President Bush Nominates Kerik for Homeland Security Post (Photo courtesy of the White House)

President Bush nominated Bernard B. Kerik, a former New York police commissioner during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, to be the second Secretary of Homeland Security. The Dec. 3 announcement came just three days after the current Homeland Security chief, Tom Ridge, announced his resignation.

"Bernie Kerik is one of the most accomplished and effective leaders of law enforcement in America," Bush said. "I’m grateful he’s agreed to bring his lifetime of security experience and skill to one of the most important positions in the federal government."


Before taking over the cabinet-level position, Kerik must be confirmed by the Senate. Ridge said he would stay on the job until Feb. 1 or until his successor is confirmed.

The Dept. of Homeland Security employs 180,000 persons and includes more than 20 formerly separate agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard.