The United States Postal Service swore in its 48th postmaster executive for Brooklyn on Friday at the Fort Hamilton Army Base.
The new postmaster, John Tortorice, started his career with the federal postal service in 1993 as a temporary mailman on Long Island. Five years later, he moved up to management — and became Brooklyn’s acting postmaster in 2021. In his new role, Tortorice is charged with managing the mail of 2.7 million Brooklynites.
Before joining the postal service, Tortorice served in the U.S. Navy, and fought in the Gulf War from 1990-91 after being sworn into service at the very same military base where he would later be named Brooklyn’s top mail carrier.
“It is amazing to think that 33 years ago in September, I was right here at Fort Hamilton, an 18-year-old swearing into the Navy,” Tortorice said at the Aug. 28 ceremony. “Look at me now!”
Tortorice now leads a team of nearly 4,500 postal employees who deliver to 990,000 addresses and staff each post office within Brooklyn’s 39 zip codes.
Under Postmaster General Louis Dejoy’s “Delivering for America” plan, Brooklyn’s mail service has improved significantly — the borough’s post offices used to rank nearly last in mail delivery efficiency, and are now in the top three most-efficient teams in the country for productivity and on time delivery.
“We have made tremendous improvements in Brooklyn, moving from near last to top three in the country. That is the result of my incredible team and the leadership from Postmaster General DeJoy’s Delivering for America plan,” Tortorice said.
According to USPS, during the week ending on Aug. 19, nearly 96% of marketing mail and nearly 94% of first-class mail were delivered on time across the country. The average time to deliver mail was 2.5 days in the same period. The federal mail service has a goal of reaching a 95% on-time delivery rate for all classes of mail once their Deliver for America plan is fully implemented, the agency said in a press release.
Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis, who represents Staten Island and southwestern Brooklyn, attended the swearing-in ceremony and said she looks forward to working with Tortorice to fight mail security issues that have grown since the pandemic.
“I was honored to attend the swearing-in ceremony for new Brooklyn Executive Postmaster John Tortorice, a Navy veteran with 30 years of postal experience,” Malliotakis said in a statement sent to Brooklyn Paper. “I look forward to working with him to modernize our local postal service and crack down on mail theft and fraud that’s become more prevalent during the pandemic.”
Update (Sept 1, 11:10 am): This story has been updated to correct Tortorice’s title to postmaster executive.