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Press Release #17-67
Friday, October 20, 2017
CONTACT: Public Affairs 646-885-5020

DSNY and FDNY Commissioners present Gold Medal to DSNY employee who helped catch EMT Yadira Arroyo suspect at DSNY Ceremony

DSNY to Swear In New First Deputy Commissioner and Three Four-Star Chiefs

At today’s ceremony, Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro honored DSNY employee Ralph Alonso, the recipient of Sanitation’s Gold Medal of Honor, who was instrumental in apprehending the suspect responsible for the death of  FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo by tackling and holding him for police custody.

The Department of Sanitation installed a new First Deputy Commissioner and swore in three four-star Chiefs. In addition, Sanitation welcomed over 300 new Sanitation Workers, Sanitation Police, as well as new Sanitation Enforcement Agents. The Department also promoted more than 160 employees including Assistant Chiefs, Deputy Chiefs, General Superintendents, Supervisors, Permit Inspection Officers, Sanitation Police Lieutenants, and Lieutenants and Sergeants in the Enforcement Division.

“This is a very special morning for the Department of Sanitation as we honor those who have gone above and beyond, install a new First Deputy Commissioner, promote uniform personnel to greater responsibilities in every rank, and induct new Sanitation Workers and Enforcement Agents,” said Commissioner Garcia. “I congratulate all of you on your well-deserved accomplishments and greetings to everyone who is joining the Department.”

The ceremony marks firsts for Sanitation. As the new First Deputy Commissioner, Steven Costas is the first Hispanic in the Department’s 88 year history to rise through the ranks from Sanitation Worker to First Deputy Commissioner. Chief Shari Pardini, in charge of the Operations Management Division and Internal Audits, is the first female to become a four-star uniformed chief in the Department’s history. Chief John Capo, Director of Solid Waste Management and Chief Edward Grayson, Director of Cleaning and Collection who are newly promoted four-star Chiefs bring a new and innovative ways to manage their areas of expertise. 

During the awards portion of the ceremony, Sanitation acknowledged professional excellence in the workplace. Commissioner Garcia presented a special award – a Certificate of Golden Achievement – to Sanitation Worker Joseph Caggiano, a Staten Island resident, who has worked on household collection for over 50 years.

About the New York City Department of Sanitation

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) keeps New York City healthy, safe and clean by collecting, recycling and disposing of waste, cleaning streets and vacant lots, and clearing snow and ice. The Department operates 59 district garages and manages a fleet of more than 2,000 rear-loading collection trucks, 450 mechanical brooms and 689 salt/sand spreaders. The Department clears litter, snow and ice from approximately 6,500 miles of City streets and removes debris from vacant lots as well as abandoned vehicles from City streets.