Hofstra Law alumnus Justice Stephen A. Bucaria ’76 of the State Supreme Court has been named commander of the New York Guard, the state’s volunteer defense force, by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Justice Bucaria joined the Guard in 1997 and was a brigadier general at the time of his appointment to the unsalaried commander’s position.
Justice Bucaria, who was elected to the Supreme Court in 1995, told Newsday that he plans to focus on better preparing the force to assist in disasters, through improved communication and mobilization techniques. He also wants to re-establish a Guard unit in Buffalo.
“The Guard was called upon during [Superstorm] Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene and during 9/11,” said Justice Bucaria to Newsday. “When Gov. Cuomo calls on us again, I want us to be ever more efficient in the protection of the citizenry.”
The New York Guard, with 650 members statewide, often assists the National Guard during emergencies.
Gov. Cuomo said in a statement that Justice Bucaria “served the people of New York selflessly both as a Supreme Court judge and a member of the New York Guard. I am confident that he will continue this great work as commander of this group of dedicated volunteers.”
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Justice Bucaria and his team helped cordon off the World Trade Center site, decontaminate trucks and inventory materiel.
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