Friday, August 31, 2001


The actual birth of the New York City Police Dept can be traced back to 1844. In that year the Municipal Police Act abolished the night watch and empowered the mayor to select two hundred men to police the city twenty-four hours a day. In recognition of his hard work and devotion to making New York a safe city, George W. Matsell was named Superintendent. His salary was $1,250. a year, and patrolman earned $500 a year.

The full time police agency was in place by 1845, and a reorganization that year called for 800 men to replace the members of the night watch, dock masters, and inspectors of stages, carts, and hydrants, These guardians of the law wore no uniforms but a star badge of copper.

In their first six years of operation, the New York City Police recorded 144,364 arrests. Of these, 13,896 were for assault and battery, 20,252 for disorderly conducts, 36,675 for intoxication, 29,190 for intoxications AND disorderly conduct, 14,454 for pickpocketing. Among the more exotic of their arrests were 187 for bastardy and 171 for something called �constructive larceny�. There were also 64 arrests for murder, 68 for rape, and 138 for insulting females in the street (!).


The Chief Inspector � now known as the Chief of Department � was the highest paid member of the department, earning $22,918. The Chief of Detectives earned 17,518. There were 70 Lieutenant � CDS, earning 10,180 to 10,545. Sergeant � SDS earned 9,426 to 9,791. There were 269 Detective First Grades, earning 9,426 to 9,791. There were 742 Detective Second Grades earning 8,405 to 8,770. Third Grade Detectives, of which there were 1,470, earned $7,943 to $8,052.


The August issue of the John Reid Co. website dedicated to Investigators Tips discusses the theory behind the Polygraph. It�s an interesting article, well worth reading, and gives the background behind this investigative tool � it�s theory and it�s potential uses.

The polygraph instrument, erroneously called a 'lie detector', is nothing more than a monitoring device to record different physiological systems. The first polygraph was developed in 1908 by a British Doctor to monitor a mother's physiology during labor contractions. In the 1930's this technology was applied to a technique used to question criminal suspects.
The polygraph instrument monitors three physiological systems. It records changes in respiratory rate and volume, heart rate and blood pressure as well as sweat gland activity.

The polygraph instrument itself plays a minor role in detecting deception. Rather, it is the questioning technique that is critical. Therefore, the most important part of the polygraph exam is the examiner himself!

Next month (September) will feature the Uses of the Polygraph.


Sonny Grosso was the narcotics detective who, in the early 1960�s, was known as the department�s narcotics master. (At the time the Narcotics Division was a part of the Detective Bureau.) Grosso has the distinction of attaining First Grade Detective in the fastest time on the job. He was known as a master of disguise, and in 1962 he teamed up with Det. Eddie Egan to take down an international drug ring that became known as the �French Connection�. The haul included 112 pounds of heroin worth over $32 million. They also uncovered 50 kilos of heroin secreted in a car, which was adequately depicted in the movie �The French Connection�. After retiring, Grosso took up acting and performing as a technical advisor to numerous motion pictures. He had a part in the Academy Award winning picture �The Godfather�, playing the role of one of the �hitmen� who killed �Sonny Corleone� at the famous Jones Beach toll-booth scene.


Criminal Investigation Online

Michigan State University professor criminal justice Frank Horvath has launched this page as a growing resource for everyone interested in investigation

Police Magazine Investigative Site Links

The FATF is an inter-governmental body which develops and promotes policies, both nationally and internationally, to combat money
laundering. The FATF monitors members' progress in implementing anti-money laundering measures, reviews money laundering tech-
niques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of anti-money laundering measures globally.

THE MINISTER WISHES TO EXTEND BEST WISHES TO EVERYONE AT THE START OF THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND, MARKING THE END OF THE SUMMER. As Labor Day Weekend tradionally marks the last hurrah of the summer, surely many BBQ's and jaunts to the beach are planned. Enjoy it if you are so fortunate. Otherwise, like many of us... Happy West Indian Day Parade.

Tuesday, August 28, 2001


Eug�ne Fran�ois Vidocq was an 18th century French crook-turned-cop who was a confidant of at least two famous contemporary French writers and an inspiration for many others around the world.

Vidocq's life story is amazing. As a fugitive from French justice, he first offered his services as a police spy and informer. Later, he became so successful at catching criminals that he was named the first chief of the S�ret�, in 1811. Vidocq eventually directed a force of 28 detectives, all of whom were also former criminals.

Eug�ne Fran�ois Vidocq is considered by historians and those in law enforcement to be the father of modern criminal investigation. Monsieur Vidocq introduced record keeping (a card-index system), criminalistics, and the science of ballistics into police work. He was the first to make plaster-of-paris casts of foot/shoe impressions. He was also noted as a master of disguise and surveillance, and held patents on indelible ink and unalterable bond paper. After leaving public service with the French Surete he founded the first modern detective agency and credit bureau, Le Bureau des Renseignements.

After he resigned from the S�ret�, Vidocq published Memoires, a book which became a best-seller in Europe and firmly established him as the world's greatest detective.


One of the world's most unusual crime-solving organizations meets on the top floor of the Public Ledger Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a historic structure just across the street from Independence Hall. In the Down Town Club's famed walnut-paneled meeting room, members of The Vidocq Society honor Eug�ne Fran�ois Vidocq, the brilliant 18th century French detective who founded the S�ret�. Directing their collective forensic skills and experience to "cold" homicide cases, and occasionally other mysteries, Vidocq Society Members (VSM's) evaluate, investigate, and often solve the unsolved crimes that are first presented to the group at Vidocq luncheons.

VSMs are forensic professionals, active and retired federal, state and local law enforcement, and experts in other forensic disciplines. All are volunteers, motivated by public service to eagerly donate centuries of deductive and scientific talent for the common good. At each Vidocq Society meeting a long-unsolved homicide and its evidence are disclosed to members and invited guests, with an eye towards rekindling or refocusing the investigation. VSMs who volunteer to "work" cases later participate in the ensuing revivified investigation and, when asked, prosecution of the person or persons charged with the crime.

The Vidocq Society is dedicated to dealing with long-unsolved murders and other major cases. The Vidocq credo is Veritas Veritatum -The Truth of Truths.

The Vidocq Society's 82 members (one for every year of Inspector Vidocq's life) come from 17 states and 11 other countries, bringing with them a broad array of forensic specialties. The Society chooses its cases carefully, working closely with local investigators and prosecutors to solve the crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. All work is done pro bono, as part of the Society's commitment to public service.

The Society meets on the top floor of the Public Ledger Building in Philadelphia, and the luncheon meetings feature fine cuisine and careful and comprehensive case presentation.

To find out more about this highly unusual society, check out their web site at:


Johnny Cordes (COR�-deez) is, according to NYPD by Lardner and Repetto, the only NYC Police Officer to be awarded 2 Medal of Honor�s. (This may not be entirely accurate, as Patrick Townsend, formerly of the Transit PD and now NYPD, also was awarded 2 Medal of Honors as a Transit Police Officer).

Anyway, Cordes was awarded his first Medal of Honor in March 1923, when he walked into a cigar store on Lexington Ave and 69th St to pick up a pack of Optimo Blunts. His brother was outside in a car, and Cordes walked into a stickup. Cordes was unarmed, as he never carried his gun off-duty. After being shot, he was able to wrestle the gun away from one of the bad guys and chase the perps into a back room. He then staggered outside, calling out to his brother, when he was fired on and struck by a passing off-duty sergeant who mistook Cordes for one of the stickup men. Despite his multiple gunshot wounds he was able to successfully apprehend both the stickup yeggs. He continued his practice of leaving his gun in his locker long after this incident.


1. Nick Dimonda drives to Florida in 6 days in a 2nd-hand, 1995 Cadillac. History buffs can still follow the oil and transmission fluid leak on I95.

2. The crew of the Apollo 11 fly to the moon and back in 4 days. Thank goodness that Nicky had nothing to do with that trip!

3. Hannibal crosses the mountains, with a herd of elephants. Guess he took the advice of his mechanic!

4. Columbus sails to the New World in 2 months. He was smart � he didn�t buy used!

5. Lewis and Clark walk from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, opening the way to developing this nation. It is noted that at least they knew when to get their kids out of the pool.

6. The Pioneer Space Probe leaves the solar system, and at this moment is about a billion miles away and still sending signals back to earth. Nicky is lucky if his car can go across town without an explosion!

7. Magellan sails around the world. Unfortunately, he was killed by hostile natives along the way. Nicky probably came pretty close to getting killed by Marti during the trip.

8. The nuclear powered submarine Nautilus sails around the world underwater in a month, without surfacing or breaking down. The Silent Service at it�s best! Any idea what kind of noise a Cadillac makes when it backfires?

9. Moses wanders around lost in the desert for 40 years. He probably took advice from one of Nicky�s ancestors.

10. Charles Lindberg and the Spirit of St. Louis fly across the Atlantic in 32 hours. He beat Nicky by 112 hours. Way to Go Lucky-Lindy!

Saturday, August 25, 2001


Although the Medal itself has over the years varied in shape and size, those inherent standards of human courage, nobility of action, and valorous conduct have consistently remained steadfast.

Our present Medal was first awarded at the October 23, 1973, Medal Day Ceremony. It has a unique design which consists of three distinct parts: (1) a bar with the inscription Valor, (2) twelve white stars affixed upon a green ribbon and (3) an eight-pointed and star shaped gold medal whose center depicts the Seal of the City of New York. Green and white coloration of the ribbon represents the traditional color of the Police Department, while the cluster of the twelve white stars are representative of the original twelve police constables who comprised the City's first organized and centrally coordinated police force, dating from the year 1700. Furthermore, the cluster's diamond shaped configuration was inspired by the badge of office worn by policemen during 1845-1857, and serves as a reminder of that important period in our history.

Although not specifically referred to as a "Medal of Honor," apparently the first such award for pure courage in a life and death situation was that given to Patrolman John McDowell, 29th Precinct, for arresting a burglar caught and being shot while engaged in a gun battle with him on January 12, 1877.

The first specific mention of a "Medal of Honor of the Department" is the honorable mention of Captain John Sanders, 23rd Precinct, who on September 22, 1883, rescued several individuals from drowning. In addition to receiving "Highly Honorable Mention" in the records of the Department, he was to "be awarded the Medal of Honor of this Department for his commendable actions."

On April 20, 1888, the Board of Police Commissioners established the medal as we know it today. At this time of formalization there were no other Department medals, and being the only one, it was also referred to as the "Department's Medal."

In 1912, a new Medal of Honor was designed. As its earlier counterpart, this too was created by Tiffany. This design remained in use until 1973 when the present format was established. The current design is the artistry of the former Police Department historian, the late Detective Alfred J. Young. In 1997, the Medal of Honor was enhanced. This included casting the medal using gold. It is now the largest as well as the most prestigious of the Department's medals.


A review of the Department's annals reveals a "gold medal from Congress" which was awarded to Roundsman John Delaney of the 21st Precinct who, on December 23, 1879, at the risk of his own life, rescued a young boy from drowning. Later promoted to sergeant, John Delaney was to be honorably mentioned in Department records four distinct times for heroic action ranging from mortal combat with an armed adversary to saving a number of lives by stopping a runaway horse team.


Police Officers used to carry two kinds of sticks or batons. The first was called a day-stick and was approximately 11 inches long. The second was called a night-stick and was approximately 26 inches long. Both sticks were made of wood, typically oak or mahogany, and had a leather thong or lanyard through the handle so that it could be carried or hung from the officer's hand while on patrol. The night-stick was longer because it afforded extra protection when carried by officers at night. Today, the night stick is carried by officers on all tours.


Most cops � especially detectives - will agree that the most realistic police show to air on television has to be �Barney Miller�.

The characters of that fictional squad room can be seen any day in any detective squad in the city. The cynical Fish, the high strung Wojo, and the coffee-making Yemana are all characters with different names in every squad room in this city. Look around, and I�m sure you can find a real life counterpart to TV�s version. Can Capt. Boyle replace Inspector Luger? We have Jimmy Leake in the 77 Sqd to take PO Levitt�s part. They had to deal with their own QAD version snooping around trying to find skeletons in the closet.

Now running at times on Nick at Night, if you can catch a few of the old shows they�re sure to bring a good laugh. Tape some of them, and tell me you�re not looking at these characters every day at work!


Jonathan Wild (1682-1725) aided burglary victims in London a century before there were any public police. It was a crime to buy and sell stolen goods then, and thieves could not get a fair
price for their loot from pawnbrokers. Wild, who became acquainted with the criminal world while he was in prison for debt, opened a London tavern for criminals and then formed an agency to aid burglary victims, along with a secret corporation of burglars. Thieves brought their loot to his warehouse, and
victims hired him to seek their lost possessions in the London underworld. He demanded a large reward if he restored the stolen goods, as he usually did. This way the burglars were much better paid than ever before, their victims were grateful to be able to buy back lost treasures, and Wild got rich. In
the end, he had so much extra unclaimed loot that he bought a ship and exported it to Europe; but some criminals turned him in, and he was tried and hanged. In those days graverobbers sold cadavers to surgery students; fittingly, Jonathan Wild's own body was stolen from his grave.


The Minister was surprised to find an e-mail message from Frank Bolz. It seems that Frank read the installment of THE SQUAD ROOM, and was pleased to find the piece written about him. I was just as pleased to find that this column is being read by many more people than even I could imagine. Any suggestions or words of encouragement you may have can be sent to the Minister at:

CONGRATULATIONS Are once again in order to those members of the Brooklyn North Detective Family who have been promoted in the latest round of discretionary promotions. Best wishes to all the deserving promotees.
(The minister is hopeful that sooner or later a detective from the 77 Squad will be recognized for their excellent work.)


August 20, 1971 Ptl Kenneth Nugent #16022, 103 Pct, Shot-robbery
August 20, 1987 Det Myron Parker #294, Bx Narco, Injured-assaulted
August 21, 1931 Ptl Walter Webb #4947, 40 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
August 21, 1931 Ptl Edwin Churchill #10431, McyDist, Shot-robbery in progress
August 22, 1924 Ptl Harry Blumberg #604, 10 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
August 22, 1925 Ptl David Sheehan #11006, 4 Pct, Shot-burglary arrest
August 22, 1941 Ptl Harold King #16722, Traffic B, Shot-GLA arrest
August 25, 1864 Ptl John O�Brien 19 Pct, Arrest-robbery
August 25, 1928 Ptl Joseph Dursee #9522, 8A Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
August 25, 1946 Ptl Michael Zawoltk #14286, Traffic K, Shot by perp
August 26, 1918 Ptl William Barrett #1808, 13 Pct, Thrown from horse
August 26, 1936 Ptl Richard McCormack #4524, 20 Pct, Injured on patrol
August 26, 1971 Sgt Joseph Morabito #2365, 1st Div Narco, Shot-investigation

Monday, August 20, 2001


When the first police force began to patrol in the summer of 1845, they only wore badges on their civilian clothing. The badges were 8 pointed stars with the seal of the City at the center and were made of stamped copper. The newspapers of the time referred to the new force as the "Star Police" but people seeing the shiny copper shields began to call the new force "Coppers" which was later shortened to "Cops."

In Chicago, though, even to this day police officers are referred to as �coppers�, and not �cops�.

There is also a British police term, Constable On Patrol, which may account for the term "cops" in England as well.


History books reveal that, at the turn of the 19th century, daytime law enforcement in New York City owed its survival mainly to one man, High Constable Jacob Hays. He has been described as �a police force all himself�, according to the book "Our Police Protectors", the first history of NY police published in 1885.

Hays was appointed a marshal in 1798, and became High Constable when he was appointed to that post by Mayor Levington 1802. He was renewed as High Constable for fifty years by succeeding mayors.

The one-man police force patrolled some eighteen hours a day. Among his skills was a technique for breaking up street arguments before they turned into riots. When a belligerent crowd gathered, Hays circled the perimeter knocking off hats with his wooden staff. As the victims stooped to retrieve their headgear, Hays would shove them with his foot or hand. The tactic piled up bodies in a sort of barricade and contained the combatants until Hays could draw off ringleaders or delay action until other law enforcement officials arrived. He avoided major violence when dealing with a mob, leaving neither heads broken nor bodies bruised.


In 1906, N.Y.P.D. Police Commissioner McAdoo sent Det. Sgt. Joseph Faurot to London to obtain information of the process of fingerprinting, where it had been in use for several years. Det. Sgt. Faurot returned with samples of the first fingerprint cards, at which time the Department began to implement this new crime fighting technique. In 1908, a murder case was the first case solved by the N.Y.P.D. utilizing this technology.

�YOU GOTTA LOVE IT�� More stories from the criminal world

Someone's Going Straight to Hell

Robert Riggio, 52, of Toms River, New Jersey, spent most of his life as a con man, ripping off gullible people for small sums of money here and there. But this time, he may have ripped off the wrong guy. He admitted to taking $1.4 million in church money by falsely promising he would invest it, but then lost it all gambling.

It all started in October of 1996 when Riggio approached Msgr. Frederick Valentino, pastor of St. Bonaventure Church, and pretended to be a new parishioner who was $20,000 in debt to loan sharks. After the church paid off his debt, Riggio told the priest it would be difficult to repay the money, but out of gratitude, he would get the church a great investment through a friend. The priest continued to send Riggio money until last December, when Valentino tried to withdraw $30,000 in cash from a parish account.

Riggio was eventually caught and claims he lost the money at Atlantic City casinos and at racetracks in New York.



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Much like the children�s book, �Where�s Waldo�, we have our own version of the hunt and find type � �Where�s Nicky�? The Nicky being, of course, Nicky Dimonda. Nicky doesn�t where a red hat, he wears a �. well, if you know Nicky, you know what he wears.

At last sighting, Nicky � who left on Terminal Leave (to allow him a summer vacation which, after twenty years he should have no problem picking except he uses up his time by February 28) took a trip to Florida. Driving there, it took him longer to get to Florida then it took the refugees to flee Casablanca (a great movie!). What takes many people 2 days to drive took Nicky six days (�Hey, I have to rest. I have a medical condition, you know�!). Before leaving for Florida, Nicky needed to buy a car, so he took a mechanic to a car auction, then disregarded everything the mechanic advised and bought the car anyway. (The car broke down in Virginia, by the way!). Oh, the stories that are sure to return when Nicky comes back from Terminal Leave � you could write a book!

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

A Novel Idea

In between working on my Memoirs and preparing my Manifesto, the Minister has been toying with a novel idea � or rather, and idea for a novel. This is a story that could probably be written by Michael Daly in his sleep, or by Dan Mahoney in between his other novels. Maybe a good chance for Dennis Hamill to jump into the novel business? I present you my idea; it�s up for grabs. Here it goes.

Two retired detectives bump into each other on line in McDonalds. Retired Det 1st Grade Eddie Zigo, retired from Brooklyn South Homicide and noted for his role in the Son of Same case, meets up with Retired Det 1st Grade Jack Finan. Finan, a bit older than Eddie and retired several years longer, spent much of his time in the Safe,Loft, and Truck Squad, and was noted for work on the BLA assassinations as well as a role in the Etan Patz missing investigation. As they part ways with their orders, each is asked by a family member �How do you know him? Did you work with him?� The story unfolds�

Flashback: While a �rookie� detective in the 73 Squad in the late 60�s, Zigo teamed up with Finan � who had started recently then with S,L,&T � on a twisted homicide case. It seems a body dumped in the 73 had connections to an �OC� case that Finan had just started looking at. The �routine� 73 homicide case took some twists and turns, involving some noted mob types for those times. Zigo was just getting his feet �wet� as the young squad detective, and the case began to take off on its own. Zigo and Finan interact, each touching on their own �roots� �Zigo, the Brooklyn precinct squad detective, and Finan the �headquarters� detective �specialist�. Of course, at the working level, the detectives get along just fine, and find they each are learning something from each other. As things may go, though, frustration eventually sets in when the case seems to come to a standstill; they have �solved� the case, but cannot build the necessary probable cause for the arrest. Frustrated as they are, they eventually part ways. Finan goes back to the �glory� of headquarters, and Zigo back to catching cases in the Brooklyn ghetto.

Their careers continue, and the 73 dump job case is left unsettled. Touching on their future notoriety, they pass each other along the way, but the frustration of never being able to solve this �nobody� murder lingers on. Years later, bumping into each other as they do in McDonalds, and retelling their story to their own family members, we learn of the deep impression each of these �famous� detectives had on each other while they were both still young, aggressive, and eager.

Publicly, Finan receives the glory of success he had in the BLA cases, and still confides how the Etan Patz case keeps him awake at night, knowing the truth behind this mystery but never being able to prove it to satisfy a court. And Zigo publicly basks in the �glory� of his role in �Son of Sam�. Privately, though, we learn how they each feel the frustration of never being able to solve the �nobody� murder of Edgardo Morales, from the 73 Squad.

Disclaimer: This story is totally fiction (that means it�s made up). The characters are real, and the Minister has had the pleasure of knowing each of them. Their real life stories could fill a book on its own; this, however, is the fictional version of two real detectives. As I said, a novel idea, to be worked on between my Memoirs and my Manifesto.


Historically, green lights have been found outside of Police Precincts. Where did this come from?
It is believed that the Rattle Watchmen, who patrolled New Amsterdam in the 1650's, carried lanterns at night with green glass sides in them as a means of identification. When the Watchmen returned to the watch house after patrol, they hung their lantern on a hook by the front door to show people seeking the watchman that he was in the watch house. Today, green lights are hung outside the entrances of Police Precincts as a symbol that the "Watch" is present and vigilant.
(Credit the NYC Police Museum)


The person recognized as the "Father of Detectives" (no, it's not Tom Nerney) is Thomas Byrnes. In 1878 he was a Captain of a local precinct when the Manhattan Savings Bank at Bleeker/Broadway was robbed. As a result of the work done to solve this crime, and several other notorious incidents, Thomas Byrnes was promoted to Inspector and placed in charge of a newly formed Detective Bureau. Up to that point there was merely a small group of "detectives" working out of HQ. The job of Detective was essentially the same as a patrolman, and there was no prestige in it; it was considered a secondary police function.

Byrnes shaped the Detective Bureau and detective work in general. His template for detective work is the basis for every modern police department's detectives. Byrnes believed that the way detectives should catch criminals is through intelligence - from criminals and informants - and under Byrnes intelligence gathering became an organized enterprise. He started using photographs in this process, and established the "Rogues Gallery", ensuring that suspects and those arrested were photographed.


A �Field Trip� may be in order for the Sept 13 double-feature presentation of MADIGAN and THE DETECTIVE, at Film Forum. (See the earlier posting). What do you think?

Monday, August 13, 2001


Starting on August 10, and running through October 4, the FILM FORUM 2 Movie Theater in NYC will be running an �NYPD FILM FESTIVAL�. Except for Mondays, the theater will be showing movies that take place or about the NYPD. The 49 movies being shown include such classics as French Connection, Detective Story, The Detective, Report to the Commissioner, Taking of Pelham 123, Madigan. Serpico, and Prince of the City.

Film Forum 2 is located at 209 West Houston Street (off 6th Avenue), in Manhattan. You can check their schedule on line at; or (212) 727-8110.

Here is a partial listing of some of the great films being shown:

Taking of Pelham 123: (1974) On every Transit cop�s list of must see movies. August 17, 18, 19.

Tue Aug 21. Double feature of:
Report to the Commissioner (1975) � A period-dialogued cross between Serpico and Watergate, with an idealistic hippie-nerd cop taking the fall as a corruption scandal broadens; includes a shootout scene at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Across 110th Street (1972) � Old style cop Anthony Quinn teams up with young detective Yaphet Kotto (of TV�s Homicide fame) in pursuit of an ambitious Mafioso played by Tony Francioso.

August 26. Double feature of:
The Naked City (1948) � A young women is murdered on W83rd St, and leads are tracked down by the two detectives (Barry Fitzgerald and Don Taylor), taking them from Stillman�s Gym to the Roxy Theater, City Morgue to Roosevelt Hospital, and a final showdown on the Williamsburg Bridge.

Cry of the City (1948) � Victor Mature plays the relentless detective tracking down a hood who was also a childhood pal, through jewelry heists and other forms of thievery.

Sept 13. Double feature that has Former PC William Bratton in person to open the 7:30 show.

Madigan (1968) � Based on a book that stirred young Bostonion, William Bratton, to dream of one day becoming NYC�s PC. By the book PC Henry Fonda gives 2 Detectives, Richard Widmark and Harry Guardino, 72 hours to retrieve the killer they let escape.

The Detective (1968) � Detective Frank Sinatra must contend with nympho wife Lee Remick while tackling a case involving homosexuals, drugs, and corrupt colleagues.

Shaft (1971) on Sept 16; Serpico (1973) on Sept 23; Prince of the City (1981) on Sept 27; and French Connection (1971) from Sept 28-Oct 4.

The oldest movie being shown is a 1914 flick, The Lineup at Police Headquarters, that includes a live piano accompaniment for this silent movie. This airs on Sept 19.

It�s too late to see Detective Story (1951), which aired on August 10-12, as a double feature along with the murder mystery Laura (1944). Detective Story is a great portrayal of a day in a detective squad; �It�s never a first offense. It�s just the first time they get caught�. Super righteous detective Kirk Douglas is teamed up with William Bendix and Eleanor Parker in a classic detective movie. To show you how accurate the portrayal of this film is as it relates to a real life detective squad, the chalkboard on the wall of the Squad Room has written on it �Get Your DD5�s Up To Date�! If you ever get the chance to catch this on late-night cable, don�t miss it!

Noticeably absent from the list, which should have been included and would have made a nice even fifty films, is Fort Apache: The Bronx. A great movie, with wonderful character portrayals by Ed Asner as the Precinct Captain and Robert Redford as the �hairbag� but very effective street cop.

With 49 movies on the bill, there�s sure to be something for everyone.


The history of the Chief of Department can be traced back to the mid-19th century when the highest ranking uniformed member was known as "Superintendent.

In 1886, the City of New York only comprised Manhattan and the Bronx. Theodore Roosevelt headed the Board of Police Commissioners as its President and the highest ranking uniformed officer was Chief of Police Peter Conlin.

In 1901 the Board of Police and the position of Chief of Police were abolished and all powers were invested into the office of a single Police Commissioner, Michael C. Murphy, with his highest ranking uniformed officer being Chief Inspector William S. Devery. The title of "Chief Inspector" survived until April 23, 1973 when under Police Commissioner Patrick J Murphy, Assistant Chief Hugo J Masine was named "Chief of Operations" - the redesignated title of Chief Inspector. On September 13, 1985, under Commissioner Benjamin Ward, the title of Chief of Operations held by Robert J Johnston, Jr. since January 6, 1984 was redesignated "Chief of Department."

"YOU GOTTA LOVE IT"! True Tales from the Criminal World

Give Him the Checkbook, Too

A woman in Texas had very extravagant spending habits. One day on a shopping spree, her purse with all her credit cards was stolen. She reported the theft to the police but neglected to tell her husband, who disapproved of her spending habits.

Several weeks passed, and the husband noticed that the credit card bills were considerably lower than normal. He congratulated his wife on her willpower and hoped she could keep it up. His wife, who had cancelled the credit cards before the thief could do much damage, let her husband believe that her lavish shopping sprees were over.

That same night, a police officer came to their door and told the husband that the police had just arrested a thief carrying several credit cards with his wife's name on them. The husband thanked the officer and then told him that the thief could keep the cards. When the officer asked why, the husband replied that he didn't want the cards back because the thief was only spending about half as much as his wife.


The Minister has added a number of books to the True Crime Library of the Minister of Investigations. Included in these is a 1906 book "Guarding a Great City" by William McAdoo, who served as Police Commissioner in NYC from 1903-1906. Another book by a former PC, "Commissioner - A View From The Top", by Patrick Murphy, gives some insight into his reign as PC during the early 1970's. Watch for some book reviews, as I will post them as I get through them (in between work on my Memoirs and my Manifesto).

"LEST WE FORGET"... The NYPD Memorial

August 14, 1924 Ptl Frederick Thomas #5161, 9 Pct, Shot-robbery investigation
August 14, 1980 PO Harry Ryman #24227, 60 Pct, Shot-investigation
August 15, 1865 Ptl Thomas Walker, 29 Pct, Arrest:assaulted
August 16, 1988 PO Joe Galapo #27862, BS Narco, Shot-arrest
August 17, 1947 Ptl Thomas Gargan #16613, 6 Pct, Shot-burglary in progress
August 17, 1969 Sgt Cornelius McGowan #1000, 114 Pct, LOD heart attack
August 17, 1979 PO Thomas Schimenti #26481, MTS Pct, Shot-robbery
August 19, 1974 PO Thomas Pegues #18106, TPF, Shot-auto check

Friday, August 10, 2001


The first �mugshot� of the NYPD was taken of JAMES SULLIVAN on February 23, 1897. He was arrested for Stealing a Horse, and is recorded � using the �old� B-numbering system � as B#1.

(Credit to the NYPD Official website).


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JUSTINFO, an electronic newsletter sponsored by the U.S.
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, is
published the 1st and 15th of each month. It provides the
latest criminal justice news, information, services, and

JUSTINFO is available on the World Wide Web at:

"YOU GOTTA LOVE IT" - More true tales from the criminal world

Two Wrongs Will Get You Ten Years

A Texas man who had been convicted of robbery worked out a deal with the judge to pay $9,600 in damages rather than serve a prison sentence. For payment, he provided the court with a check - a forged check. He got ten years.

It's Not Worth the Paper It's Printed On

The FBI arrested a man on counterfeit charges. He had spent $20,000 on lithographic equipment and was caught printing Polish money as they raided him. The FBI figured that with each Polish dollar having the worth of two cents, this counterfeiter could be printing mounds and mounds of the Polish paper and still not recoup his costs.

CHIEF GEORGE MATSELL: First Chief of Police

With a police department that numbered 2,900 men in a city of about one million people in 1873, George W. Matsell was appointed Superintendent on May 23rd of that year by the five commissioners that comprised the "Board of Police." Already well known to the Department, Superintendent Matsell had been appointed the Chief of Police (the first Police Commissioner) in July 1845 by Mayor William Havermayer and had also written the first patrol guide published that same month, entitled "The Rules of the Day and Night Police."


You look at it a countless number of times each day without even realizing it, but do you know what the symbols on the Seal of the City of New York represent?

The shield is emblazoned with the sails of a windmill, representative of the original Dutch Colonists of New York. Supporting the shield on the left is a sailor representing the early shipping trade in the city's great harbor. His right arm is bent, holding a plummet, a navigational device of the period. Standing to the right is a Native American representing the original inhabitants of Manhattan, holding an arched bow. Perched atop the shield is an American eagle, its wings spread. Above the eagle are five stars, representing the five boroughs or counties that comprise New York City.

The Patch of the Police Department includes this Seal of the City of New York, with the Scales of Justice representing the legal mission of the Department.

It is noted also that the Department did not start using a patch until July 1, 1971. Up until that time there was no Department patch worn by MOS; some specialized units, such as ESS, Harbor, and Traffic wore patches. The rest of the department wore no patch, only command designations on their lapels.

"LEST WE FORGET..." The NYPD Memorial

August 1, 1913 Ptl Bernard O�Rourke #2802, 146 Pct, Dragged by horse
August 2, 1922 Lt Albert Duffy, HQ Div, Explosion investigation
August 2, 1966 Ptl Edward Monzillo #2347, Mcy 2, Auto pursuit
August 2, 1979 Sgt Michael Russell #8197, 75 Pct A/C, Shot-Arrest off duty
August 4, 1913 Ptl Patrick Cotter #978, 65 Pct, Shot-arrest
August 4, 1928 Ptl Arthur Fash #1506, 52 Pct, Electrocuted
August 4, 1953 Ptl Henry Ergen, 79 Pct, Assault injuries
August 5, 1927 Ptl Hubert Allen #12392, 52 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
August 6, 1861 Ptl David Martin, 2 Pct, Stabbed-burglary
August 6, 1917 Ptl Robert Holmes #9140, 38 Pct, Shot-Robbery in progress
August 6, 1925 Det Richard Heneberry #83, DetDiv, Shot-GLA arrest
August 6, 1926 Ptl Oscar Oehlerking #9698, 9 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
August 6, 1935 Ptl Thomas Burns #12363, 5 Pct, Injured on patrol
August 7, 1927 Ptl William Goddy #5492, 7 Pct, LOD injury
August 7, 1928 Sgt James Barry #946, 9A Pct, Auto accident on patrol
August 8, 1926 Ptl Frank Murphy #11063, Mcy Dist, Shot-GLA arrest
August 9, 1930 Det Harry Bloomfield #2014, 44 Sqd, Shot by prisoner
August 11, 1926 Det John Singer #745, DetDiv, Shot by prisoner
August 11, 1937 Det Isadore Astel #258, MODD, Shot-Robbery in progress
August 11, 1937 Ptl John Bosworth #198, 43 Pct, Trolley car accident
August 11, 1937 Ptl Joseph McBreen #16291, ESS10, Building collapse
August 11, 1949 Ptl George Connelly, 19 Pct, Line of duty injury
August 12, 1952 Ptl James McGillion #2704, 34 Pct, Shot-investigation
August 12, 1966 Ptl Harold Levine #4857, Mcy2, Motorcycle accident

Remember, you can contact the Minister of Investigations at:

Monday, August 06, 2001


With much sadness, the death of JACK MAPLE was announced this past Sunday. After a long battle with colon cancer, Jack passed away this past Saturday, at home with family and friends.

To call Jack a visionary is a vast understatement. A genius when it came to crime and crime tactics is merely touching the surface. A mind that worked many speeds ahead of others, without any doubt is was Jack who had the most impact on crime in this city by far. Give Commissioner Bratton his just due for surrounding himself with talent, it was Jack�s strategies and persona that got the job done.

Jack will forever be remembered as a Transit Cop by those who knew him. A true legend, Jack can be remembered for his �white gloves policing� while a TPF Sergeant in District 1, and for creating and establishing the best crime fighting tool ever introduced into the NYC subway system: decoy cops. Jack�s input into the Transit Police Department�s �Robbery Meetings� was the forefather to the COMPSTAT process. Anyone who has ever worked with or for Jack knows that the �relentless pursuit� in the NYPD crime strategy was lived by Jack every day of his life. The �Charts of the Future� truly shaped the decline of crime on the transit system, as did the relentless pursuit of every piece involved in a �multi-perp robbery� incident.

The Minister had the pleasure of working with Jack throughout the past 20 years, in various capacities. Anyone who has ever worked with Jack will surely spend their career in law enforcement with the though in the back of their mind �What would Jack say or do about this�.

Words cannot express the loss of such a genius at such an early age.

God bless you, Jack, and thank you for your time spent here with us.

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