Monday, December 31, 2001


In the past week, in the 75 Squad alone, we've lost over 60 years of experience... and it's just starting!

Det First Grade Thomas Maher performed his last tour of duty on Friday, December 28. Tommy had over 28 years of experience, and is one of the finest homicide investigators I've had the priviledge of knowing. Today, Monday December 31, 2001 was the last tour of duty for Det 2nd Grade Joseph Quinn, with close to 35 years of experience!!. These detectives cannot be replaced, and they will be sorely missed!

In this past month alone experienced detectives have been dropping left and right. The 77 Squad lost Det John Barba and Det 2nd Grade Brian Gundlach, and are set to lose Det Fred Neglia and Det Bobby Moore - a combined 80 years of experience!

This is merely a very partial list of retirees - the list goes on and on!

We wish these detectives all the best in their upcoming retirement - and hope to be able to continue the work they have performed day in and day out. Good luck to all!!!!


The Minister wishes all a very Happy and Joyous New Year!

We have experienced a year that is beyond explanation. We can only hope that the coming New Year will bring peace and joy to all. We certainly have earned it! Let me take this moment to wish everyone all the best in the coming New Year!


A recent (Dec. 31, 2001) obituary in NEWSDAY noted an NYPD legend, Det. Frank Malerba, had died.

Malerbal is noted as the legendary police detective whose �exploits in gunning down an infamous killer during a wild 1955 shootout in East Harlem was turned into a Hollywood movie"�

Malerba fatally shot murder suspect August Robles inside an East Harlem apartment, ending an hours-long confrontation that later inspired the film �Madigan� with Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda.

Malerba was 88 years old at the time of his death. He retired from the force in 1963, and jumped back into the headlines in 1989 when, at age 76, he shot a teenage mugger in the leg after the youth had just robbed a woman.

He was a detective out of an old James Cagney movie!

He regaled detectives a third his age after the 1989 incident, telling stories about police work back in the 1940�s and 1950�s and marveling lightheartedly at h0wnthe Police Department had changed. �They don�t make detectives like they used to�, noted Malerba.

His status in Police Department lore began in 1955 when he fatally shot murder suspect August Robles inside an East Harlem apartment, ending an hours-long confrontation. Hundreds of officers were involved in the showdown with Robles, who was wanted in a Brooklyn murder. After his long time partner in the 23 Squad, Det. Vincent Heffernan, and the squad commander, Lt. Charles Dauner, were wounded trying to capture Robles, it came down to Malerba as more than a thousand area residents gathered in the streets. �I remained hugging the ground� Malerba recounted in an interview after the incident. �I kept firing into the apartment and he fired back. I yelled to him �Come out with your hands up and you�ll come out alive�. He yelled back �let me think it over�.

Robles stuck to an earlier promise not to be taken alive wouldn�t give in, which prompted ESU officers to bombard the apartment with tear gas.

When the smoke cleared Malerba went in and found Robles lying on his back, with four guns - three of them taken from police officers - by his side.

�I took no chances� Malerba said. �He�s a tricky guy, so I pegged one more shot at him� he recalled.

Malerba never let the fame go to his head. According to his partner Heffernen, he reveled in the everyday satisfaction of �going after guys who had taken advantage of others�. Malerba always talked fondly of the job, and was truly one of the department�s legends.

�He was into the job�, said his partner Heffernen. He truly was!


Check out the newly re-vamped web site for Hostage Negotiators:

Friday, December 28, 2001



New York�s first police officer was both policeman and prosecutor.

When Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians in 1624, the council established by the Dutch West India Company included a �shout-fiscal� or sheriff-attorney. His duties were to enforce the rules of the company, maintain order, arraign violators before the judge and present the case both for and against the prisoner. He also executed sentence, which generally consisted of hanging the culprit from a gibbet by his waist and keeping him suspended spreadeagle fashion in mid-air for the designated period of time!

As the colony grew, more protection became necessary and a �burger wagt� or citizens guard was established. This was a night watch, with citizens taking their turn. The regulations of 1643 provided fines for watchmen blaspheming, speaking ill of a comrade (imagine that one!!), as well as for being absent from watch, becoming �fuddled� or intoxicated, or discharging a gun or musket while off duty.

By 1652, when the town was incorporated as New Amsterdam, the watch had been equipped with rattles for summoning aid. It was referred to as the �rattle watch�. Fines were added for sleeping on post, loss of musket and being late to duty (some things never change).

In 1658, a paid rattle watch of eight men was established to substitute for the citizens� guard. This might be considered the first police department.


"The income tax law is a lot of bunk. The government can't collect legal taxes from illegal money".
Al Capone

On April 23, 1930, the Chicago Crime Commission issued its first Public Enemies List; there were 28 names on it, and Al Capone's was the first. Capone headed an enormous crime organization that netted huge profits from the illegal liquor trade and he became a legendary symbol of the violent gangsterism of the Prohibition era.

For years Capone remained immune to prosecution for his criminal activities. In June 1930, after an exhaustive investigation by the federal government, Capone was indicted for income tax evasion. One of the most notorious criminals of the 20th century--the man held most responsible for the bloody lawlessness of Prohibition-era Chicago--was imprisoned for tax evasion.

The trial was highly publicized. Hollywood celebrity Edward G. Robinson, who had portrayed a Capone-like character in the movie "Little Caesar," attended 1 day to observe the gangster role model, Capone. The names, addresses, and occupations of the 12 jurors who decided the case and signed this verdict were printed in Chicago newspapers. To reduce the chances of jury tampering, the judge tried to keep the trial as short as possible and confined the jury at night. During the trial, the prosecution documented Capone's lavish spending, evidence of a colossal income. The government also submitted proof that Capone was aware of his obligation to pay federal income tax but failed to do so. After nearly 9 hours of deliberation, the jurors found Capone guilty of three felonies and two misdemeanors, relating to his failure to pay and/or file his income taxes between 1925 and 1929. Judge Wilkerson sentenced Al Capone to serve 11 years in prison and to pay $80,000 in fines and court cost

Friday, December 21, 2001


The Minister wishes everyone good tidings and a very HAPPY HOLIDAYS message!
Hope Santa is good to all!


Did you know that:

Due to public drunkenness being such a problem in 1748 London, the first police force to actually patrol the streets was created. The BOW STREET RUNNERS were a large advancement in policing; because they actually patrolled the streets rather than sit in "Watch Boxes" as the Watchmen did, they were able to apprehend offenders and control the drunk and disorder mayhem of 18th Century London.

The Metropolitan Police of London, in 1829, became the first orghanized police force. Under the direction of Sir Robert Peel, the force numbered over 1000 officers. They were known as "Bobbies", a reflection on their leader Robert Peel. This was the first police force organized under a military structure, as well as the first to perform its duties in distinct uniforms.

The first organized police force in America was created in 1838 in Boston. A New York police force was created in 1844, and Philadelphia saw its force started in 1856.


"It's my job to uncover the truth, wherever it lies, wherever it's buried." McGarrett

Among his more famous �Book-em Danno, Murder One�, this is another one of the �famous� Five-O quotes you�ll find on the Hawaii Five-O Fan Club site. (Yes, there is actually such a site!). If you ever enjoyed Hawaii Five-O, you�ll have to check this out. It�s a lot of fun, full of real buff-stuff that The Minister recommends!


Trends and Characteristics of Youth Homicides Examined.

"Homicides of Children and Youth" (12 pp.) (NCJ 187239)
draws on FBI and other data to provide a statistical portrait of juvenile homicide victimization. Initiatives designed to help prevent such murders are also explored.

Access full text at:

Sunday, December 16, 2001


New Jersey has instituted new lineup procedures, and the Brooklyn DA�s Office is reviewing them for possible adoption as well!

The typical lineup, in which an array of possible suspects are viewed all at once, and is conducted by someone who knows who the real suspect is, has changed in New Jersey. Could Brooklyn be far behind?

In New Jersey, lineups now involve a witness viewing a series of possible suspects one at a time. Known as a �Double Blind Test�, this process is administered by somebody who doesn�t know who the real suspect is. These new changes in procedures took place on October 15, at the request of the NJ Attorney General, John J. Farmer.

These changes, recommended by the NJ Attorney General, were precipitated by the growing number of innocent prisoners nationwide who have been exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing.

A study of exonerated prisoner cases � almost 100 of them � shows mistaken identification was the #1 cause of wrongful convictions. This accounts for more innocent people being sent to prison than all other causes combined.

The adoption of the new rules doesn�t mean there was anything wrong with the old way, says Attorney General Farmer, just that there may be a better way. The new guidelines are recommendations, and are NOT mandates. They should certainly be of interest to us nonetheless.

Of particular interest should be the fact that the Brooklyn DA�s Office is cited as considering these same guidelines for lineups. The new procedures incorporate the changes recommended following more than 20 years of psychological research into the causes of mistaken identification.

The two big changes in lineups, intended to reduce the number of misidentifications, are
1. Sequential viewing, and
2. Double blind testing

Sequential Viewing: Showing one possible suspect at a time. The viewer must then make a yes or no decision about one person before moving to the next person. The showing of a group, according to research, has a tendency for the viewer to compare each person in the lineup with one another, and then pick the one who looks the most like the perp. In the sequential viewing, the viewer must make a yes or no decision at the time of viewing the individual suspect, not getting a comparison view.

It is noted that in most of the DNA exonerated cases the actual offender wasn�t part of the lineup from which the wrong person was selected.

Double Blind Testing: Conducting the lineup with a person who does not know the identity of the suspect is intended to ensure there is no unintentional influence made on a witnesses decision one way or the other. The feeling is that someone who knows the suspect in a lineup can inadvertently influence the outcome. Of particular interest is the accepted feeling, as quoted in the research, that �If the person giving the test knows what the desirable answer is, he or she is almost certainly going to leak that information to the witness�. !! (That says a lot for the police lineup!!)

New Jersey is the first state to implement changes in lineup procedures. Will Brooklyn be next?

There are opposing viewpoints to this philosophy. Joshua Marquis, an Oregon DA and member of the National District Attorney�s Association governing board, says he�s a little suspicious of anyone who suggests that eyewitness identification evidence is inherently unreliable. According to Mr. Marquis, he has spent 20 years as a prosecutor and has heard of only 1 or 2 cases in his entire career in which an innocent person was exonerated after being erroneously picked out of a lineup.

Be prepared for further lineup issues as they develop here in Brooklyn. Expect to hear about this soon from the DA�s Office.

(Source: ABA Journal Mobile Edition, December 3, 2001 edition).


Bookmark this site as a source for criminal justice history



A message from Mr. Compstat (The Wizard of Stats) has planted a seed of thought into the head of The Minister. �If we can�t clear it, it didn�t happen�� what an interesting quote! In light of the recent developments concerning a certain ex-member, retired and since banned from every squad room in the city, this takes on an even different tone. Watch for more from the busiest place known to man�

Wednesday, December 12, 2001


On July 1, 1999, the member states of the European Union put into operation the European Police Office. Much like its international counterpart, Interpol, this European Police Office - Europol - was established to act as a coordinating agency among all of the European Union member states and foster cooperation among police agencies in Europe. It is through Europol that cross border organized crime is attacked in Europe.

Its objective was established to improve police cooperation between the Member States to combat terrorism, illicit traffic in drugs and other serious forms of international crime.

Europol�s principal tasks include the exchange of information between Member States; the obtaining, collating and analysis of information and intelligence; aid in the investigations of these targeted crimes in the Member States; and the maintenance of a computerized system of collected information.

Similar to Interpol for international policing, the Europol system is organized so that each Member State establishes or designates a national unit to carry out the tasks listed above. The national unit is the only liaison body between Europol and the competent national authorities. It sends Europol at least one liaison officer who is instructed by the national unit to represent its interests within Europol.

This means that, just like Interpol, there are NO "Europol Police Officers" - there are agents representing the designated law enforcement branch of their country that in turns acts as the liaison agency for the European Union (such as the French Surete in France, Scotland Yard in Great Britain, etc.).

Europol, like Interpol, is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands.


Here are some more interesting web sites regarding criminal justice history:

Female officers of the law

Gunslingers and outlaws. This site links to many of the historical outlaws, such as Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, etc.

History of the Electric Chair

Texas Ranger history and museum

Wyatt Earp's Homepage

Monday, December 10, 2001


This past Saturday, at the Nassau Coliseum, the NYPD lacrosse Team battled the FDNY Lacrosse team in a game played before the NY Saints opener. This game, dubbed the �Battle of the Heroes�, was especially significant to the NYPD team: Its player/coach was Ronnie Kloepfer, an ESU cop who was killed at the World Trade Center tragedy.

The Nov/Dec 2001 issue of LACROSSE Magazine included a wonderful tribute to Ronnie by Wayne Rhatigan, a PO who also plays on the team. He noted that Ronnie gave so much of his time and effort to the NYPD team that he was given a plaque at the end of the last season by the team, to say thanks.

This past Saturday at the Coliseum was a very moving tribute to all of the heroes, and the over 7,000 in attendance witnessed the NYPD play from a 6-0 deficit to a come from behind victory! The �Battle of the Heroes� trophy, named in Ronnie�s honor, was proudly presented to the NYPD team, and to Ron�s family. Ron�s wife and three children were there at center-court to receive the plaque - a suiting tribute to a real hero.


A large hemorrhage, or bruise, develops when the heart is still beating and pumping blood and an injury is sustained. This bruising can also develop on a body in which CPR was being performed.

If the person is already dead when CPR is started, there may be some bruising, but it will be slight. This is because the bleeding is passive, since the heart has stopped pumping; there is still blood flow in the body but there is little pressure behind it.

This is the same theory behind a wound (gunshot, knife, etc). imagine cutting a garden hose when water is turned off; you�ll get a little leakage. If you cut the hose with the water on, the active pressure will make it spurt.



Federal Courts LocatorFederal Courts
Try for individuals only, no corporations

Cybercrime Links


Noticing how busy the Minister has been here in the 75, the Under-Minister of Theft (and my good friend) Mark Pouria passed along this little tid-bit of information. This was spurred by a note in a recent posting regarding Mike Bosak, a retired auto crime detetive who is now employed by Avis in charge of local security. Mark was wondering what the future prospects for Jimmy Leake, the restricted duty white-shield in the 77 Squad, might be should he retire.

It seemed that Mike Bosak�s experience in auto-crime landed him a job in the Car Rental Business. With this in mind, what will happen to P.O. James Leake when he retires?

Maybe a job in the telecommunications field? "Yes sir it is cheaper to purchase 2 phones with 2 plans. It will be CHEAPER just let me explain". Jimmy actually carries two phones with him, one for the weekends and one for weekdays. He actually believes its cheaper that way.

Possibly a used car salesman. �Yes sir i know you are single but I do believe you need this BMW to go along with your Infinity J30 that you'll have to take off the road, but just think of the status symbol of it and what is a $1,000 a month in car payments to a single man living at home with Dad?� (This is merely an excerpt of the conversation that surely took place when Jimmy purchased his 2nd car just in time for the 1st one to be re-poed.)

Jimmy could easily get a job as a motorcycle helmet salesman. �If you think I�m all messed up now, imagine what I would be like if I wasn�t wearing a Bell Helmet at the time.� After all, Jimmy is a walking anomoly, making the rounds of neurosurgery seminars throughout the country.

He�s already tried the power-wash business, buying his equipment from a recently retired squad member. Somehow, though, providing estimates to people where he tells them �I don�t really know what to charge you, I�ve never done a job like this before� doesn�t instill the type of confidence in a consumer that one needs to sustain a service business like that.

Perhaps a future is in store as a Real Estate salesman, specializing in basement apartment rentals. �Yes young man I know know that technically it�s still your parents house , but you have a separate entrance and you pay no rent but YES you can still call it a place of your own.� This being the argument that Jimmy maintains for living in his fathers basement, paying no rent, and having his mother do his laundry - not a bad gig for a guy 30 years of age, but then where�s all the money going?

I must add that I love Jimmy like a brother, even if I sometimes think of him as a misguided teenager!

Friday, December 07, 2001


In the 1930s, the Motorcycle Squads became Motorcycle Precincts: Motorcycle Precinct #1 was reassigned to the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Motorcycle Precinct #2 was reassigned to the boroughs of Brooklyn and Richmond. Motorcycle Precinct #3 was reassigned to the borough of Queens and designated as the Grand Central Parkway, referred to as Motorcycle "G.C.P." In 1955, the Indian Motorcycle Company stopped manufacturing the red motorcycles used by the NYPD, and then the NYPD went to the silver Harley Davidson Motorcycle.


A coroner differs from a Medical Examiner in that a Medical Examiner is a medical doctor who specializes in pathology, specifically forensic pathology. A coroner, on the other hand, is usually an elected � but sometimes appointed- position with no specific medical requirement. The background on coroners follows.

In the 11th Century, the king of England decided to tax any intentional loss of life so as to raise money for his army.

If someone in your family committed suicide, his property was forfeited to the monarchy. If you killed someone with your horse and cart, the animal and vehicle were absorbed by the crown.

Of course, people tried to avoid paying the tax (some things never change!). In 1194 King John established an office to collect debts owed. Those who enforced the law were called �crowners�. They were tax collectors, untrained in determining cause of death.

By the 1700�s the job, its title corrupted to coroner, was exported to America and its duties ultimately expanded.


Here are some sites recommended by Mike Fanning. I�ve checked these out and they�re pretty interesting.

Very comprehensive site covering all your information needs....

This site mixes your Mapquest maps with satelite images upon request, make sure to click the "big map" button for the full effect!...

A quick way to find out who is hosting a particular website can be accomplished here:

Saturday, December 01, 2001


I wish to thank all of my loyal readers to this column. I will continue to make regular "postings", and acknowledge that the recent change in assignment has kept my "regular" postings down from what was in the past. I will continue to strive for the perfection that is expected! Remember, you can contact me at the e-mail address below; your suggestions or ideas for future postings make my life easier, and provide for content of interest to all. Happy Holidays!


Why is there a separate Traffic Squad Benevolent Association in the annals of the department? Looking into this topic, the Minister consulted with Mike Bosak, a retired MOS who spent 13 years in Auto Crime and 10 years in the Bureau before retiring 6 years ago. He is now the security manager for NY Operations at Avis Rent A Car Company. Mike is a department historian �buff� (I say that in a good way!), and he provides the following information concerning "Traffic Patrolmen".

At one time Traffic Precincts and Bridge Precincts were common throughout the city. At first "Traffic Patrolmen" were assigned to Traffic and Bridge Precincts only. If memory serves correct, these precincts were originally under a parent command called the "Bureau of Street Traffic".

Many of the bridges such as the 59th Street Bridge, Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn had their very own precincts. They were called Bridge Precincts, but their duties were basically traffic control and they had the same type table of organization as a Traffic Precinct. Besides these Bridge Precincts, who did traffic duty, each borough also had from 2 to 5 Traffic Precincts. The perception back in the early 20th Century was that NYC # 1 primary police problem was traffic control.

Most "Traffic Patrolman" assigned to these precincts were assigned to "Traffic" fixers. And it wasn't a four-hour fixer, 1-hour meal and three hours on a patrol post. (Remember no official time for meal and you also had reserve duty in the S.H.) For the specified whole tour, you were on a traffic fixer. They even had their own "Traffic" chart. So "Traffic Cops" were a whole breed unto themselves. And the chart was brutal.

When Traffic patrolmen got their new chart, the rest of the job also changed charts.

This chart was in effect until 1905 for the entire job, all ranks!! The only difference was the vacation days: Doorman and Patrolman got 5 days; Roundsmen, Sergeants, Captains and Inspectors, got either 8 or 10 vacation days. The Traffic Patrol chart was not much better (If I can ever find it) and was geared more towards working daylight hour. Back then, not only did the NYPD have "Traffic Patrolmen" but also had "Bicycle Patrolmen; "Mounted Patrolmen" and just plain "Patrolmen" from 5th Grade to 1st Grade. They were paid different salaries and had different duties as spelled out in the Rules & Procedures. Uniform ranks were different too: Doorman, Patrolmen, Roundsman, Sergeant, Captain and Inspector. When the Doormen's rank was abolished, they were all appointed as 5th Grade Patrolmen.

Even the Detective Bureau went thru many changes. At times patrolmen were "Detectives" with no official rank of "Detective", then we had the official rank of "Detective"; "Detective Sergeants" as 'sergeants as detectives' like the L.A.P.D. has today, and finally back to just plain old "Detective".

In fact at one point in time there were probably almost as many traffic cops as there were regular precinct patrolmen (plain "Patrolmen"; "Bicycle patrolman" and "Mounted Patrolman") on the NYPD. That is why there was a "Traffic Squad Benevolent Association".

Sometimes on the old department orders, not only were you transferred "to and from" a particular precinct, i.e. Bridge, Traffic, Mounted or just 'plain' Precinct, but occasionally the orders specified your detailed "Patrol" or "Traffic Post" (Talk about the hook.) Also, "Mounted" patrolman were transferred with his individual horse (they had a number & name), saddle and leather equipment as specified on the order. And at the time, the "Bureau of Street Traffic" was a huge; almost separate entity unto itself within the department. The department's focus on traffic control started to change in the late 1940 to early 1950, and they started doing away with the Traffic Precincts, Traffic Patrolmen" and department's involvement with traffic control. Effective April 1, 1959 the outer
boroughs lost their last traffic precincts.


In very early postings to this site it was learned that Thomas Byrnes is referred to as the �Father� of NYC Detectives, in that many of the foundations of the department�s detective bureau were established under Byrnes. As is often the case, there is much more to this individual than meets the eye.

As more research into the history of the department is conducted, and historical works are reviewed, the character of Thomas Byrnes takes on a rather different twist. Correspondence to the Minister from Mike Bosak, department historian (as noted above) paints a different picture of Byrnes.

Thomas Byrnes is probably the one single man responsible for the establishment of the PBA. He had to be the most hated and probably one of the most corrupt and politically astute "Superintendents" NYC ever had. In his efforts to curry favor with the politicians, not only did he remove firearms from patrolmen on patrol, but also took away their right to carry nightsticks, leaving them totally defenseless. This probably is the one single most important reason for the establishment of the PBA: the right to carry firearms and /or nightsticks to protect oneself from the criminal element while on patrol.

Teddy Roosevelt, as "President" of the Board of Police Commissioners forced Byrnes to retire, and issue the orders allowing patrolmen the right to carry nightsticks and a standardized firearm - acts that saved many lives.

Once again, I thank Mike Bosak for this information, and thank him for helping to contribute to this column.


A site with search links for detectives, including reverse phone searches

Here's some web site links for the gift shopping-detective:


See behind you! Covert surveillance sunglasses.


(Didn't Kramer use one of these on Seinfeld??)

A Special Note to friends: The Minister still prefers Churchills over the covert sunglasses!


To �BURKE� is a medical examiner�s term which refers to a murder by suffocation in a way that leaves few or no marks of violence.

This name comes from an 1829 case in Edinburgh, Scotland in which William Burke and William Hare committed fifteen murders after which they sold the bodies to the university�s medical school to be used for anatomy classes!

Their method of murder involved putting a hand over the nose and mouth of the intended victim while sitting on the victims chest, thus preventing breathing and minimizing any struggle.