Commissioner Cassano leaves FDNY to accolades and some criticism

Commissioner Cassano leaves FDNY to accolades and some criticisms

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

During the New York City Fire Department's promotion ceremony Thursday in Brooklyn, the last one for Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, he received several standing ovations from the nearly 2,000 firefighters and their families. The 69-year-old Cassano, commissioner since 2010, has been with the department for 45 years starting as a firefighter and holding every title in the FDNY. Friday is his last day with the department.

Firefighters present during the promotions said they cared about Cassano because he cared about them. But the black firefighters association, the Vulcan Cociety, said it welcomed Cassano leaving the FDNY. Capt. Paul Washington, a past president of the Vulcan Society, said Cassano blocked diversity at every step as did Mayor Bloomberg.

Cassano countered that the 47 percent of the graduates of the latest FDNY Academy class were people of color. He said he has supported diversity from before he was commissioner.

For the present majority of firefighters, Cassano will be remembered as one of the best-liked FDNY commissioners who leaves the department with what he says is a safer brighter future.

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