NYPD; Protesting; Shootings; Brooklyn North Patrol
Asst. Chief Judith Harrison says she's ready to tackle what has become a 600 percent shooting increase in the northern half of the borough. Courtesy of the NYPD

Last week, the title of commanding officer for the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Brooklyn North was passed onto a Black woman for the first time in the bureau’s history, reports Patch.

Assistant Chief Judith R. Harrison was officially sworn in as borough commander in Brooklyn North last week. She is the 24th person to be named commander of the patrol bureau and the fourth Black woman in department history to rise to the rank of assistant chief.

Harrison steps into the role at a time when Brooklyn is facing a more than 600 percent surge in shootings and, like the rest of the NYPD, protests calling for major police policy reform.

“There’s a fractured relationship right now between police and the community — we know that and we acknowledge it,” Harrison said during a press conference Thursday. “The way we’re going to heal that is to communicate with each other.”

Harrison, who has been with the NYPD since 1997, served most recently as the commanding officer of the department’s Special Victims Division. She replaces Jeffrey B. Maddrey, who is being promoted to chief of the NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau.

Brooklyn North, which stretches from Crown Heights to Greenpoint, saw 22 shooting incidents just last week, up from just three in the same time period last year. Citywide, there has been a more than 50 percent increase in shootings, including 74 shootings that occurred over the 4th of July weekend.

“There is just a small number of people in Brooklyn North that are responsible for the bulk of the violence, and we are laser-focused at turning our attention to those individuals and making sure that we build strong cases against them,” she said.

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Kimberlean Donis

Kimberlean Donis is a journalist based in Brooklyn. She is a student at Williams College majoring in Political Science and Art History.

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