July 1, 2014

Former NYPD Chief To Head Emergency Mgmt.

Choice Praised by PBA


Joseph Esposito, who retired 18 months ago as Chief of Department for the NYPD, is returning to city service as Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management, Mayor de Blasio announced June 27.

Mr. Esposito, 64, spent more than 44 years as a police officer, including 12 at the highest uniformed rank. He retired, as required by law, when he turned 63.

Mayor: He’s Got Judgment

Mr. de Blasio said, “OEM is on the front line of every major emergency and threat facing the city, and has to work in tandem with other agencies to prepare for and mobilize the city’s response to any major emergency, be it a hurricane, blackout, terror attack, or neighborhood crisis like the March 12 explosion and building collapse in East Harlem.

“Joseph Esposito has the good judgment to react and guide the city’s response during an emergency,” he continued, “and also has the experience of working as part of a team to marshal the resources of the city and execute strategies to save lives.”

Mr. Esposito responded, “Every Mayor’s first priority is keeping New Yorkers safe, and I am honored to be entrusted with the task of upholding this promise in times of citywide crisis.”

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch said: “Former Chief of Department Joe Esposito is an outstanding choice to lead the Office of Emergency Management. During his 40 years at the NYPD he has seen and dealt with it all, from natural diasters to riots in the streets. He is a New Yorker through and through who never forgot where he came from as he rose up the ladder at the NYPD.”

He replaces Joseph Bruno, an appointee of Mayor Michael Bloomberg who had agreed to stay on to help Mr. de Blasio with the transition. He resigned last month.

Stop-and-Frisk Protagonist

Mr. Esposito’s appointment was a surprise in some quarters because, although he was popular with his troops at the Police Department, he received negative publicity over testimony he gave in the Federal lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk.

He defended the use of the tactic in fighting crime and asserted that race played no part in stops. U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that the department had used stop-and-frisk in an unconstitutional fashion, choosing suspects who shared the race and ethnicity of offenders rather than meeting the requirement that they appear to be involved in criminal activity.