Bernard Kerik, former New York police commissioner, has been
nominated by President Bush as the next secretary of homeland security, the
White House announced Friday, Dec. 3.
Kerik is one of the most accomplished and effective leaders of law enforcement
in America,” the president said in prepared remarks. “In his career, he has
served as an enlisted military police officer in Korea, a jail warden in New
Jersey, a beat cop in Manhattan, New York City corrections commissioner and as
New York’s 40th police commissioner – an office once held by Teddy Roosevelt.
In every position, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to justice, a heart
for the innocent, and a record of great success.”
must be confirmed by the Senate before he will officially hold the post now
occupied by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, the first person to occupy the
post when the Cabinet-level department was established after the September 11
president’s nominee was police commissioner in New York City on September 11,
2001. Bush noted in his introduction that Kerik arrived at the World Trade
Center shortly after the first plane hit and was present when the towers fell.
addition to his stint as police commission, Kerik was an enlisted military
police officer in Korea, a jail warden in New Jersey, a beat cop in Manhattan
and was head of New York City’s jails.
agency Kerik will oversee includes the Transportation Security Administration,
as well as several other agencies that have a direct impact on the trucking
appeared with Bush during the announcement, made in the Roosevelt Room at the
White House. He called the president a “strong, effective and inspirational
leader in the war for freedom and against terror,” and said Ridge was a “a
decorated veteran, faithful public servant, and courageous trail blazer.”
I receive the consent of the Senate, I will devote every power I possess toward
fulfilling the vital mission you have set before me and the Department of
Homeland Security,” he said. “Our nation is truly safer because of Secretary
Ridge and his tireless efforts.”