County Executive Steve Bellone make the announcement on Tuesday morning.
Harrison is retiring from the NYPD at the end of the year after 30 years on the job.
If confirmed by the county Legislature, he would be the first person of color to hold the job.
Harrison, 52, choked up at the nomination to become the county’s top cop, saying goodbye to his decades with the NYPD, where his wife was a lieutenant and his daughters are now officers, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
“This is a bittersweet moment for me. Thirty years in the New York City Police Department,” Harrison said.
Congrats to Rodney Harrison, nominated to be @SCPDHq’s next Police Commissioner.
A respected leader, avid crime fighter, & community partner, the people of Suffolk County couldn’t be in better hands!
Wishing him nothing but success in his next chapter of service to the public. pic.twitter.com/x35zXorZHQ
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) December 14, 2021
Born in Jamaica, Queens, and now living on Long Island, Harrison is the son of a bus driver and a nurse. Once a cadet, Harrison made history in 2019 as the first African-American to become chief of detectives. Earlier this year, he was promoted again to chief of department.
“I consider myself somebody that has done it all, like walked the different walks,” Harrison said.
Bellone said the challenges Harrison will face include, “solving the Gilgo Beach serial murder case and implementing the police reform plan.”
The reform plan centers on a department that has struggled to recruit minorities and has long been criticized for corruption and abuse.
“Misconduct and corruption is unacceptable and will not be allowed under my tenure,” Harrison said.READ MORE: NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison Discusses Police Reform, Protests, Hate Crimes, Gun Violence And More With CBS2’s Maurice DuBois
Suffolk County residents were thrilled to hear about Harrison getting the nomination.
“He’s got great potential. He has a great background,” one said.
“If he’s coming to do justice and make things fairer, then he will be welcome here,” another said.
“He is a Long Island guy, so he’s coming home. I’m excited to see what he can do,” another added.
Suffolk County residents’ priority list includes solving the aforementioned Gilgo Beach murders, and addressing the alleged police brutality cases.
“Police not to be this gang of blue anymore, for police to be seen as protectors and servers, for us to invest in our community,” said Shanequa Levin of the Long Island Black Alliance.
Harrison said his to-do list agenda includes, “accountability, transparency, quality of life, public safety, the opioid epidemic.”
The county Legislature will vote on his nomination on Dec. 21.
“I am just grateful for this opportunity,” Harrison said.MORE NEWS: New NYPD Commissioner Names Rodney Harrison Chief Of Detectives, First African American To Hold Position
His departure from the NYPD coincides with the end of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.