In a move to assert the NYPD's role and to ruffle some feathers, the Mayor is proposing that the NYPD would lead all regional authorities during emergencies. Newsday reports that this means "Ray Kelly would take charge at all big incidents in city train stations, ports, airports, bridges or tunnels run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority," which then means that both NY Governor Pataki and NJ Governor Codey would need to agree. Mayor Bloomberg has ratcheted up the NYPD's power during his term, giving the NYPD control of emergency situations instead of the FDNY, which has brought him a lot of FDNY-resentment. In this case, the MTA's reaction to the Mayor's request was "The extensive discussions that the city had on its own protocol demonstrate that negotiations on these things are complex, and we shouldn't discuss them via press release." On the face of the situation, it seems like a good idea, as the NYPD's network is probably much bigger than the other smaller agencies. But there do need to be checks and balances, and other agencies might have their own areas of expertise. The best quote is from Jerome Hauer, who worked in emergency management under Rudy Giuliania: "Since the mayor has no understanding of public safety, he defers to Ray Kelly. And Ray Kelly's idea of public safety is, 'I run everything and I'm the only one that can do it.'" Snap!
Mayor Wants NYPD in Charge
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