MDC aka The Tombs is renamed the Bernard B. Kerik Complex
BBKC sign over door NYCHS logo

New York City's most historic jail -- officially the Manhattan Detention Complex but better known by its nickname The Tombs -- was formally renamed in honor of Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2001.

First as the Department of Correction's First Deputy Commissioner and then as its Commissioner, Kerik led that agency in achieving what is widely acknowledged as the most historic turnaround ever accomplished by any jail system in the country.

Below are texts from the Mayor's Office press release for the occasion and from the Department's printed program for the ceremonies.

Also appearing here are NYCHS snapshots of the event. With pride the reader can readily appreciate, we note that Commissioner Kerik was the founding board chairman of NYCHS and remains a board member.

NYCHS Webmaster

[Below is the text of the Mayor's Office press release
on the dedication ceremony for the Bernard B. Kerik Complex]
Mayor Giuliani and Correction Commissioner Fraser
Rename the Manhattan Detention Complex
'The Bernard B. Kerik Complex'

Above, while awaiting arrival of the mayor, the honoree and colleagues confer informally. From left, Criminal Justice Coordinator Steven M. Fishner, Commissioner Kerik, First Deputy Commissioner Gary M. Lanigan (back to camera here, third from front left below), Commissioner Fraser and Chief of Dept. Robert N. Davoren. Below, with word His Honor's arrival is imminent, members of the dais take their seats.

"The Tombs" to be Dedicated in Honor of the former Correction Commissioner and current Police Commissioner

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani joined Correction Commissioner William J. Fraser today at a dedication ceremony during which the Manhattan Detention Complex, better known as "The Tombs," was renamed The Bernard B. Kerik Complex.

The ceremony was held to honor Bernard Kerik, the former Correction Department Commissioner and current Commissioner of the New York Police Department. Joining the Mayor at the ceremony was Commissioner Kerik and members of his family.

"This is a fitting tribute to a man who made significant contributions to the Department of Correction and to the City of New York during his years in public service," said Mayor Giuliani.

"While serving as Correction Commissioner, Bernie Kerik instituted a number of far-reaching and innovative measures that directly led to the dramatic reduction in crime in the Department's sprawling jail system.

At left, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani arrives at the MDC ceremony tent and is escorted by a CO. Below, His Honor greets dais members.

"He turned the jails on Riker's Island from being one of the most dangerous jail complexes in the country, into one of the safest today.

Commissioner Fraser formally dedicates MDC as BBKC.

"I am proud to have had Bernard Kerik serve in my Administration, and delighted that the renaming of this complex will serve as a lasting reminder of his many important achievements."

Correction Commissioner William J. Fraser said," Police Commissioner Kerik would be the first to insist that the credit for the unprecedented reduction in inmate violence goes to Mayor Giuliani and to the men and women who work in the jails.

"However, Commissioner Kerik is recognized as having been the driving force behind our achieving the greatest turnaround in jail safety this or any correctional agency has ever accomplished.

At left, Mayor, other dais members and audience stand during presentation of the colors and the singing of the national anthem.
At left, under the watchful eye of a member of his security team, His Honor mingles with guests after ceremony before leaving to another event.

"Dedicating the Bernard B. Kerik Complex is a fitting tribute because he showed us how to run the jails in a way that makes them safe for staff as well as inmates."

The complex, located at 125 White Street in lower Manhattan, consists of two buildings designated the North and South Towers, and is connected by an enclosed bridgeway.

The South Tower, formerly known as the Manhattan House of Detention or the Tombs was opened in 1983, after a complete remodeling. The North Tower was opened in 1990. The complex includes the court facilities.

[Below left is the text of the order of ceremony
from the printed program for the dedication of the Bernard B. Kerik Complex]

To the immediate left is an image of the front cover of the printed program for and distributed at the Bernard B. Kerik Complex dedication ceremony. The inside text begins on the far left.

Bernard B. Kerik
December 12, 2001


Master of Ceremony:
Correction Officer
Kevin P. Johnson

Above and below, listening attentively to the speakers is the audience of DOC and NYPD civilian and uniformed staffers, other officials and invited guests seated in a tent set up for the ceremonies in front of The Tombs


Ceremonial Unit

National Anthem:
Michael Ficco

Leib Glanz

Musical Selection:
Emerald Pipe Band

Silhouetted in the image above, Commissioners Kerik and Fraser rise and Mayor Giuliani claps as COBA president Norman Seabrook, on platform far right, steps forward in a gesture of regard. Silhouetted in the image at left, CCA president Peter Meringolo, right, presents a plaque.

Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani
Mayor, City of New York

Norman Seabrook, President
Correction Officers'
Benevolent Association

Peter Meringolo, President
Correction Captains Association

Hon. Leslie Crocker Snyder
New York State Supreme Court Justice

Silhouetted in the image above, Commissioner Fraser and Mayor Giuliani clap as Commissioner Kerik looks at a facsimile of a bronze dedication plaque to be placed at the entrance to the Bernard B. Kerik Complex. Master of Ceremony C. O. Johnson, right, removes the curtain that covered it. Below Rabbi Leib Glanz, who gave the Invocation and Benediction, leads the gathering in prayer.

Remarks and Dedication:
William J. Fraser

Remarks, Guest of Honor:
Bernard B. Kerik,
New York City
Police Department

Leib Glanz

[Below is the Bernard B. Kerik bio text
from dedication's printed program]

From the United States Army to the New York City Police Department, Bernard B. Kerik has distinguished himself as a leader and innovator. His years of government service have been characterized by dedication, loyalty, success and courage under fire. Commissioner Kerik was appointed New York City's 40th Police Commissioner on August 21, 2000. Prior to his appointment, he served as Commissioner of the Department of Correction, a position to which he was appointed on January 1, 1998.

He previously served for three years as this Department's First Deputy Commissioner and the Director of the Investigations Division.

Commissioner Kerik began his professional career as a member of the U.S. Army's Military Police, serving in Korea and in the 18th Airborne Corps where he trained Special Forces personnel. Following his military service, Commissioner Kerik traveled to Saudi Arabia where he assumed various security assignments, including protection for members of the Saudi Royal Family.

Returning to the United States, Commissioner Kerik served as the Passaic County Sheriff's Office Training Officer, the Assistant Commander of the Sheriff's Emergency Response Team, and the Commander of its Special Weapons and Operations Units. In December 1985, Commissioner Kerik was appointed the Warden of the Passaic County Jail.

In July of 1986, Commissioner Kerik left the Passaic County Jail to join the New York City Police Department. He served in a variety of assignments including undercover duties with anti-crime and narcotics units in various commands before being selected for the U.S. Department of Justice's New York Drug Enforcement Task Force. It was there that he helped direct a narcotics investigation that resulted in the conviction of more than sixty members of the Cali Cartel.

During his tenure with the NYPD, he was decorated on thirty separate occasions for meritorious and heroic service, receiving the Police Department's prestigious Medal of Valor.

In December 1997, he was appointed by Mayor Giuliani to the newly formed New York City Gambling Control Commission. Commissioner Kerik currently is president of the American Academy for Professional Law Enforcement, and serves on the Terrorism Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He is also a member of the Criminal Justice Advisory Council of St. John's University and a former chairman of the Michael John Buczek Foundation's Annual Fundraiser, which honors law enforcement heroes across the nation.

Today's dedication serves as a permanent reminder of Commissioner Kerik's contributions to and impact on the City of New York.

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