Monday, June 30, 2003

�It is not how they died that makes them a hero, but how they lived their lives�.


As you enter from the Metro station, you are facing the front. You are behind the reflecting pool of water, and you don�t notice it right away. The stone wraps around the area, in two asymmetrical semi-circles. The first thing that strikes you is that the stone looks like it should be cleaned. Not in a very bad way, but it certainly looks weathered.
Each of the pathway entrances are adorned with a statuary grouping of an adult lion protecting its cubs.

The register book makes it easy to find the names. Alphabetical, or by state, you can locate the panel you desire. Pencils are left next to the books, along with appropriate blank paper. Etching names is a common occurrence here.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial, in Washington D.C., is a chilling reminder of all too common events. The memorial�s ground-breaking event was hosted by the elder President Bush and was dedicated in 1991; way too many names have been added since the first. There are currently more than 16,000 names of officers who have been killed in the line of duty, dating back to the first known death in 1792.

When you find the panel, you notice there are twenty-three lines of names entered on the most recent stones. There remains too much room to still be filled; way too soon I may add.

As workers use the area as a short cut to work or to the Metro � this city�s clean and quiet answer to the subway � solemnity is the best way to describe the mood. There�s a couple from Texas looking up a name; they go off with a pencil and paper in hand. Here comes a man walking through, clothed in a bow tie and carrying a briefcase. He nods at you as you stand over the register, finding the entries. He knows why you�re there.

On the 3rd line of panel 23 you find her name. Irma Lozada. A friend who should have been celebrating her retirement by now. She never made it. You etch a few pages, lightly touching the inscription before you walk away. It seems only fitting that you have to kneel to etch the name.

Twenty-three lines of names appear on the most recent panels. Coincidental, I�m sure, to the number of people this department lost on 9-11-01. You find the names, and put faces to them. There�s Moira Smith � the second female police officer of this city to be killed in the line of duty. She, too, started as a Transit cop. You remember her smile, and the way she took pride in her job. She loved being a cop. She loved being a mother. She left them both behind on 9-11-01. You remember her photo in the newspapers, escorting people out of the building. The photo was taken before she turned around and went back in, to help rescue more. She never made it out again.

There�s Ronny Kloepfer�s name. The department�s lacrosse team now plays a memorial game in his honor. Way too young for a memorial anything in your honor. Joe Viggiano�s name is nearby. His brother, a fireman, is on another memorial wall for firefighters. His mother and father lost two children that day; what more can you say?
Claude Richards, the only Detective Bureau member who was killed at the Trade Center, was a member of the Bomb Squad. You remember him on a hot, boiling, New York City street examining a phony bomb in his way-too-hot bomb technician�s gear at a time when terrorism was still something that didn�t happen here.

You stand and look at all twenty-three names, on the twenty-third line of the weathered memorial stone. Each one evokes a memory, each one a reminder of a terrible event. Each one yet another example of a true hero. Let�s not fill the stones too soon.


Wyatt Earp, who was born in 1848 and died in 1929, is perhaps the most famous lawman of them all.

He became a legend in his own time, serving as the law in such fabled Wild West Towns as Dodge City, Kansas, and Tombstone, Arizona-where in 1881 he and his brothers along with John Henry "Doc" Holliday, won the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He retired from 1882 after avenging the death of his brother, Morgan.


With the help of the National Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, here are some notable dates in law enforcement.

April 1631: Boston establishes first system of law enforcement called the "night watch." Officers served part-time, without pay.

1712: First full-time, paid law enforcement officers hired by the City of Boston.
September 24, 1789: Congress creates the first Federal law enforcement officer, the United States Marshal.

May 17, 1792: The first officer in United States history, Deputy Sheriff Isaac Smith, of the New York City Sheriff's Office, is killed in the line of duty.

1858: Boston and Chicago police departments are the first to issue uniforms to their officers.

1863: Boston becomes the first police department to issue pistols to their officers.

April 14, 1865: On the day he was shot by an assassin, President Abraham Lincoln approved formation of what is now the U.S. Secret Service.

1878-1881: Notorious outlaw, "Billy the Kid," kills six law enforcement officers in New Mexico: Deputy Sheriff Robert W. Beckwith, Deputy James W. Bell, Sheriff William Brady, Deputy James Carlysle, Deputy George Hindman and Deputy Robert Olinger.

October 26, 1881: Legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan and friend John Henry "Doc" Holliday, win the Wild West era's most famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

1895: Future President Theodore Roosevelt starts three-year term as Police Commissioner of New York City.


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Friday, June 27, 2003


I recently reported, from a conversation with former PBA President Lou Matterazzo, that prior to the 1968 PBA contract, there was NO paid overtime for members of the service.

I�ve learned that that is not exactly so.

The NYC Watch had paid overtime. Every morning each watch house sent one watchman down to the court (tombs). There was very little separation of executive, legislative and judicial government in early NYC. Two aldermen and the mayor sat in the court when it was in session. They would tell the watch how many men to hold over for day duty. Those that were held over for day duty got paid overtime.

Of course this all ended on January 20, 1845, when all the various law enforcement agencies of the City of New York were consolidated into the Municipal Police Department.

It�s hard to imagine what the Police Administrator who did not have any overtime issues to deal with ever did with his time. It certainly must have cut down on the number of meetings to virtually zero! Could they possibly spent their time dealing with policing issues?


A catalog recently received by The Minister details some very interesting investigative research material.

The Research Tools Professionals Use includes 10 new titles of on-line and CD-Rom based investigative software. Go to:

You can check out some of these titles, and order a catalog of material.


The U.S. Department of Justice�s Office of Justice Programs offers a free online subscription for its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention materials.

You can subscribe for either, or both, of the free electronic services.

JuvJust e-mails information two to three times per week from OJJDP and the field about new publications and upcoming conferences.

OJJDP News@a Glance is a bimonthly newsletter that coversw many of the same topics as JuvJust � plus recent OJJDP activities- but in more depth.

Go to the OJJDP Home page at:


What are the requirements of licensure?

You must be 25 years of age and a principal in the business entity to be licensed. Additionally, as the individual possessing the expertise to oversee the day-to-day conduct of investigations, you must have passed the private investigator examination within the two years immediately prior to your application date and have either three years experience or three years equivalent position and experience.

For more information, contact:

Division of Licensing Services 84 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208,
Or by phone at (518) 474-4429.


Cuba's most famous brand has a new band design-but it's not on every Cohiba just yet. Get to know all about Cuban Cohibas with a close-up view of the new look.


Gone is the rain and the miserable, damp, sunless day. Summer has arrived, and with a bang! Funerals, school graduations, birthdays. What a difference a week makes!

I�m looking forward to returning to the trenches! Let�s all enjoy the nice weather when we can, and forget about the lousy weather when we have to. Enjoy what we are dealt with, and remember always, Work should be Fun!

And when you have a moment, stop and be thankful for what you have, and say a prayer for those who need it most.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003


With the help of Mike Bosak, some amendments to the history of the NYPD Detective Bureau must be made to an earlier posting. The following is what can be considered the ultimate, absolute history of the origin of NYPD Detective�s.

New York City got its first Detective Force in 1836. In April of 1836 Jacob Hayes established New York City�s first detective organization. It was called the �Detective Force� and was part of the �City Watch�. Hayes appointed himself the first �Chief of Detectives�, among his other titles.

The title of the commanding officer of the Detective Force was always �Chief�, so Thomas Byrnes was NOT the first chief of detectives as the NYC Police Department states.

Believe it or not, the �Detective Force� was organized not because of the murder of NYC Watchman Luis Leuba on April 13, 1836, but because of the unsolved axe murder and cover-up arson of reportedly NYC�s most beautiful and expensive prostitute, a red-headed Irish girl with green eyes, who worked the stroll on Wall St. Yes in 1836, Wall Street with it financial businesses and rich bankers was the stroll for New York City�s most beautiful and expensive hookers. The axe murder was called the crime of the century and went unsolved. Watchman Leuba�s death was hardly acknowledged in N.Y.C. and Brooklyn�s newspapers. But the girl�s death and lack of solving the crime made the headlines everyday for months.

In 1857 the Board of Police (Metropolitan P.D.) gave the Deputy Superintendent the power to detail to his office 20 Policemen, to be designated �Detectives� They were attached to the office of George W. Matsell.

In 1859 the Detective Force was expanded to 40 Detectives, with the Brooklyn Detectives under the direct command of the Deputy Superintendent, but the force in New York City reported to the captain of the 25th Precinct. (Detective Force - Capt. George Walling)
On March 12, 1880 an office, or �Bureau� was established at 17 Wall Street with 10 men 0900x1600 hrs. It was know as the �Wall Street Sub-Detective Bureau�.

On May 17, 1882 Chapter 410, Laws of 1882 authorized the Board of Police to establish a Bureau, which should be called the �Central Office Bureau of Detectives�, not to exceed forty detectives , who were entitled to receive the same pay as the Sergeant of Police, which was $1,600 per year.

On May 25, 1882 the Detective Bureau was actually created and started operating. (Law passed May 17, 1882)

On May 8, 1883 all the Ward Detectives were consolidated under the jurisdiction of Inspector Byrnes. This did not work out and the detectives were sent back to their precinct commands. The Detective Bureau or Force had one specialized unit. The �Bureau of Inquiry for Missing People� that was established at the �Bureau for the Recovery of Lost Persons� in 1867.


Regular readers to this column will remember that the 25th Precinct was the designation for the Detective Bureau in early NYPD history.

The �Detective Force� became the �Central Office Bureau of Detectives� on May 25, 1882, replacing the 25th Precinct designation.


Congratulations are in order to those who were promoted this past Tuesday, November 19, at 1 PP. Thirty detective grade promotions were made, five of those to Detective First Grade.

The following Brooklyn North members received promotions as indicated:

Vito Friscia, 77 Squad, to Detective Second Grade
Eddie Rivera, 84 Squad, to Detective Second Grade

In addition to these well-deserved grade promotions, we also saw some Civilian promotions:

Jacinta Hampleton, from BN Homicide, promoted to SPAA and transferred.
Margarita Torres, from 90 Sqd, promoted to SPAA and transferred.

Also promoted in these ceremonies were a former-Brooklyn North Squad Commander and Precinct Captain. Jimmy Guida, now the C.O. of the 42 Pct, was promoted to Deputy Inspector.

Well done!


The use of a Forensic Anthropologist in the investigation of death is utilized more often than many may imagine. Just how does this specialist assist the investigator?

The assessment of trauma in skeletonized remains requires the ability to distinguish between perimortem trauma and postmortem damage.

Perimortem trauma is damage caused to bone in the interval surrounding the time of death. The interval is defined by the time period during which the bone is "green" or behaves with the plasticity of its living state. Any trauma that occurs while the bone is fresh and green is perimortem trauma including damage that occurs shortly after death.

Perimortem trauma that would have either contributed to or is directly associated with the cause of death is classified as trauma associated with the cause of death. For example, perimortem rib fractures can occur in a victim without those fractures being the cause of death, but the accompanying cranial gunshot wound would be trauma associated with the cause of death.


As part of the Homeland Security effort, the Pentagon is studying ways it can "sweep up and analyze" data from corporations, data warehouses, credit card purchases and travel reservations to pick up patterns and clues to prevent terrorist activities. There are controversies with some folks suggesting that it is an "overkill of intelligence" gathering. Check out the debate at:


Texas creates what was later to become the Texas Rangers, the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in America.
Boston and Chicago police departments are the first to issue uniforms to their officers.
Boston becomes the first police department to issue pistols to their officers.
April 14, 1865
On the day he was shot by an assassin, President Abraham Lincoln approved formation of what is now the U.S. Secret Service.


Friday, June 20, 2003


Lt-CDS Arthur Schultheis was another one of the legendary characters of this department. His brother was a notable figure in the Catholic Archdiocese of New York City, and an aid to the Cardinal, at the same time that Arthur was the squad commander of the 14th Squad. Arthur had a reputation of running the 14th Squad like a kingdom; nothing went on there that he didn�t know about and have a hand on.

One of Lt. Schultheis� legendary stories involves the matter of his retirement.

It seems that Arthur Schultheis never put in his papers for retirement. He did not want to leave the job, and would have stayed as long as he could. But, at 12:01 am on the day of his 62nd birthday, a patrolman was knocking at his apartment door in order to hand him his order of retirement.


Published in the May 1966 issue of SPRING 3100 is a "Code for Detectives" that was put together by Lt. Arthur Schultheis, describing what it means to be a detective.

Lt. Arthur Schultheis of the 14th Squad had been a detective since 1945 and a squad commander for more than ten years. The objective of this Code, and the corresponding story, was to impress the meaning of the changeover from patrolman to detective with a code of ethics which he gave to each detective coming into his command.

This Code For Detectives, which Lt. Schultheis shared with all new detectives, follows.

"When a patrolman becomes a detective the transition should not be casual. You should realize that you are stepping onto a new and vital plateau in police work and that your competence and attitude are most important qualifications. It is at this time that a clear outline of a detective�s duties should be crystallized and a new loyalty inculcated in the thinking of the officer. It should be impressed upon the patrolman that you are becoming a member of a distinctive organization with an honorable tradition and your future responsibilities should be assumed in a spirit of humility and determination.

Among the more rewarding experiences of a detective is the feeling of personal accomplishment found in the successful completion of a difficult and tenuous investigation, therefore it behooves him to take pride in his work performing his duties in a manner to bring praise and respect to the department and his division (Bureau).

Aware of the responsibility of the individual detective, it is felt that a practical and ethical concept of his work should be formalized in a code of behavior emphasizing the fact his duties are singular, challenging and concerned with problems of morality and integrity".

Ten Point Code For Detectives:

I. A detective should have the highest regard for the primary function of the division (Bureau) � service to the public.

II. Within the framework of the law and department regulations, a detective shall hold inviolate confidential information coming into his possession and do his utmost to protect the reputation of others.

III. To prove the innocence as well as the guilt of persons who are suspect shall be the abiding determination of a detective�s investigation.

IV. A detective shall cooperate with all agencies, both public and private, organized for the betterment of the community.

V. Knowing that teamwork is essential in his profession, a detective shall seek the loyalty and cooperation of his brother officers and return the same without reservation.

VI. A detective shall strive for self improvement; he shall keep himself generally well informed and in matters of crime and criminals he shall keep himself particularly well informed.

VII. A detective�s personal appearance and his conduct in relation with others should reflect the highest credit on the division (Bureau).

VIII. A detective shall maintain his private life in such a manner as to be a credit to his community.

IX. A detective shall care for department property in his custody and thoroughly familiarize himself with its purpose and operation.

X. A detective shall regard no facet of his work with indifference: each case should be regarded as a personal challenge to be met with enthusiasm and diligence.


Multiple Links Listings

Yet even more investigative links


I�ve know Don Buddenhagen for many years, yet I committed a big error when I erroneously referred to him in a recent posting as "James".

Correctly, it was DONALD Buddenhagen that was recently promoted to Deputy Inspector. Donald is the Commanding Officer of Transit District 32.

Once again, I apologize for my error and stand corrected. I�d like to be able to blame it on my administrative staff, but that just doesn�t exist!


A member of our Brooklyn North family is currently undergoing a very grueling health situation of a child. I would just like to ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers our Brother, that all goes well for him and his family.

Monday, June 16, 2003

"To prove the innocence as well as the guilt of persons who are suspect shall be the abiding determination of a detective�s investigation".
Lt-CDS Arthur Schultheis


One notable item, reported in the same bulletin that brought you the lead-sinker announcement, noted the street name changes to honor several fallen police officers who died in the line of duty on September 11.

Det. Claude Richards of the Bomb Squad is honored with "Detective Claude 'Danny' Richards Way", which is located at West Street between Morton and Barrow Streets, Manhattan.

PO Moira Smith of the 13th Precinct is honored with "P.O. Moira Smith Way", which is located at 74th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, Brooklyn.

Additionally, it is noted that three other officers were similarly honored in 2003.

"Officer Thomas M. Langone and Officer Paul Talty Way", located at 37th Avenue between Union and Bowne Streets, Queens, honors these two officers of Emergency Service Squad 10.

"Police Officer Ramon Suarez Avenue" is located at Catalpa Avenue between Woodward and Onderdonk Avenues, Queens, in honor of PO Ramon Suarez of Transit District 4.


As it was noted in a recent issue of THE ECONOMIST, the criminal underworld of Asia is alive and well and spreading throughout the world.

Asian organized crime, including Chinese triads, Japanese yakuza, and the Russian mafiya, trace their history back to the 19th century. They continue to operate in such lucrative areas as money laundering, and arms sales (weapons, not body parts) but are more and more being revealed for the evil they perpetuate instead of their past history as patriotic organizations treated with respect.

Crime in East Asia is more and more being revealed as an international phenomenon, with Vietnamese gangs recently coming to rise in Australia. In Australia, the gang is known as 5T, named for the Vietnamese words for love, money, prison, crime and revenge.

While much of the Asian gang problem in New York�s Chinatown has diminished, it is interesting to see it thriving throughout other parts of the world - and should be carefully considered before it reels it�s ugly dragon head once again.


Just what are the 7 Deadly Sins?

Envy Gluttony Greed Lust
Pride Sloth Wrath


Help on people searches: This has been described as the best non- paying site for people searches.

Commercial Search Site:
I strongly recommend the following site. You pay for the searches, but you only pay for a search as you use it. There is NO subscription fee, you just need to register first. The searches are very reasonably priced, and I�ve used it as a back-up to the info you get from a HIDTA auto-track search. The phone registry is very good.


It was reported recently that Chief Morange will be leaving to become the new MTA Chief of Security.

Louis Anemone, former Chief of Department, is moving out to LA, to assist Chief Bratton with the Compstat process being implemented in the LAPD.


That prior to the 1968 PBA contract, there was NO paid overtime for members of the service.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

"Among the more rewarding experiences of a detective is the feeling of personal accomplishment found in the successful completion of a difficult and tenuous investigation, therefore it behooves him to take pride in his work performing his duties in a manner to bring praise and respect to the department and his bureau". Lt. CDS Arthur Schultheis


Susan Scanga was only sixteen in 1945 when she was found dead in a junkyard at the foot of Huron Street in Greenpoint, within the 94 Precinct.

During the day she worked in an apparel shop; at night she attended business school. A bullet had been fired at close range to her head. She had not been beaten or raped.

On the wall near her body was written: "Nick." The detectives assumed the victim had scratched her assailant�s name before she died. After questioning friends and relatives they issued an eight-state alarm for the arrest of her fifteen-year-old boyfriend, Nicholas Fomkin.

Nick and his friend Leonard Runkoski, sixteen years old, found themselves in Mobile, Alabama four days after the murder. They had taken a bus to Philadelphia and then hitched a ride south with an army lieutenant. Detectives, conducting a diligent investigation, located them in Alabama and had the Mobile authorities take them into custody until they could arrive.

Nick Fomkin had been dating Susan for about seven months. On the night of November 20, while heading for a pool hall after drinking beer with his friends, he bumped into Susan. She was walking with a boy, a friend of both of theirs. According to Nick�s testimony, he playfully put a gun to her head and said, "If you ever went out with any other guy..." and the gun went off. He panicked and threw the gun in a creek. He had traded his fish knife for his friend Leonard�s gun.

Prior to this incident Nick had written his name on the wall, in graffiti fashion. He evidently dragged his victim to a familiar haunt, inadvertently implicating himself in the crime by leaving her body underneath his previously written graffiti.

Nick Fomkin pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, and after being remanded pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter.


Recently, the department�s Legal Bureau issued a Legal Bureau Bulletin concerning the new laws enacted for 2002.

An interesting observation was made, which I�d like to pass on.

It�s quite interesting, to say the least, that a recent inquiry to the Legal Bureau concerning the Burdo Decision and its interpretation regarding the ability of a detective to interview a subject who is in jail, was received with a complete state of bafflement. It seems that no one in the Legal Bureau ever heard of the "Burdo Decision", nor did they know how to find out the information. (Regular readers may recall I reported on the Burdo Decision last year).

Yet, it was noted, the Legal Bureau was able to report to us that, under the Environmental Conservation Law (Chapter 59), the Sale of Small Lead Fishing Sinkers is prohibited, if these sinkers weigh one-half ounce or less.

(It should also be noted that this law doesn't go into effect until May 7, 2004 - so there�s still plenty of time to stock up on those small-lead-sinkers).

You truly cannot make this stuff up!


NYS Licensing Verification

Info on the NYS Private Investigator�s License


Finding cigar-bars is getting harder and harder in this city. Below are some establishments that continue to offer a cigar-friendly environment.

Smoking continues at two Bar & Books - Hudson Bar & Books on 636 Hudson Street, NYC (212-229-2642) and at Lexington Bar & Books on 1020 Lexington Ave, NYC (212-717-3902).

Also at Club Macanudo, 26 East 63 St, NYC (212-752-8200), and at:

Aubette, a NYC bar on East 27th Street, located at 119 East 27 St, (212-686-5500).

Grand Havana Room on Fifth Avenue, 666 5 Ave, 245-1600

Uncle Jack�s, 39-40 Bell Blvd, Bayside, (718-229-1100). This cigar-friendly restaurant also serves what has been described as the �best steak in the city�. More info on this location to follow in future postings.

The Mustang Grill, located at 2 Ave & E85 St on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, has atrendy southwestern-style menu and a cigar lounge attached. (212-744-9194).

Cigar bars must have been opened prior to December 31, 2001, which eliminates the possibility of anyone ever opening a new cigar bar in the city.

To get a full listing of cigar bars in NYC, check out the Cigar Aficionado web site at:,2344,1002,00.html

Good luck!


According to the Burdo Decision, a subject who is incarcerated in jail (i.e. NYC Corrections) may NOT be interviewed as the subject of an investigation even if it is an unrelated charge unless he has counsel present.

This reversed what was customary and routine; after this decision a detective cannot get a statement from a subject who is in Corrections custody unless his counsel is present. If you do, and he/she confesses, the statement will NOT be allowed. The "old" test of whether it was an unrelated charge or not no longer matters.

This is a pretty important point of law that every detective should be aware of. So should the Legal Bureau.

Monday, June 09, 2003

�It should be impressed upon (the new detective) that you are becoming a member of a distinctive organization with an honorable tradition and your future responsibilities should be assumed in a spirit of humility and determination�. Lt. Arthur Schultheis


Recently, in an effort to assist detectives in the recovery of video tape from CCTV systems, TARU has put together some general guidelines and recommendations.

Often we encounter these tapes for recovery as potential investigative leads. Whether it is in a bodega, gas station, or bank ATM, keeping in mind some of these general principles could aid in the successful value of these tapes.

First, before removing the tape from the machine, check - and record - the time and date displayed on the screen, and then record the ACTUAL time and date. Many times these devices are not properly calibrated, and this information will become vital when viewing the tape later, and trying to admit it into court.

When you eject the tape, remove the "record tab" in the corner. This will prevent the tape being recorded over inadvertently.

Record the MOS who recovered the tape, and where it was recovered from. Maintain chain of custody rules; if patrol removed the tape prior to your arrival, record whose hands it passed through. Also, make sure you record the name of the business contact that turned the tape over to you. ALWAYS recover the original tape, do NOT accept a copy.

The following is VERY IMPORTANT, and may need to be reviewed with others on the scene - of higher rank - who may want to do differently.

It is recommended that you NOT play the video in the original recorder, as many time-lapse machines are on an automatic record mode, and will erase the incident if the tape is inserted in the recorder. DO NOT play the tape in the squad�s machine as these machines are not maintained and may destroy the tape. BRING THE TAPE DIRECT TO TARU. They will play it back, and make the necessary copies we need. This may be the hardest to accomplish when a ranking MOS wants to "play the tape and see what we have". Most times, by explaining this procedure and the importance of not destroying any evidence we may have, we can get this accomplished. The difference in time between TARU viewing, and preserving any evidence properly, and viewing it on the scene and risking damage to the evidence, is negligible. DO IT RIGHT, YOU WON�T BE ABLE TO DO IT OVER!

Never freeze frame or pause on a single image as the tape will stretch and be damaged. Let TARU perform this operation using the proper equipment.

IN AN EMERGENCY, if the tape MUST be viewed, return the tape to the position where it was recovered. If the VCR counter reads 01:03:02 when you start playing it, bring it back to the same position. Don�t lose your place. If you come across the incident then press STOP, and eject the tape.

Remember to always keep the tape and other similar evidence away from magnets, as it will erase them. Examples include stereo speakers and the red bubble-light in unmarked vehicles!

We seem to be encountering more often the video recording devices that are downloaded direct into a computer. These digital recorders provide extremely fine quality images when viewing through the computer, but poor images when copied for our use. The best advice I can give whenever encountering these recording devices is to contact TARU and make arrangements for TARU to come out to the field to retrieve these images direct.

TARU is the expert on this type of evidence. They have been extremely helpful in the past, coming out to the scene to recover video � give them a call from the scene if you feel their services would be helpful.

To contact TARU, should you have questions or requests concerning video analysis, call them at: (718) 971-1400 ext. 1445.

Remember what The Minister has said in the past: TARU is the Detective�s Emergency Service!


Remember, it stands for:

Interstate Identification Index


For FREE database searches for investigators, go to Black Book Online, found at:

List of Forensic Resources for Police


CHAVEZ v. MARTINEZ, Decided 05/27/03

A 1983 plaintiff's Fifth Amendment rights were not violated through questioning by police, where he was never charged and no statements were used against him.

Questioning of plaintiff while he was being treated for gunshot wounds after an altercation with police did not violate his Fourteenth Amendment rights.

To read the full text of this opinion, go to:


The author of the quote which opened this web posting was an NYPD squad commander. Watch future postings for more on this legendary figure.


June 8, 1958 Ptl Herman Corn, 52 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
June 9, 1931 Sgt William O�Shaughnessy, 28 Pct, Shot-Robbery in progress
June 9, 1939 Ptl Alexander Stult, ESU, Asphyxiated
June 9, 1969 Sgt Edward Henninger, AIS, LOD heart attack
June 11, 1925 Ptl James Cullen, 37 Pct, Motorcycle accident on patrol
June 12, 1991 PO Kenneth Hansen, Harbor, Drowned
June 14, 1960 Ptl William Ramos Jr, 80 Pct, Shot-robbery

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

"It is true that history cannot satisfy our appetite when we are hungry, nor keep us warm when the cold wind blows. But it is true that if younger generations do not understand the hardships and triumphs of their elders, then we will be a people without a past. As such, we will be like water without a source, a tree without roots." Anon.


Who the heck is Detective First Grade Frank Malerba?

Detective Malerba is somewhat of a legend in NYPD annals, one of those active cops who seemed to find trouble wherever he went.

Frank Malerba was appointed to the NYPD on September 9, 1938, and issued Shield #8876. He was assigned to the 30 Precinct after completing recruit training.

Two of the most notorious incidents he was involved in are described below, taken from the General Orders published upon awarding him his appropriate commendations.

Detective Malerba was first awarded the Combat Cross for an incident in 1945.

At about 2.20 a.m., March 25, 1945, while on patrol in the vicinity of 151st Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan, Ptl. Frank Malerba was informed by two men that while seated in their car in front of 415 West 150th Street, they were robbed by two armed men, one of whom had fired a shot into the car. Patrolman Malerba entered the complainant�s car and they cruised the neighborhood in search of the perpetrators.

On Convent Avenue, between 151st and 152nd Streets, the victims recognized and pointed out the two perpetrators. As Patrolman Malerba alighted from the car, the two robbers fled. One of them ran up the stoop of premises 484 Convent Avenue and turned and fired a shot at Patrolman Malerba, who returned the fire and wounded the gunman. Patrolman Malerba then recovered this man�s gun and continued in pursuit of the second robber, firing two shots during the chase. Patrolman Malerba pursued this man into premises 464 West 152nd Street, disarmed him of a knife and placed him under arrest. Both men have long criminal records.

In 1956, Frank Malerba � then a Detective � was awarded the Isaac Bell Medal for Bravery, along with the Squad Commander and four other detectives.

On Feb. 18, 1955, Dets. Hefferen, Malerba, Nolan, and McCann, of the 23 Squad, located a notorious bandit with another man on the stairs of the fire well on the sixth floor of an apartment at 240 West 129th Street, Manhattan. This bandit, August Robles, was wanted for a homicide in Brooklyn. (Where else!)

Upon seeing the detectives, the bandit opened fire at them and they returned the fire but the two men made their escape. Through diligent investigation, which included conducted debriefings of all those arrested, a break in the case developed. One of those interviewed by the detectives provided information that was further developed and the bandit was located two days later hiding in an apartment at 67 East 112th Street. While other officers were assigned to different strategic points at other landings, fire escapes and around the building, Acting Lt. Dauner (the squad commander) along with Dets. Hefferen, Malerba, McCann, Nolan and Rogan, equipped with bullet proof vests, attempted to open the locked door of the bandit�s apartment and were met with a hail of gunfire from within.

Dets. Hefferen and Rogan returned the fire through the door of the apartment. In an exchange of shoots, Det. Hefferen was wounded in the left knee and fell to the floor. Dets. Rogan and Nolan immediately removed the wounded detective from the line of fire while A/Lt. Dauner and Det. McCann made another attempt to break the door down, simultaneously firing in the direction of the bandit�s gun flashes. At this point A/Lt. Dauner suffered gunshot wounds of the left hand, two gunshot of the left leg, while another bullet struck him in the chest area which was protected by the bullet proof vest. A/Lt. Dauner fell to the floor and was pulled out of the line of fire to safety by another detective, while Malerba continued the fusillade of gunfire into the apartment. While tear gas was being fired into the apartment, the other officers exchanged shots with the bandit who was later found dead from gunshot wounds.

A comment on this second incident is certainly worth mentioning. Not intended to "second-guess" these detectives, it is presented as another viewpoint for information. A since-retired Detective who came on the job in May 1955 noted the following.

While at the Police Academy the incident was discussed in a number of classes. In not have ESU backing them up may have been a mistake. As word of the situation came over the air, RMP cars from all over Manhattan & the Bronx, on their own, went to the area. In the Academy, TV & Newsreel films taken of the incident were shown to the recruits for training purposes. Cops were seen on rooftops crawling to the edge of the building rooftop, putting their revolver over the top and then with out aiming or even looking at where they were firing shooting off 6 rounds. It was generally agreed by those who responded to the scene it was a crazy, wild confrontation that would be improved in the future by more coordinated direction.

The Spring 3100 article and the medals citations written after the incidents have no mention of the fact that in the first confrontation on Feb. 18th Robles got the drop on the detectives, disarmed them and then fled with their guns.

Detective Malerba, since retired, passed away in December 2001. In the obituary published in Newsday, on Dec. 31, 2001, there is mention that Malerba put the last shot into Robles and then found next to the body four guns, three taken earlier from the police officers.


Some general reminders, as a rule of thumb, for the gumshoe (you know what that is, right?)

Homicides: 24-72 rule

The key to solving your homicide is to go back over the victims last 24 hours, and the work you accomplish in the next 72 hours of the investigation. This has been one of those "unwritten" rules that seems to prove itself over and over again. Find out what your victim has been doing for the past 24 hours; who he/she was with, seen doing, etc. Will lead most often to the reason your victim is now dead.

The first 72 hours of the investigation becomes extremely critical. The information you develop, the people you speak with, and the progress you make in this time will many times provide the key to a successful investigation.

The 48 Hour Rule- Non Fatal Shootings

Adapting the 24/72 rule to non-fatal shootings, and again used merely as a guide, you will probably find that the progress you make in the first 48 hours of a non-fatal shooting will be a key to the success in that case. This is entirely without scientific proof, and based merely on experience. Put the time into the initial stage of the investigation if you want to reach positive conclusions.

The 3 & 1 Rule in Time of Death Determination

This is more scientific than the other rules.

Body temperature drops 3 degree's in the 1st hour after death, then 1 degree subsequent hours, cooling to room temperature. After 30 hours, the temperature goes up again. Just keep in mind that environmental conditions i.e. weather, room temperature, moisture, etc. will have an effect on this general rule-of-thumb.

This is another reminder why it is so important for the MI that responds to your scene takes a temperature reading, both of the body and the outside area.


A recent Supreme Court ruling concerning police interrogation is worth reviewing. In this case, a shooting victim - who was questioned at the hospital by police even though he did not want to answer questions, had his interrogation reviewed by the Court.

Check out the article in the following excerpt; it�s worth knowing.


If I may make a recommendation, then let me speak highly of the recent CAO I had the pleasure of enjoying.

This brand, long known as one of the favorite of my brother squad commander in the 75 Squad, John Amodeo, now has six different premium lines rated 90 or above in CIGAR AFICIONADO.

I recently tasted a CAO Brazilia that was on par with any cigar I�ve had from that island south of the Florida coast that we are forbidden to trade with.

Next time you find yourself in your favorite cigar store why not try one and see for yourself.


June 2, 1973 PO Robert Laurenson, 20 Pct, Shot-Robbery
June 2, 1989 PO Jeff Herman, 71 Pct, Shot-investigation
June 3, 1938 Ptl James Fisher, 73 Pct, Shot-accidental discharge
June 4, 1927 Sgt Benjamin Cantor, DetDiv, Shot-robbery arrest
June 4, 1932 Ptl Thomas Burns, Mcy Unit, Injured on patrol
June 5, 1973 PO Sid Thompson, TD12, Shot-arrest
June 6, 1939 Ptl Emmitt Cassidy, 120 Pct, Shot-off duty incident