Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg spoke Tuesday during a street renaming ceremony in Sayville to honor NYPD Sgt. James P. Bast, who died last year from an illness related to Sept. 11.
“The things that made Jimmy a great cop: He was honest. He was trustworthy, kind and dedicated to others,” said Bloomberg, who led the city in the years after Sept. 11, when Bast was in charge of the security detail at the mayor’s residence, Gracie Mansion.
Bast, a 23-year NYPD veteran, was a Sept. 11 first responder and part of the NYPD Intelligence Bureau’s Municipal Security Section. After his retirement, he was a member of former Bloomberg’s private security team.
Bloomberg noted how Bast, 49, who lived with his wife Kristin and their three children in Sayville, spent weeks combing through the rubble at the World Trade Center, first searching for survivors, and later for the remains of victims.
“He didn’t do it because he had to. He did it because of who he was,” Bloomberg said. “Renaming this street is another was to show our deep gratitude and respect for his service.”
Moving forward, Behrendt Court in Sayville will be known as Sgt. James P. Bast Way.
Islip Town, with the assistance of the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, honored the fallen officer during the morning ceremony attended by family, friends, local officials and Bast’s fellow officers.
“If you had to call 911, Jimmy was the one you wanted to show up,” Bloomberg told the crowd. “He’d not only help you, he’d give you the shirt off his back.”
Bast died on Jan. 14, 2020. Along with his wife and three children, James, Megan and Thomas, Bast is survived by his mother JoAnn of Oakdale and two brothers, William and Brian.