Three ranking chiefs of color promoted to new positions as NYPD seeks to diversify brass

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Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, center, works closely with Chief of Department Terrence Monahan, left, and Chief of Transit Edward Dellatore. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

The NYPD announced three major promotions Wednesday that Police Commissioner Dermot Shea believes will contribute to “21st century policing by strengthening the bonds between officers and residents.”

All three promotions further diversify the department’s top ranks with officers of color at a time of difficulty and protests over the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month, which sparked ongoing protests here in New York City and across America, led by the Black Lives Matter movement.

One of those changes will be the promotion of 29-year veteran Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, commander of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North. He was elevated the three-star position of Chief of Community Affairs at what Shea said was “a moment of historic importance in police-community relations.”

At the same time, Shea announced that Chief Nilda Irizarry Hofmann would be assigned as Chief of Transportation, to continue a series of ongoing innovations started by her predecessor, the late Chief William Morris, for the safe and secure movement of all New Yorkers around our city. Morris recently died from complications of COVID-19.

Chief Judith R. Harrison — who has served as the commanding officer of the department’s Special Victims Division, and has overseen integral victim-centered improvements there — was picked to succeed Maddrey as Brooklyn North commander.

“Chief Maddrey has served the NYPD and the city amid one of the most challenging moment’s in our history,” said Shea. “His voice, along with the leadership of Chief Hofmann and Chief Harrison, is needed now in our continuing effort to move the Department forward and best serve New Yorker’s and elevate our profession.”

Maddrey is highly regarded in the ranks as a “warm and understanding” commander who has led Brooklyn North since 2015. In that time, he has forged bonds with community leaders and has worked closely with organizations to improve police resident relations.

One officer who worked with Maddrey at Brooklyn North said, “He’s been at a lot of protests, he knows how to handle crowd – he will sit down and talk to you. He has always worked with the community and he sees everyone equally and treats everyone the same. And he will be back here to help out – that’s who he is.”

Maddrey is also well known among the community for leading the annual Brooklyn North Sleigh Ride toy distribution during the holidays, leading a caravan of police vehicles loaded with costumed characters to bring cheer to the children.

Chief Maddrey gives out gifts to children at Restoration Plaza this past December. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Chief Maddrey in 2018 giving out toys at Restoration Plaza. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Maddrey joined the New York City Police Department in April 1991, and began his career on patrol in the 110th Precinct. He has also served in the 60th, 67th, 70th, 72nd, 73rd, 75th and 77th Precincts, the Brooklyn South Task Force, Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, and Patrol Borough Brooklyn North. He was promoted to Sergeant in February 1998; Lieutenant in March 2001; Captain in May 2003; Deputy Inspector in December 2006; Inspector in November 2008; Deputy Chief in December 2011; and Assistant Chief in March 2015 where subsequently served as commanding officer of Brooklyn Housing, South Task Force and then Brooklyn North.

“In light of everything we are dealing with in our Brooklyn communities, I wholeheartedly believe that Chief Maddrey is someone who doesn’t just represent the department, but he also represents the people he serves,” said Steven Eugene Carter, senior pastor of Mount Ararat Church in Brooklyn. “Not only does he have heart, his passion for the community is seen through his service to the community. He is someone who renders his profession and his passion to residents of all generations. He is a great man.”

Chief Maddrey in middle of protestors at the Barclays Center where they threw bottles and debris, but still kept his cool. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Hofmann began her career with the New York City Police Department as a Police Administrative Aide, assigned to Detective Borough Bronx in October 1987.  She was sworn in as a Police Officer in October 1990, and began her career on patrol in the 43rd Precinct. She was promoted to Sergeant in April 1998; Lieutenant in December 2003; Captain in April 2008; Deputy Inspector in September 2011; Inspector in October 2013; Deputy Chief in June 2018; and Chief of Community Affairs in January 2018. 

Chief Nilda Harrison (Photo courtesy of Bronx Times)

Hofmann most recently served as the Chief of Community Affairs, and also commanded the 25 and 52 Precincts.

Hofmann earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College, and is a 2013 graduate of the Police Management Institute at Columbia University.

Chief Judith Harrison, shown while she was commander of the 109th Precinct in Queens. (File photo/QNS)

Harrison is the fourth Black woman in department history to rise to the rank of assistant chief, following Kim Royster, Donna Jones and Juanita Holmes. Assistant Chief Harrison earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from John Jay College in 2018.