When New York City Mayor Eric Adams named a Virginia parking administrator and retired police sergeant to a top New York police job, he said the man had one qualification that no one else there possessed: He was the mayor’s brother. Bernard Adams, 56, who retired from the force in 2006 after 20 years, has been given one of the most sensitive jobs in city government: overseeing the unit that will protect the mayor’s physical safety. Adams helped support security at various big events, including the U.S. Open. Most recently, he worked in parking administration Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. The mayor says white supremacy and “anarchists” are on the rise, suggesting that he can trust no one in the Police Department as much as he can his own kin.
“Personal security — my life, my life — I want in the hands of my brother with his 20-year law enforcement experience,” Adams said. “He has the police experience, but he also has the personal experience. He knows his brother, and he’s going to keep his brother safe.” New York City law law allows for the hiring of siblings if the Conflicts of Interest Board determines that the “position would not be in conflict with the purposes and interests of the city.” Initial reports said that Bernard Adams would serve as a deputy commissioner, a role that typically comes with a salary of about $240,000. It remains unclear what experience Adams has that would make him particularly well equipped to protect the mayor during a time that Mayor Adams and his aides describe as particularly perilous for public officials. The mayor's selection of his brother may reflect his distrust of the police department, which he often rallied against as a police officer and activist against police abuses in the 1990s. He has suggested that a police officer might have shot out his car’s rear window in 1996.