Kenney Conducts National Search for Prisons, Human Services and Fire Commissioners
PHILADELPHIA – In a statement, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney formally announced that the Kenney Transition Team has been conducting a national search for the past several weeks in order to identify his administration’s Prisons, Fire and Human Services Commissioners.
“Our transition team has identified incredible, top-notch talent from right here in Philadelphia to fill many of the administration’s top posts. And, we also think it’s extremely important to look outside this city and consider what that external perspective could bring. The search process is going well, and we look forward to welcoming these new commissioners to the City in the early months of my administration.”
Until that time, key administrators within the Departments have agreed to help the City transition into a new administration and remain in their posts. Mike Resnick will serve as Acting Prisons Commissioner, Jessica Shapiro will serve as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Human Services and Derrick Sawyer will serve as Acting Fire Commissioner.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Commissioners Resnick, Shapiro and Sawyer for their dedication to the well-being of the City,” said Kenney. “They exemplify what it means to be a true public servant.”
Mike Resnick will serve as Acting Prisons Commissioner. Resnick received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Drexel University and a Law Degree from Widener University School of Law. After spending 11 years in the City Law Department’s Litigation group, Resnick left in 2003 to serve as General Counsel for the Philadelphia Prison System. He was promoted to Chief of Staff and Director of Legal Affairs of the Philadelphia Prison System in 2005. After returning to the Law Department in 2008 and being appointed Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety in 2009, Resnick became the Director of Public Safety in which titled position, he is responsible for oversight and management of the Public Safety Division including, but not limited to, the Police Department, the Prison System and the Fire Department.
Jessica Shapiro will serve as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. Shapiro started her career in the City Legal Department and ultimately moved on to to become the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Commissioner for the Children and Youth Services division of the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services. In April of 2012, she was appointed the Chief of Staff to the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services and has held the position since then. Shapiro earned her undergraduate degree from Tufts University in 1993 and her JD from Boston College Law School in 1996.
Derrick Sawyer will serve as Acting Fire Commissioner. Sawyer is a 30 year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department who heads the 5th largest fire and emergency services department in the country.Since entering the PFD in 1985, Fire Commissioner Sawyer has developed in-depth experience as a first-responder amidst an urban landscape that demands diversity in skill, critical training, and keen analytical decision making. Over 2100 members are under his command. He led the award winning Fire Prevention Division in both the Deputy and Battalion Chief capacity and as a result of his hands on leadership style, assisted the Department in reducing the number of fire fatalities in the City of Philadelphia to its lowest rate in recorded history. Fire Commissioner Sawyer was the 2011 recipient of the T. Seddon Duke Award for Fire Prevention. In addition to serving in some of the busiest companies in the city, Fire Commissioner Sawyer has served in every civil service rank as well as held the positions of Deputy Commissioner for both Technical Services and Operations. He’s served in staff positions in the Technical Support Unit, headed the Department’s Homeland Security Division and has presented at the 9th Annual Montgomery County Chief Officers Seminar on the importance of information sharing as it relates to preparing for and preventing terrorist attacks. He currently serves as the Chairperson for the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Urban Fire Safety Taskforce. Additionally, Commissioner Sawyer is a member of the NFPA Technical Committee 1730, Deployment and Staffing for Fire Prevention Activities, the FM Global Fire Service Advisory Group and serves on the board for the American Red Cross of Southeastern PA. Fire Commissioner Sawyer has augmented his academic accomplishments by graduating from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute and obtaining certifications as Fire Officer IV, Fire Instructor II, Fire Inspector, Hazardous Material Technician, Firefighter II and the University of Maryland’s Staff and Command School. Sawyer holds an Associate Degree in Fire Science from Community College of Philadelphia, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Safety Administration from Holy Family University and a Masters Degree in Homeland Security from Saint Joseph’s University.