A combined 75 years of service by two NYPD Chiefs was celebrated at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Assistant Chief Owen Monaghan, who is head of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South and Chief Gerald Nelson the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, were honored by Borough President Eric Adams on Thursday, February 19 as the two are retiring from their respective positions.
Colleagues, local dignitaries, clergy members and family were among those in attendance for the ceremony, where the honorees received Proclamations.
Monaghan’s resume includes 34 years in law enforcement. As a two-star chief and commander of Brooklyn South, he was responsible for overseeing 3,000 officers and 13 precincts as well as specialty units. However, he isn’t fully retiring. He has been appointed as vice president, security, at New York City Transit, a position he will begin on Monday, March 9.
Adams — himself a former police captain — was happy to honor both Monaghan and Nelson. “Chief Nelson and Chief Monaghan made it clear they understood challenges we dealt with as elected officials and whenever we called their office, they were extremely responsive. I asked them if we could acknowledge their years of service and I’m so glad they agreed,” he said. “It’s only fitting to take a moment and acknowledge their success. And when you look at the numbers, crime has decreased over the years.”
“I’m overwhelmed. To the borough president, you’ve made such strides in making the borough one Brooklyn,” said Monaghan, who was born in Crown Heights. “This room is filled with friends.You’re always very supportive. It’s a great, but bittersweet feeling.”
MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco spoke highly of Monaghan in a statement. “Not only will NYCT benefit from Owen’s 34 years of transit and policing experience, but in addition to his distinguished career with the NYPD, Owen is one of the nation’s most recognized and credentialed transit security experts,” Bianco said.
NYPD Deputy Chief James O’Neil was in attendance to express his gratitude towards the retirees. “Somewhere in your life as young men when you were young, you made a decision to do something good and right,” he said. “I don’t know the words to express my thanks for what you’ve done. You were always there for the community and this is what we need to aspire to.”
Nelson was also grateful for the honorable sendoff. “It’s been a wonderful run,” he told the group. “I love this job, but it’s time to move on. I reached that 63rd birthday recently. I started when I was 21. Two-thirds of my life has been devoted to this city. It’s a privilege that we made a big difference, but the difference is made in communities with everyone.”