NEW YORK: Acting on the recommendation of an out-side consultant, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA) of New York City has decided to swap its hired PR guns for an in-house director of communications."My advice to the PBA was to act like a business that values its stakeholders highly, and therefore integrates communications into its other management functions,
said Richard Esposito, whose company, CM, includes the New York Carpenters Union and Colt firearms among its client credits.
"I believed they'd be better served by creating an executive-level internal position,
added Esposito. "Someone who in a corporate environment would be a VP or higher."
Esposito declined to name the PR firms the PBA had used in the past, but the organization has already named its choice for the new post. Albert O'Leary, a veteran of several city departments, will join the PBA from MTA NYC Transit, where his efforts to keep the workforce informed led to the implementation of well-received weekly news briefings.
The challenge O'Leary faces was illustrated by an announcement issued by city hall just two days after he was named to the PBA staff. The union has been agitating for more competitive salaries for the 24,000-member police force, which has been losing senior officers to better-paying jobs in the suburbs.
When he revealed his contingency budget on April 17, Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced a plan that would squeeze its ranks on the other end by postponing the planned July hiring of 1,320 rookies.
"In the next few months, we're going to bring experts in to talk about how crime affects retail sales, the impact it has on the real estate market - those kinds of stories,
said O'Leary. "The NYPD is losing quantity, and it's losing quality, and that spells a potential disaster for the city."