NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday defended the appointment of his brother to a job in the NYPD, saying his brother is best suited to handle security matters directly related to Adams and his family.
“I trust my brother, my brother understands me and if I had to put my life in someone’s hands, I want to put it in the hands of the person that I trust deeply,” Adams said during an unrelated press conference outside Bellevue hospital.
Bernard Adams, the brother of Mayor Adams, has taken a job with the NYPD as deputy commissioner of intergovernmental affairs. Sources tell NY1 that Bernard will be charged with handling the mayor’s security detail — an elite NYPD unit usually made up of dozens of officers assigned to protect the mayor and his family.
During the campaign for mayor, Adams — a former NYPD captain — said he wasn’t sure if he would travel with a security detail, and it’s been unclear what level of security the mayor is getting since he took office earlier this month.
Adams has said he wants to show New Yorkers the city is safe, but when pressed on Sunday about his brother’s appointment to the job during an interview on CNN, Adams said he had become worried about the threats of white supremacy and domestic terrorism in the country.
“Let me be clear on this: My brother is qualified for the position,” Adams said. “Number one, he will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me at a time when we see an increase in white supremacy and hate crimes.”
The job of protecting the mayor and his family had most recently fallen to the purview of the deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism of the NYPD, overseen by Deputy Commissioner John Miller. It is unclear who Bernard Adams would report to in his new role.
Public servants are typically barred from hiring members of their family to city jobs, but Adams said Sunday his office is in the process of getting guidance from the City’s Conflict of Interest Board, which would issue an opinion and “make a determination” on the hire.
“Protection is personal,” Adams said. “You have an increase of anarchists in this city, country. We have a serious problem with white supremacy.”
Bernard Adams, a 20 year veteran who is now retired from the NYPD, most recently worked as assistant director for parking at Virginia Commonwealth University, according to his LinkedIn page. Adams said his brother’s past NYPD experience wasn’t the only thing that made him qualified for the job, saying he wants a level of protection that will still allow New Yorkers feel like he is “approachable.”
“When you talk about this type of security that I want, it’s extremely unique,” Adams said. “I don’t want to be away from my public.”