Secondary Navigation

Mayor Adams Recognizes Sanitation Chief, Transit Bus Operator Who Helped Reunite Lost Children With Their Families

January 5, 2024

Watch the video here at

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today presented New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Chief Jeff Pitts and New York City Transit (NYCT) Bus operator Marvin McLaurin of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) with proclamations recognizing their recent individual actions to help lost children reunite with their families.

“Chief Jeff Pitts and MTA bus operator Marvin McLaurin show us that you do not have to wear a cape to be a hero and that we have heroes at our Sanitation Department and behind the wheel at the MTA,” said Mayor Adams. “Chief Pitts and Marvin’s actions remind us that it takes a city to raise a child and that we all need to look out for each other. Thank you, Chief Pitts and Marvin, for going above and beyond the call of duty to keep our children safe.”

On December 16, DSNY Chief Pitts was at a gas station in Glendale, Queens when he saw a 10-year-old boy walking around with a backpack alone. He asked the boy to wait with him while he called 911. Chief Pitts bought the child lunch and kept him safe until two NYPD detectives arrived. Earlier that morning, the young boy had been reported missing. Chief Pitts kept the boy safe and helped return him home.

On November 20, at 5:15 AM, two unaccompanied siblings a six-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy boarded the B83 bus that McLaurin was driving through East New York, Brooklyn. McLaurin acted quickly, giving the children a sweater and jacket to keep them warm, and offering them his phone to keep them assuaged. He encouraged the two siblings to stay near the front of the bus and notified his supervisors of the situation. Once on scene, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) escorted the children to a nearby hospital, and the two siblings were soon after reconnected with their parents.

“There’s a misconception that New Yorkers put up blinders to other’s moments of need. Chief Pitts and Marvin McLaurin remind us that the opposite is true: Inside the heart of every New Yorker is a Good Samaritan,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “It’s reassuring to remember that we can rely on one another to watch out for not just for us, but for our kids in this big, complex city of ours — and that our civic workforce, our bus drivers and train car operators, our sanitation staff and teachers are second to none.”

“Chief Pitts is a mensch and a public servant in the truest sense of the phrase,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch. “One of the great joys of working in government is meeting people who are driven by goodness and a higher calling to serve. On and off the job, Chief Pitts exemplifies the best of us. On and off the job, he is a blessing to our city.”

“Bus customers tell us time and again in surveys that our operators are beloved for the work they do moving New Yorkers and being part of the fabric of their communities, and this act of compassion demonstrates why,” said NYCT President Richard Davey. “The operator's attention to detail and quick action ensured those children were kept safe until EMS and police arrived. We honor and congratulate him on a job well done.”

“Seeing a child in need, I just did what any other public servant would do,” said DSNY Chief of Cleaning Operations Pitts. “Being vigilant and looking out for others — that’s what it means to be ‘New York's Strongest.’”

“As a father of four, my instincts kicked in when I noticed a little girl and boy alone on the bus in pajamas and wanted to make sure they were okay,” said NYCT Bus Operator Marvin McLaurin. “I thought about my own children and how I would want someone to help them. I’m thankful to have been behind the wheel of my bus at the right place and time.”

Chief Pitts joined the DSNY as a sanitation worker in 1999, beginning his career in West Harlem. He currently serves as the chief of cleaning operations, where he oversees key elements of the Trash Revolution — DSNY’s historic agenda to transform the city’s streetscape by removing trash, including the first-ever Highway Unit, which focuses on delivering cleanliness to the city’s highways.

McLaurin is currently a NYCT bus operator at the East New York Bus Depot. He has been with the MTA for seven years and became a bus operator in 2019. McLaurin is a proud father of four.

Media Contact
(212) 788-2958