City bids farewell to longest-serving NYPD chief 

It was a great honor for this writer to be able to join city officials, Mayor Eric Adams, former mayors Bill de Blasio and Rudy Giuliani, family and friends and more than a thousand police officers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Jan. 9 for Joseph Esposito’s funeral service.

“Taps” is played outside St. Patrick’s.

As a columnist and photojournalist over many years, we had a number of occasions to meet, photograph and write about this superb public servant. He was born and raised in Bensonhurst and was a longtime parishioner of St. Athanasius Church, 6115 Bay Parkway. In 2000, he was promoted to chief of the department by Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.

NYPD’s Color Guard and Pipers prepare to march with the hearse.

During the homily, Msgr. David Cassato, former pastor of St. Athanasius, vicar for Brooklyn Diocese Catholic Schools and the assistant chief chaplain for the NYPD, spoke of Esposito’s goodness and dedication. He said that after Esposito was sworn in as chief at a public ceremony in front of City Hall, his first remarks were, “I thank God.”

Officers salute as the casket goes by.

After his tenure with the NYPD, Esposito served as commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management from 2014 to 2019. He then came out of retirement when Mayor Adams appointed him deputy buildings commissioner.

Apparently, from his daily work at Ground Zero helping to recover the remains of victims of 9/11, he was later diagnosed with brain cancer and died at age 73. He was interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park.

An honor guard escorts the hearse.


Save the Dates! The following is a list of 2024 parades scheduled to take place in southwest Brooklyn.

• 49th annual Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Park Slope on Sunday, March 17.

• 29th annual Bay Ridge St. Patrick’ s Day Parade on Sunday, March 24.

• 75th annual 17th of May Norwegian American Parade in Bay Ridge on Sunday, May 19.

• 157th annual Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade in Bay Ridge on Monday, May 27.

• 118th annual Brooklyn American Independence Day Parade in Sunset Park on Sunday, June 30.

• 58th annual Children’s Ragamuffin Parade in Bay Ridge on Saturday, Sept. 28.

• 42nd annual Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade in Bensonhurst on Sunday, Oct. 5.

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