Mayor de Blasio Appoints Joseph Esposito as Commissioner, Office of Emergency Management

June 27, 2014

Video available at: http://youtu.be/BuVkKeQRKa8

44-year NYPD Veteran and former chief of department Joseph Esposito to lead city's emergency response efforts

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the appointment of Joseph Esposito to serve as New York City's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner. As Commissioner of OEM, Esposito will be responsible for ensuring that New York City is fully prepared to respond to natural and man-made emergencies, coordinating disaster response among all city agencies, and properly educating city residents on disaster preparedness.

Esposito brings decades of hands-on crisis response experience, interagency coordination and citywide operational knowledge to the department. A lifelong New Yorker, Esposito has served in nearly every uniformed position of the NYPD, and during his 12 1Ž2 year tenure as Chief of Department, he led the NYPD's planning efforts for every major event, and oversaw the NYPD's response to every major emergency in the past decade, including the September 11th attacks and Hurricane Sandy. As NYPD's Chief of Department, he directed and controlled the daily operations of the five major enforcement bureaus, and was instrumental in the NYPD's evolution from a traditional crime-fighting organization to one with a counter-terrorism mission at its center, following the attacks on September 11, 2001.

OEM First Deputy Commissioner, Calvin Drayton will remain in his current role, where he oversees all day to day operations and coordination with city, state, federal, non-profit and private sector partners.

Also today, Mayor de Blasio announced that Dr. Irwin Redlener, founder and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Earth Institute, will serve as an unpaid special advisor, with a focus on emergency management and planning. Dr. Redlener is recognized as one of the nation's leading experts on preparing for, responding to and recovering from large-scale disasters. As special advisor, Redlener will support and advise the administration's citywide disaster preparedness and response efforts.

"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 12th explosion and building collapse in East Harlem," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Joseph Esposito has the good judgment to react and guide the city's response during an emergency, 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."

"I am also pleased to announce that Dr. Irwin Redlener is going to join the administration as Special Advisor to my administration. As an expert in this field, and a physician, his innovative thinking and depth of knowledge of how we can best keep our city's most vulnerable populations safe will prove to be a tremendous asset and we are lucky to be able to draw from his expertise," continued Mayor de Blasio.

"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. From terrorist attacks to hurricanes, our city has experienced devastating crises—and we have weathered these events in no small part because of the hardworking efforts of OEM. As Commissioner, I will work tirelessly to build on and improve OEM's strong response record, and deliver the rapid and robust emergency response service New Yorkers deserve," said incoming Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito.

"Synchronizing the planning and response efforts between firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers, and dozens of other agency staffers in the face of large-scale emergencies is an immense task—and the city's impressive response record speaks to the skill of OEM's efforts. I'm honored to join incoming-Commissioner Esposito and the entire OEM workforce to help this city prepare for future emergencies, protect the most vulnerable residents, and ensure our city is as resilient as possible in the years to come," said incoming Special Advisor Dr. Irwin Redlener.

"NYC OEM is the best Office of Emergency Management in the country, and perhaps anywhere. I have a long working relationship with Joe Esposito, and thus, I know OEM will be in good hands. I look forward to working with him as he comes on board and I am confident that the plans, protocols and outreach programs OEM has developed will continue to serve the city and its citizens well," said outgoing OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno.

"Joseph Esposito will be prepared on day one to aid this city in any type of emergency. As NYPD's Chief of Department, Esposito led the NYPD through some of its most challenging years, and his decades with New York City's Finest mean he has responded to emergencies of every type and scale. We are glad to have him on board serving the people of New York," said NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.

"I've known Joe Esposito for many years and worked closely with him in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. "His commitment to the safety of all New Yorkers - demonstrated time and again during his extraordinary, lengthy career with the NYPD - makes him a great choice to head the Office of Emergency Management. I look forward to partnering with him once again to protect our city and keep all New Yorkers safe."

"Chief Esposito is a tested and trusted leader, exactly the type of public servant New York City needs to head its Office of Emergency Management. I have been honored to serve alongside him in the New York City Police Department, where he consistently displayed the skills needed for this next chapter in his storied career. As emergencies arise, whatever they may be, our city will benefit from Joe and his steady crisis management," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

"Protecting the safety of all New Yorkers during a major emergency is a critical responsibility and with his extraordinary breadth of experience and proven leadership Joseph Esposito is well-suited to lead our City's Office of Emergency Management," said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson (D-Bronx, 16th CD), chair of the Council's Public Safety Committee. "I am particularly pleased that he has such extensive experience with the New York City Police Department and has a proven record of that includes the coordination of public safety efforts in the aftermath of the Sept. 11th attack and Hurricane Sandy. I thank Mayor de Blasio for making such a wise choice to lead such an important agency."

About Joseph Esposito

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joseph Esposito has spent over forty years serving New York City's Police Department. Esposito began his career as an 18-year-old police trainee in August 1968, and held every position in the NYPD, including Deputy Inspector, Inspector, Deputy Chief, and Assistant Chief.

In 2000, Esposito was appointed Chief of Department, where he served until 2013. As Chief of department, Esposito directed and controlled the daily operations of the five major enforcement Bureaus—Patrol Services, Detectives, Transit, Housing and Organized Crime Control—within the NYPD. As the longest-serving chief in department history, Esposito presided over a 40 percent drop in violent crime, oversaw the agency's evolution from a traditional crime-fighting organization to one that embraced the post-9/11 anti-terror mission, and helped introduce the Toys-for-Guns program in Washington Heights.

Esposito earned praise for his leadership during and after the 9/11 attacks, ordering his officers not to charge into the towers after the planes struck and saving countless lives. Esposito also oversaw the NYPD's response to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. When he reached the mandatory retirement age of 63, Esposito was the only four star chief in the NYPD and the highest ranking uniformed member of the NYPD. Esposito has received several of the NYPD's highest awards, including Combat Cross, the Medal for Valor, and the Medal for Exceptional Merit. He has also received the Otto Raphael award, given by the Shomrim Society and in 2009, received the LT Petrosino Award.

Since May 2013, Esposito has volunteered as Chairperson of the Diocesan Review Board, which reviews complaints of clergy misconduct. Esposito holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York.

About Dr. Irwin Redlener

Dr. Irwin Redlener founded and directs the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's renowned Earth Institute. He is also a professor of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health, and a Professor of Pediatrics in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.

Dr. Redlener is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading experts on disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Under his leadership, the NCDP has performed seminal research, analysis and advising on topics including public readiness and recovery, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, tornadoes, nuclear terrorism, major pandemics and other catastrophic events. He has worked extensively with members of Congress, key Cabinet-level officials and the White House.

Dr. Redlener is also co-founder and president of the Children's Health Fund, established in 1987 to provide comprehensive health care to some of the nation's most medically underserved children. CHF provided medical care in the aftermaths of Hurricane Andrew, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Hurricane Sandy. In the Bronx, Dr. Redlener served as a principal developer and president of the new Children's Hospital at Montefiore.

Dr. Redlener is the author of Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do Now

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