Friday, November 26, 2010
NYPD's secret doomsday plan
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has a secret doomsday plan that spells out who would succeed him and Chief of Department Joseph Esposito should either die in a terror attack or other catastrophe, The Post has learned.
The seven-page memo -- formally titled a "Catastrophic Incident Management Plan" -- lays out who would take over if either becomes incapacitated, as well as where top NYPD commanders must go if a disaster hits.
Kelly's Oct. 27 memo is described as an "organizational structure and protocol designed to establish and maintain command and control in the event of a catastrophic incident." It was sent to 33 senior department officials.
Kelly, who is technically a civilian, would be replaced by NYPD First Deputy Police Commissioner Rafael Pineiro, the former NYPD Chief of Personnel, who also serves in a civilian capacity, the report says.
Esposito, a four-star chief and the highest-ranking uniformed department member, would be succeeded by Charles Campisi, head of Internal Affairs.
The plan lists three-star chiefs who would be in line if both Esposito and Campisi can't serve, with succession dependent on who has spent the most time in the three-star rank.
The memo does not specifically state who would take over if both Kelly and Pineiro were unable to serve.
Instead, it cryptically states that candidates would be drawn from a list of "deputy commissioners in descending order, as directed and designated by the Police Commissioner" -- without listing them by name.
When The Post asked Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne -- considered Kelly's closest confidant -- whether he might be third-in-line to succeed the commissioner, he said only: "We all know what our roles would be in the event of a catastrophic emergency."
The memo also lays out where top commanders would be dispatched if a disaster were to occur:
* Fifteen of Kelly's most senior advisers would move to an "Executive Command Center" in his office at 1 Police Plaza.
* Esposito would head an "On-Site Management Team" at the disaster site, if possible.
* An alternative command center would be set up and headed by Pineiro if Police Headquarters is destroyed.