NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - After 36 years of service with the NYPD, Terence Monahan is ready to take on his biggest role yet: chief of department, the NYPD's highest-ranking uniformed member.
"I'm in charge of everything operational," Monahan said. "So I run every operational unit, be it Patrol, Housing, Transit, Community Affairs, Special Operations."
Monahan walked us through the Parkchester neighborhood in the Bronx where he was born and bred. He has been in this new role, replacing Carlos Gomez, who retired, for about a month. Monahan always knew he wanted to join law enforcement, but claims he never expected to get this far.
"I have a family of police officers. My grandfather was a New York City cop—worked in the 41 Precinct right down the road—in 1927, he started," Monahan said. "My father, again, a Bronx resident, a cop, served in World War II as a Marine.
Being back in the Bronx brings mostly happy memories for Monahan, but he also reflects on some of the hardest experiences he has had in this borough.
"As we stand on this block, this is Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo Way," he said. "When I was chief of patrol, that was one of the first officers that we lost under my watch and that's the toughest thing."
Monahan's mission to keep making the city safer. He was one of the architects of the department's neighborhood policing philosophy.
"Back in 2014, we all know what this city was going through. We had the Garner decision, we had Ferguson, and we had to change the way we policed," he said. "Neighborhood policing now—it connects the cops with the community. It keeps the same cops in the same neighborhood every time."
By the end of this year, we'll see neighborhood policing tactics in all city precincts, including Housing and Transit, the chief of department said.
Does he see himself being police commissioner in the future?
"I'm very happy staying right where I am with Commissioner [James] O'Neill staying for as long as he can," he said. "I have enough on my plate right now. I enjoy this job, I love wearing this uniform. It's the one thing Commissioner O'Neill always complains about—he's a civilian. I'm still a cop."
A true cop. And a true New Yorker.
Rapid-fire sports questions:
Jets or Giants? "Giants!"
Rangers or Islanders? "Rangers!"
And he is a Bronx boy, so "Yankees—absolutely."