Richard A. Falkenrath, a former White House adviser on terrorism, now is deputy commissioner for counterterrorism in the New York Police Department. “He was one of the earliest people in the academic world to be thinking about the kind of new challenges of terrorism proliferation at a time when the government was just starting to get its arms around this,” Jim Steinberg, President Clinton’s deputy national security adviser, told the New York Times.
Falkenrath, 37, must translate his policy experience into a set of operational and managerial duties within the military-style framework that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a former Marine, has created. Jerome M. Hauer, who was commissioner of the city’s Office of Emergency Management from 1996 to 2000, said Falkenrath was a curious choice. “I don’t want to take anything away from Richard, an exceptionally bright guy and a good academician, but he’s a policy person,” said Hauer. Said Falkenrath: “The thing that most excites me, that is most thrilling, is translating thought into action. I feel more like a doer than a thinker.” He adds: “Separate from stopping a plot in its tracks is making New York less vulnerable. If we fail with prevention, but an attack happens, you need to be able to respond, And feel out the area, seal it off, evacuate it.”