When NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan spoke to Ryan Tubridy on Thursday morning the first topic that came up, unsurprisingly, was his Irish connection. Monahan, who has held the title of highest ranking uniformed officer since 2016, said he traced his roots on his mother’s side to Galway and his father’s to Cavan. Speaking about the tradition of Irish cops in New York City, he told Ryan:
“It became the profession for the Irishmen when they came to New York City back in the early 1900s, it’s something that I’ve just always wanted to be, even when growing up. It’s just tradition, the Irish help run the city.”
Having joined the force back in 1982, Terence described what was back then a different city:
“I started in the 41st Precinct and the place was burnt down. The Station House that I worked in on Simpson Street was the only building still standing on the block. Everything else had burnt down from the fires of the 70s that devastated the city. It was a difficult time as a New York City cop and it’s a completely different city now.”
Monahan went onto to describe how things turned around when William Bratton was appointed Commissioner of the NYPD in 1994.
“They realised that focused police work would make a difference in neighbourhoods. Having cops go out there with a reason not just going out hapazardly, holding commanders responsible for crime in their area, it really did change the entire scope.”
Ryan asked about the impact of the events of 9/11 on the city and asked Terence about his experience that day, nineteen years ago.
“I was actually at home when the planes hit, I was taking my kids to school and I heard it on the news, I had to quickly come in and get changed. That day I spent up in The Washington Heights section trying to get people outof the city and the next day I spent at Ground Zero, just the devastatiion it was unreal. As a city to see how we’ve bounced back from that it’s just tremendous.”
Ryan wondered if the young cop Terence described on his first day in 1982 ever thought he’d be the highest ranking uniformed officer on the force. Terence laughed, no, not at all:
“I was a young agressive cop having a lot of fun out on the streets. Eventually I took a promotion exam, I moved up through the agency. Did I ever think I’d be Chief of Department? No – things just happen. They happen for a reason. I guess just being a good solid Irishman helped me through the agency.”
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan is doing a Q & A at The International Fraud Prevention Conference in Dublin in Croke Park on March 11th.
You can listen to Terence’s full chat with Ryan here:
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