Our company's foundation is based on the knowledge, expertise and vision of Sanford D. Garelik, who served as Chief of the New York City Police Department, President of the New York City Council and Chief of the New York City Transit Police Department. Sanford is considered a true revolutionary during his six decades in law enforcement. He pioneered numerous innovations and reforms that helped to create modern police, law enforcement and intelligence practices.
Born in the Bronx to Russian immigrants from Belarus, Sanford, at the age of 16, left a successful family dairy business in New York and went to North Carolina. At the age of 18, he graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1936. When he returned to New York City, the country was in the midst of a second depression. In 1938, Sanford took the police civil service examination along with over 33,000 other individuals.
Sanford scored in the top 1% of all the applicants, and was accepted into the Police Academy where he became a member of the legendary Class of June 5, 1940. This 300 member class was the first class in the history of the Police Department that wasn’t predominantly Irish, and it possessed the highest number of lawyers, doctors, accountants and professionals in the history of the New York City Police Department. The class also produced a Police Commissioner, a Chief Inspector (Sanford), an assistant Chief Inspector, and the first female police officer to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant and above.
Sanford was awarded the Police Combat Cross by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, the department’s second highest award, for actions taken within his first week in the department. While walking home from Temple with his brother, Sanford intervened, shot and apprehended armed perpetrators who had robbed a store. He served overseas in the United States Army Intelligence Unit during World War ll and returned to the NYPD after service. Sanford became the Department’s youngest Captain in 1950 at the age of 32. He graduated from the FBI Academy’s 65th Session and was assigned from the Police Department to work in South America for the United States State Department, overseeing security, intelligence and policing in Argentina and Bolivia during a time of political and government unrest. Multilingual, Sanford returned to the NYPD and was assigned to the Police Academy where he established linguistic courses for officers. Appointed to the rank of Inspector, and as head of the NYPD’s Bureau of Special Services and Intelligence in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Sanford developed many of the modern day intelligence and dignitary procedures for the NYPD that were then emulated throughout the country.
In February 1966, under newly elected Mayor John V. Lindsay, at the age of 47, Sanford became both the Department’s youngest and its first Jewish Chief Inspector (now named Chief of Department). In 1969, he was named the NYPD’s Shomrim’s Society Man of the Year. That same year, Sanford was named the Grand Marshall of the Israeli Day parade, an honor he shared with then Israeli General and future Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
In June of 1969, Mayor Lindsay, in the midst of a tough reelection campaign, and in need of both support in the Jewish community of New York City as well as law and order credentials, put Sanford on his Mayoral ticket as a candidate for President of the New York City Council, the second highest elected city-wide office. Sanford won the Republican nomination and, in November, defeated democratic incumbent Francis X. Smith. As President of the City Council from 1970 - 1974, he both led the Council and also served on the Board of Estimate, holding the same voting power as the Mayor and Comptroller, responsible for the city budget, contracts, land use and franchisees.
In 1973, at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Sanford went to Israel to assist the Israeli government and the Minister of Public Security in the organization and training of the national Israeli Police Force.
In 1975, Governor Hugh Carey appointed Sanford Chief of the New York City Transit Police Department and Director of Security for the MTA overseeing Metro North and all mass transit systems. In 1980, Sanford retired from policing and established the Garment Center Economic Security Council, a non-profit entity designed to reduce crime and improve both economic and quality of life conditions in the Fashion Industry area of New York. In 1992, the organization became the Fashion Center Business Improvement District and Sanford served as its first Executive Director and Director of Security.
During his life, Sanford was an adjunct professor and taught criminal justice and government at West Point, John Jay College, NYU, Hofstra University, St. Johns and Adelphi University. He lectured at the NYPD, established the NYPD’s AreaPolicePrivateLiaisonProgram in 1985 improve communication, cooperation and relationships between law enforcement and the private sector. At the time of his leadership, the APPLP program grew to include 12,000 members, 350organizations and over 500buildingsinNewYorkCity.
His contribution to law enforcement and his commitment to education are remembered and now honored by the NYPD’s Captain’s Endowment Association where scholarships are given each year in his name.In addition, Sanford’s legacy in law enforcement is honored by the New Jersey State Police where funding is provided in his name to support the families of State Troopers who have lost a family member in the line of duty.
The legacy of Sanford’s legendary career in law enforcement, intelligence and security continues at Excel. Sanford is survived by his son Neal Garelik, who continues to work at the company which his father established in 1992. Ken McGrath, Excel’s Vice Chairman and a retired Chief from the NYPD, oversee a unique and highly skilled executive leadership team drawn from Federal, State and Municipal law enforcement agencies as well as technology sectors. With unparalleled expertise and experience in risk mitigation, crisis management, and counterterrorism, Excel Global Security continues to provide strategic security solutions for governments, corporations, institutions and individuals around the world.