DECEMBER 2004 FORUM QUESTION:
SHOULD BERNARD KERIK BE CONFIRMED AS SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY?
Kerik, is a fish out of water. While he's hooked up, Washington will swallow him whole.
VP Sales and Marketing
J. O'Brien Co.
JUST ONE MAN'S OPINION.
IF I WERE TO SAY NO IT WOULD LOOK LIKE I DON'T FEEL HE HAS THE FORTITUDE TO DO THE JOB. IT'S JUST THAT OTHER PEOPLE CROSS MY MIND FOR SUCH AN IMPORTANT POSITION
FOR ONE IS RUDY GIULIANI, WHEN I SAW WHAT
HAPPENED ON 9-11 AND OBSERVED THE "GOVERNER" OF THE ENTIRE STATE STEP BACK TO WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND WATCH THE MAYOR OF THE CITY TAKE ENTIRE CONTROL OF EVERYTHING, I REALIZED THAT IF TEDDY ROOSEVELT WAS
GOVERNOR HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN COMPLETE CONTROL. THAT' A FEW YEARS AGO BUT I THOUGHT THIS MAN IS GOING TO BE PRESIDENT SOME DAY.
I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST KERICK AND WOULD ACCEPT HIM IF HE IS ENDORSED. BUT GIULIANI
AND A FEW OTHERS MAY BE A BETTER CHOICE.
Bernard Kerik has one qualification, he can carry Rudy’s jacket.
but when I hear that name I immediately think of political favoritism. Here is a guy with golden spoon getting another political favor via Rudy. He was Rudy's boy from his first day as bodyguard and it still
continues but hey that's politics I guess.. Just a shame that all the better qualified personnel get passed over because they aren't hooked up ........
Frank Sabler, retired PO
Absolutely, Bernie should be Homeland Security Boss. I believe that he will do a great job. I do not think that he will be
hampered by the normal Washington D.C. B.S. and politics. He helped this city through it's worst time. No doubt his association with Rudy made him but he was a good PC. He did some time in the trenches. That's more
than you can say that about most bosses. They are inside guys that took tests. How many PC ever worked in the street?? That will be a VERY short list.
Joe Favor- SINY, Ret-Det.
You may already know that my husband retired as a NYPD Sgt. after 39 yrs on the job on January 31, 2001, the same day that my son was appointed to the FDNY. 6 months later, it was all over
Here is the letter I wrote with four other FDNY parents :
Re: Bernard Kerik:
As parents of NYC Firefighters whose sons were part of the 343
who suffered a brutal and needles death on 9/11, we know that we echo many parents and families of Firefighters & civilians who categorically opposed the outrageous nomination of Bernard Kerik for Secretary of Homeland Security.
Kerik was as unqualified to lead the NYPD in the past as he is to lead the Dept of Homeland Security today. This former chauffeur & bodyguard to Rudy Giuliani brought little to the emergency management of NYC. On 9/11, NYC was the only major city in the US without an integrated command structure in which the NYPD , FDNY, and other services could actually work together as a unit during a major disaster. This
lack of an integrated command structure, combined with FD radios which did not work in the WTC, became a prescription for disaster on 9/11.
Because Bernard Kerik
allowed a culture of competition and rivalry to fester, Firefighters were unable to accompany the PD in their helicopters to observe that the second WTC tower was in grave danger of collapse. Thus the PD had 21
precious minutes of warning to get their officers out. But there was no incident command system in place to tell the FD of the deadly situation they were in, even if their substandard radios were working. This is a
disgrace and a crime, and on 9/11, Kerik and the Giuliani Administration
were part of the problem of massive failures in emergency management and communications, including the total inadequacy of the 911 system.
How does this qualify Kerik
to run Homeland Security for this nation? His rude, audacious and pugnacious response at the 9-11 Commission
hearings in NYC this past May should be further evidence that this is not the type of man who should be running one of the most important Departments in the federal government. Misguided people have referred to the walking around done by
Kerik, Von Essen and Giuliani that day as being "heroic". Kerik supporters cite the fact that "he was there on 9/11." We say -So was
"Bear," the Rescue Dog- and he did a hell of a lot more than Bernard Kerik
ever did. Stop the insanity, and select an educated and capable professional with a proven record of accomplishment to help protect our beloved country, not this imposter.
mother of Probationary FF Christian Regenhard
Eileen Tallon, mother of FF Sean Patrick Tallon
Gerard Jean-Baptiste, father of FF Gerard Baptiste
Adele Welty, Mother of FF Timothy M. Welty
Linda Cammarata, mother of Probationary FF Michael Cammarata
FORUM RESPONSES SHOULD BE SENT TO: CAPTAINREUSS@VERIZON.NET
The Choice of a prince’s ministers is a matter of no little
importance; they are either good or not according to the prudence of the prince.
The first impression that one gets of a ruler and of his brains is from seeing the men that he has about him. When they are competent and faithful one can always consider him wise, as he has been able to recognize their ability and keep them faithful. But when they are the reverse, one can always form an unfavourable opinion of him, because the first mistake that he makes is in making this choice.
Chapter 22, Of the Secretaries of Princes, “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli
When I selected the topic of former NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik’s
nomination as Secretary of Homeland Security, I hadn’t anticipated that he would withdraw from consideration to that position. I received a number of responses to the forum question; however, the question is now moot.
However, when Kerik was nominated by President Bush for that vital position, I was surprised by that decision. I have never met Bernard Kerik.
When I retired from the NYPD in October of 1992, Kerik was probably still a detective.
He had been appointed to the NYPD in 1986, so he only had six years of service at the time of my retirement. From what I have heard, he was a hard-working detective and had received the highest recognition for his police work. Obviously, he had attracted the attention of some very important persons including
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. For whatever reasons, the Mayor saw talent in Kerik. So much so, that he appointed him as the Corrections Commissioner of the City
of NY. Kerik has previous experience in corrections prior to his appointed to the NYPD. He is credited with effective management of that agency during his brief term in office.
When he was selected by
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as his police commissioner in 2000, I was quite frankly surprised. I was disappointed when former Police Commissioner William Bratton had left so abruptly in 1996. Bratton had been an extremely effective police commissioner during his all too brief tenure in that position. I also understood why
Mayor Giuliani had selected Howard Safir as his replacement. Safir and Giuliani
were long time friends and there was a trust between them that only years of service could bring to a relationship. Safir was the Fire Commissioner and had
federal law enforcement experience. He was a proven executive with the proper credentials to serve as Police Commissioner of the largest police agency in the world.
When Safir found it necessary to leave for health reasons, Mayor Giuliani
did not have many more months to serve before term limitations would end his administration. The police executives serving in the upper management of the NYPD were an obvious place to look for candidates. For instance, the Chief of Department at the time was
Joseph Dunne. Dunne
had served for over thirty years rising in the ranks from patrolman. But, service time isn’t the only criterion for evaluation of police executives.
Chief of Department Joseph Dunne
was probably one of the most talented police executives in place during those years. He had been one of the rising stars during the Bratton
years. He had been the driving force behind the initiation of the Strategic and Tactical Command in Brooklyn North Borough (SATCOM). The much heralded COMPSTAT meetings held in One Police Plaza were run by guys like Dunne and former lst
Deputy Commissioner Patrick Kelleher who had retired to the private sector. There were many more experienced and talented police executives that the Mayor could have selected, but he chose former Detective Bernard Kerik as his choice for Police Commissioner.
When Bernard Kerik
was appointed as PC, he had the distinct advantage of having police executives like Joseph Dunne
and others at his side. Dunne became First Deputy Commissioner under Kerik and in effect, ran the job. That was a good decision.
The decision by Mayor Giuliani is revealing. When I was a captain of police, I always was amused when high-ranking members of the NYPD would quote Niccolo
Machiavelli’s “The Prince”.
It seemed as if that Florentine Nobleman had written a roadmap for the rising stars of the NYPD to use to navigate in the treacherous waters in which they found themselves. Swimming with the sharks is never easy. Why did the Mayor appoint a Police Commissioner who served in the rank of detective over police executives with much more experience and talent? Also, the Mayor had made a similar decision in his choice of Fire Commissioner. When
Howard Safir went from Fire Commissioner to Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner position was left open. Did the Mayor appoint from the experienced and
talented high ranking members of that department? No, he selected the President of the Uniformed Firefighter’s Association, (UFA) Thomas Von Essen. Von Essen held the rank of firefighter at the time of his appointed in 1996. He had never commanded one firefighter during an on-going fire incident, nor had he
any executive experience. He was a union man. I wonder what the firefighters thought about that one? I wonder what the fire Chiefs thought about that also. It is interesting to note that now that Rudolph Giuliani has returned to the private sector, he has formed the firm of Giuliani and Partners
which has become a lucrative consulting firm with very important government connections. The partners of that firm include Bernard Kerik and Thomas Von Essen.
That being said, the performance of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
during the events surrounding the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 has elicited the praise of the entire world. The Mayor of the City of New York became the Mayor of the World during those horrific days after the attack. He deserves every amount of praise that we can give him for the way he conducted himself. His talent as an executive and administrator is what makes those choices so puzzling.
The 9ll Commission has made observations that were critical of response by the NYPD and FDNY. I have written about the need for adoption of the Incident Command System
by both law enforcement agencies and firefighting agencies. The City of New York has formulated and adopted the Citywide Emergency Management System (CIMS)
which complies with the mandated National Emergency Management System (NIMS). We now have a working emergency management system in place. On September
11, 2001, we did not have such a system in place.
Mayor Giuliani was catapulted into global prominence by the events of September 11.
When the Twin Towers crumbled, the Mayor and his staff were forced to flee for their lives. The emergency operation center also was destroyed. Even cell phones failed to operate for a period of time. All coordination and control was lost.
Were it not for the media and the fact that citizens could monitor the events via television and the Internet, no one could have given intelligent direction to both the emergency workers and the
public. It is ironic that the much maligned media had rendered such critical help to get the City of New York in a position to keep the citizens in touch with their highest elected official on the scene, the
Mayor of the City of New York. The next time you read a negative report about the press and the media, remember that.
These are very critical days for
Those in power must choose their lieutenant carefully. They must not be afraid of selecting men and women who may be smarter than themselves or more talented. They must select those who will be loyal to them. Those who cannot be loyal, are not worthy of the trust placed in them from above.
I end this editorial with the words of the cops that I worked with years ago:
“Always remember, kid, the higher you climb into the tree, the more of your ass we are able to see:”….
Read here about the INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM
CHIEFS OF POLICE WMD SEMINAR
THE MCKINSEY REPORT ON NYPD
INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM
TERRORISM AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
THE INTERNET AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (2
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