Leaders of the department’s Minority Association say building morale — of both the officers and the community — will be a critical task for the incoming commissioner.
Safir suffered a personal blow in May, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. When he made his diagnosis public, just weeks after Giuliani announced that he was suffering from prostate cancer, Safir said his condition was treatable, but has not disclosed his treatment plan.
Safir was appointed the city’s 39th police commissioner after a stint as fire commissioner. He had earlier spent 26 years in federal law enforcement, serving with the Drug Enforcement Administration and later as operations chief of the U.S. Marshals Service in the 1980s.
He then formed his own security consulting firm, Safir Associates, based in Fairfax, Va. In 1994, the Bronx native returned to the city to serve in Giuliani’s administration. He has known the mayor for about 20 years.
Safir graduated from Long Island’s Hofstra University in 1963 with a bachelor of arts degree in history and political science, and went on to Brooklyn Law School. He and his wife have been married for 34 years. They have two adult children, Adam and Jennifer, both of whom are married.
The commissioner is expected to leave by the end of the month. His new job could not immediately be confirmed.
ABC station WABC in New York and The Associated Press contributed to this report.