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Mayor Byron W. Brown
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Home » Press Releases » 2010 News Archive » Mayor Brown Announces New Public Safety Appointments

Mayor Brown Announces New Public Safety Appointments

Garnell Whitfield, Jr., Twenty-Six Year Fire Department Veteran, Named Commissioner

BUFFALO – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the appointment of Garnell Whitfield, Jr. as Commissioner of the Buffalo Fire Department.

Mayor Brown appointed Commissioner Whitfield as Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the Buffalo Fire Department; he is a 26-year veteran of the Department, having previously served as Deputy Commissioner (2004-2006) and Chief Fire Administrator from 1998 through 2004. As Chief Fire Administrator, he served as liaison between Civil Service and the New York State Police and Fire Retirement System. A front-line firefighter from 1984 through 1998, Commissioner Whitfield has served at Engine-37, Engine-31 and Engine-33.

“During these challenging fiscal times, particularly with pressing labor issues, we cannot afford on-the-job training and Garnell’s extensive experience in the Buffalo Fire Department – at every level – will enable him to hit the ground running,” said Mayor Brown. “While we received interest from out-of-town individuals with extensive fire service experience, I believe Garnell Whitfield is the best person for this very demanding job. He has extensive firefighting experience, he has held several key senior management positions within the Department and his appointment to Commissioner brings in a person who will have no learning curve necessary to assume the duties of running the Department.”

The City of Buffalo, through its Human Resources Department, posted the open Commissioner’s position for the Buffalo Fire Department and received resumes from interested individuals from across the country, including residents of Texas and Indiana among others. A review process, including interviews of several applicants, concluded that Deputy Commissioner Whitfield was the most qualified to lead the Buffalo Fire Department.

In addition to the appointment of Commissioner Whitfield, Mayor Brown also announced the following appointments in the Buffalo Fire and Police Departments:

Vincent R. Gugliuzza, Deputy Commissioner, Buffalo Fire Department

A twenty-five year member of the Buffalo Fire Department, Gugliuzza, since 2002, has been the Department’s Fire Suppression and Service Administrator, responsible for the maintaining, budgeting and purchasing the Department’s fire suppression equipment and tool inventory. He joined the Department in 1985 following service for four years in Buffalo Police Department. He has served with Engine-24/Ladder-7 (1985-88) and Engine-26 (1988-99).

Joseph J. Tomizzi, Director, Fire Investigation Unit

A member of the Buffalo Fire Department since 1999, Tomizzi has served as a firefighter and is member of the Department’s Fire Investigation Unit. He received his Certificate Level 1 Fire Investigation credentials from the NYS Academy of Fire Science in 2005 and he has extensive experience in incident command, fire & arson investigation and handling and disposing of hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. In addition, he has over 15 years of professional management experience combining strategic, operational and business expertise in both the public and private sector.

Patrick M. Pascall, Chief, A District

A patrol officer from 1988-1993 with the Buffalo Municipal Housing Police, Pascall has been a Lieutenant in the Buffalo Police Department since July 1993. He has overseen the daily operations, scheduling and training of all School Resource Officers, a well as ensuring that school administrators are informed of all police-related support functions. A decorated veteran, Pascal is a Major in the United States Army Reserve-Joint Forces Command and he has served in combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. In addition to his Buffalo Police Department experience, he has police experience in the Tampa (FL) Police Department and the Pinecrest Police Department in Miami, FL.

Brian K. Patterson, Chief, B District

A 14-year veteran of the Buffalo Police Department and once assigned as a patrol officer to B District, Patterson is currently a Lieutenant in the Buffalo Police Department. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 1990 at Buffalo State and will earn his Master of Business Administration degree from the University at Buffalo in May 2011. He has led the city’s dignitary protection services since 2008, coordinating all security and threat assessment issues with federal, state and local dignitary protection divisions.