June 30, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY — Mayor Bill de Blasio has 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 ½ 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.
Mayor de Blasio also 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.”