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DV Pilot police & fire

Port Authority security chief retiring

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Joseph Dunne, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s first chief security officer, will retire as of Jan. 9, the authority announced this morning.

Dunne, a 32-year authority veteran who created the agency’s first centralized security department to enhance public safety at the agency’s bi-state transportation facilities, will be succeeded by First Deputy Chief Security Officer Thomas Belfiore.

“After nearly 45 years of serving in law enforcement and in public and private security roles, it’s time for me to move on to what’s most important to me – my family and my beloved grandchildren,” Dunne said, calling the authority position “one of the most gratifying jobs in my law enforcement career.”

The announcement comes on the same morning that authority commissioners today voted on a $658 million budget for 2015 that earmarks 25% for police and security at some of the country’s most sensitive facilities, including major airports and seaports, the Hudson River bridges and tunnels and the World Trade Center..

“From the time he was a rookie patrolman, Joe has never shied away from tough tasks and he has excelled at everything he’s done, including his remarkable service in establishing the Port Authority’s Chief Security Office,” Port Authority Chairman John Degnan said. “His exemplary leadership will have a lasting impact on the safety and security of everyone who relies on our facilities.”

“As the first Chief Security Officer for the Port Authority, Chief Dunne ushered into this organization a world-class security program that prioritizes the protection of the agency’s employees, customers, the public and the vital transportation assets that we operate,” Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler added.

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye called Dunne “a world-class law enforcement professional whose dedication and leadership helped this agency better manage its critical security responsibilities for the millions of people who use its airports, seaports, bridges, tunnels and PATH system.

“As a result of Joe’s leadership, the people of this region are safer today,” Foye added.

“After nearly 45 years of serving in law enforcement and in public and private security roles, it’s time for me to move on to what’s most important to me – my family and my beloved grandchildren,” Dunne said, calling the authority position “one of the most gratifying jobs in my law enforcement career.”

Dunne joined the authority in November 2012 and began centalizing operations.

Authority officials said he also improved coordination with other law enforcement agencies in New York and New Jersey, and initiated plans to rein in public safety overtime and costs.

He also oversaw the Port Authority Police Department and its 1,800 uniformed members.

“During his two-year tenure, Mr. Dunne oversaw the hiring of the two largest police recruit classes in PAPD history, a total of 450 new officers,” a release issued this morning says.

It also says: “He also hired 14 outside Law enforcement executives to fill the ranks of Captain and above inside the PAPD. He implemented the new Airport Rescue Firefighting Cadre as a separate but integrated function inside the Aviation Department. In addition, he led the planning and implementation of security and policing efforts at the World Trade center site as its transitioned from a construction site to a thriving commercial campus.”

Belfiore joined the Port Authority in 2012, having served for 20 years with the NYPD retiring with the rank of Deputy Chief serving in the First Deputy Commissioner’s office before moving on to a variety of public- and private-sector security positions, including Director of Security Operations for Major League Baseball, Chief Security Officer for the Related Companies, and as Westchester County Department of Public Safety Commissioner.

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