Former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison has started a...

Former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison has started a new position with a Uniondale-based risk management and security firm. Credit: Randee Daddona

Former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison, who resigned in November after being a key catalyst in the reinvigorated Gilgo Beach serial killer investigation, has taken a new job as a top official with Petrone Risk LLC, a Uniondale-based risk management and security firm, the company said Tuesday.

Harrison, 55, is listed on the company's website as senior managing director, chief strategy officer.

In that position, Harrison said, he will use his experience in law enforcement, which includes 30 years with the NYPD — where he rose through the ranks to the top uniformed job as chief of department — to strengthen Petrone’s strategic initiatives, including security issues facing its clients, according to the company's announcement.

In an interview with Newsday, Harrison, who became Suffolk's first Black police commissioner with his appointment in December 2021, said he will leverage his experience handling major events in New York City such as the Thanksgiving Day parade to devise safety measures for clients, among them schools and religious institutions.

“This was right up my alley when it came to the NYPD,” Harrison said, “making sure events ran smoothly and that security measures were in place so there were no threats.”

In a statement, John Petrone, senior managing director and chief revenue officer of the company, agreed Harrison’s background fits with the firm’s goal of expanding its reach to “enhance our clients' security and risk management capabilities.”

“I am out of the law enforcement game but still into protecting people,” said Harrison, adding that he will be helping client schools and religious institutions on Long Island and nationwide with preparedness and exercises to handle a variety of potential security situations.

Harrison said he plans to continue residing in Nassau County. He has two daughters who are NYPD officers. After he left the Suffolk County Police Department, Harrison said, he temporarily lived in North Carolina to attend women’s basketball games involving Wake Forest University, where another daughter was a team member.

In tandem with Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney, Harrison is credited with setting up the law enforcement task force that ultimately led to the indictment of Rex A. Heuermann, of Massapequa Park, in connection with the Gilgo Beach killings of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Amber Lynn Costello and Megan Waterman. Heuermann, 60, has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail. A trial date has not been set.

In a November interview with Newsday, Harrison reflected on his tenure as Suffolk's top cop during a major break in the Gilgo Beach investigation.

“It was a challenge, but I will say this: Just being able to bring the law enforcement people together to get to that point of identifying our subject was a major accomplishment for me."

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