Mayor Giuliani and outgoing Commissioner Michael Jacobson congratulate First Deputy Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik, left, on his appointment as new Commissioner. Bureau Chief Sidney Head applauds in background.
City Hall "Blue Room,"
December 23, 1997

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today accepted the resignation of New York City Correction Commissioner Michael P. Jacobson and appointed First Deputy Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik to the post effective January 1, 1998. Mr. Kerik succeeds Mr. Jacobson, who, after three years as Commissioner, is leaving the Administration to join the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "I am proud to appoint Bernie Kerik as Commissioner of the Department of Correction. He has a long and distinguished career in public service and law enforcement and will continue the excellent work begun over the past four years," Mayor Giuliani said.

"Under the joint leadership of Commissioner Jacobson and First Deputy Commissioner Kerik, the Department has achieved significant operational and safety improvements. Violence in the City's jail system -- with 133,000 admissions last year -- is down to unprecedented lows, jail safety has greatly increased, officer morale is improved and the Agency has gained national recognition in identifying and controlling gang violence in the jails.

The Mayor added, "In addition to these achievements, the Department's overtime spending has been reduced by almost 50 percent, sick leave has been cut by 38 percent, and the amount of drug treatment provided in the City's jails has expanded. The Department will also continue to play a role in the Anti-Drug Agenda by reducing the presence of drugs in the City. These and other accomplishments were achieved during a time when the Department has seen record numbers of inmate admissions."

The Mayor also commented on the departure of Mr. Jacobson, 44, who will become a professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Mayor said, "Commissioner Jacobson has proven himself to be an effective manager and accomplished leader. Throughout his career in government, he has served the City with distinction. He is a skilled and dedicated professional and he will be greatly missed."

Commissioner Kerik said, "I am honored that Mayor Giuliani has asked me to become Correction Commissioner. I fully intend to continue the dramatic successes which the Department has achieved over the last several years."

Mr. Kerik has a background in law enforcement. Prior to his appointment as the Department's First Deputy Commissioner, he joined Correction as Director of the Investigations Division. Before that, he served with the New York Police Department (NYPD) from July 1986 to May 1994 in both uniformed and plain clothes duty. He was later assigned to the most substantial narcotic investigations in the history of the Department, resulting in the conviction of more than 60 members of the Cali Cartel.

Before joining the NYPD, Commissioner Kerik served as Warden of the Passaic County jail, the largest county adult correctional facility in New Jersey. There, he also served as the Department's Training Officer and Commander of the Special Weapons and Operations Units.

In December, 1997, Mr. Kerik was appointed by the Mayor as a member of the newly-formed New York City Gambling Control Commission. Mr. Kerik also chairs the Michael Buczek Foundation's annual fundraiser that honors law enforcement across the nation.

A Bronx resident, Commissioner Kerik, 42, spent three years in the US Army as an MP, assigned to Korea and the 18th Airborne Corps, where he trained special forces personnel at the John F. Kennedy Unconventional Warfare Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

As Commissioner, Mr. Kerik will earn $136,990 annually. Mr. Kerik has a twelve year-old son, Joey.

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