New York Police Commissioner’s Clout Gave Cops Upper Hand in Command Struggle with Fire Department

May 10, 2005 -- ANALYSIS

The unrivaled clout of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, along with the belief that terrorists are intent on striking here again, led Mayor Bloomberg to give the NYPD authority over the Fire Department at hazardous-materials incidents.

No one questions Kelly's power within the administration.

One critic of the new protocols, Jerry Hauer, the city's former emergency-management chief, even disparagingly refers to Kelly as the "co-mayor."

But a City Hall insider said it was more than just Kelly's good standing with the mayor that put the NYPD on top in terror incidents.

"Everybody weighed in" before the mayor made his choice, and "Kelly made a very compelling case," the insider said. "There's one agency with a very tight command structure