NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After 39 years with the NYPD, Chief of Department Terence Monahan is retiring from the force. But he’s not done working for the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Monahan his Senior Advisor for Recovery Safety Planning on Thursday, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

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Monahan has been seen a lot around the city over the past year. He took a knee with demonstrators last summer. He was attacked and injured at a protest at the Brooklyn Bridge, and recently came under fire for the NYPD’s handling of protests.

“This is the toughest year that I’ve spent in law enforcement. Going through COVID, going through demonstrations,” Monahan said. “Leaving the NYPD is probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life.”

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“Twenty years old, I came on this job. Now turning 60 in a couple of weeks,” Monahan continued.  “I’m a New Yorker through and through. Born and raised in the Bronx. Some people may say I have a little bit of an accent.”

He joined in 1982, starting his career at the 41st Precinct in the Bronx, and has been called the architect of the neighborhood policing philosophy – overseeing its implementation.

He became the 40th Chief of Department for the NYPD in 2018, overseeing about 40,000 uniformed and civilian members.

Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison succeeds Monahan.

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Harrison was raised in Jamaica, Queens.

“I grew up around unfortunate gang violence and drugs, and then I came on this job saying what can I do to save people,” Harrison said.

Harrison started his career in 1991, working his way up the ranks. In 2019, he made history as the first African American Chief of Detectives.

“I believe I’m the third African American to be the Chief of Department, and I’m flattered. But I also want to make sure this is somewhat clear. I’m also qualified for the position,” said Harrison.

And he directly addressed the men and women of the NYPD.

“I have your back,” he said.

Monahan will join newly appointed Recovery Czar Lorraine Grillo in working toward “bringing New York City back.” Monahan said he had been thinking of retiring from the NYPD and moving into the private sector for a while.

He is still set to meet next week with the Civilian Complaint Review Board over the police response at two protests.

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A CCRB spokesperson said, in part, they expect “to interview Chief Monahan and other senior personnel regardless of whether they are still actively employed with the NYPD or not.”

Alice Gainer