As prepared for delivery

Commissioner Brann’s remarks from today’s Promotions & Appointments Ceremony


October 30, 2020




Good morning:


It is my honor to welcome you today to the Promotion and Appointments



While this certainly is a joyous occasion, I would like to take a moment to


remember the BOLDEST family members we’ve lost this year. Their service to


this City and to DOC will not be forgotten and hopefully, the loss that we feel will


be lessened by happy memories of the time we spent with them that we


carry close to our hearts each and every day.



This year, despite the unprecedented challenges faced, and there have been


many, the Department of Correction celebrates 125 years of service to New York


City. Throughout our existence, we have had the good fortune to employ


trailblazers and thought-leaders who, like those seated before you, were ready,


willing and able to go above and beyond the call of duty.


When I began my career in law enforcement 40 years ago, I


could never have imagined the journey I was about to embark upon. But I


remained committed, worked hard, stayed true to my basic beliefs and heeded


the advice given to me by a few of my mentors, some of which I’d like to share


with you now.



First, this work is full of challenges as well as opportunities. Prepare yourself by


performing whatever role you are in, to the best of your abilities. There is


no task beneath you and every assignment is important, not only to your success


but to that of your team and the agency.


We probably have all had those moments, especially when we feel like we’re the


only ones putting in the hard work when we ask, “just exactly what does – and


you can insert any name or title here- DO? I encourage you to be curious. Learn


what those above and around you do and how their duties not only affect what


you do, but how they contribute to the effective operations of the agency. This


will not only provide you with a broader view of the agency and the prevailing


issues, but it will certainly help you guide your staff as well as prepare you to


continue to advance in your career. Every day in Corrections is different, with a


variety of challenges, things to do, problems to solve, and successes to celebrate.


You should never experience a lack of meaningful work.




Next, be a person of character. Always act with competence and integrity. You


must encourage it, if not demand it from others. Model what you want to see in


those around you. Set the bar of performance high and help others reach for


success. This will develop your reputation and help earn the trust of


your colleagues, supervisors, subordinates and those in our custody. Build a


team and be in the game every day. In the words of Chief Stukes, “On your way


home each day, ask yourself- Did I make a difference? Did I fulfill my purpose?”




And finally, try to maintain a sense of balance in your lives. Stay grounded in


family, friends, faith, community and those things that bring you joy. This work


can become all-consuming if you allow it…I know. But we don’t expect it and it is


not healthy, either mentally or physically. We need you to be at your best- every


day. To that end, we have invested in your well-being through the Wellness


Center where you can access both physical and mental health support services


and our amazing C.A.R.E. staff.



These are a few ingredients in a recipe for success. Easily said, but not always


so easily done.


Each journey is unique and personal. The staff being recognized here today have


been firmly invested in their success through diligent preparation and training,


coupled with the support of their peers, colleagues, family and friends. They will


become the change agents needed to take us into the future while maintaining


our standing as leaders in Correctional reform and best practices.

Today, we not only honor the men and women who are taking the next step in


their careers at DOC, but I also personally celebrate and appreciate each- and-


every person in this room. Throughout the past few years and most definitely


during the long months of 2020, each of you have demonstrated just how


committed you are to making our city a safer place even under the most


challenging circumstances and uncertain times.


You ALL represent DOC’s success. When you come to work each day, you renew


your commitment to uphold the vision, mission and values of the organization.



Congratulations again to each of our promotees and appointees. I


wish you good health, happiness and long successful careers.


In closing, I’d like to leave you with this quote from Vince Lombardi, the


legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we


chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” 


Thank you.