joined the NYPD as a cadet in 1991 after “negative experiences with law enforcement.” After two years on patrol, he became an undercover officer, and was later presented with the Police Combat Cross for Valor when he was involved in a shooting incident that injured his partner.

He later worked in the 71st Precinct’s Detective Squad, the 73rd Precinct, the 28th Precinct and 32rd Precinct and Patrol Borough Brooklyn North before becoming commanding officer of Detective Borough Brooklyn North.

After serving as Chief of Patrol, Harrison became the first African-American to hold the position of Chief of Detectives in the NYPD’s 175-year history.

“Rodney has done everything from patrol, to dangerous work undercover to being a detective, a supervisor a precinct commander,” Shea said. “In other words, he has seen this job from every angle.”

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