Monday, September 29, 2003


The following is a reprint of an article that appeared in the NY DAILY NEWS on Monday, September 29, 2003, written by Michelle McPhee. Michelle is the Daily News� Police Bureau Chief.

�He still remembers the cacophony of police sirens, growing louder as the squad cars approached his house.

A chaotic blur of blue uniforms rushed past Joseph McCormack Jr., then 13, who then heard his mother's piercing screams.

His father, Joseph McCormack, a decorated sergeant in the elite Emergency Service Unit, was dead - shot through the heart by a shotgun-wielding deranged man in the Bronx.

"I remember knowing right away, with all the police cars, that something was wrong but they didn't want to tell me," said McCormack, now 33. "It was devastating. It was the worst day of my life."

Just before his untimely death, his father had cautioned his sons, Joseph and 10-year-old Andrew, away from police work. And he had always teased his 5-year-old daughter, Jessica, that she would become a nurse.

Today, on the 20th anniversary of his death, it appears only one of his wishes came true.

Both of the McCormack boys are on the job. Joseph Jr. followed his dad into the Emergency Service Unit, working in Truck 4 in the Bronx. Andrew is a cop in the 52nd Precinct in the Bronx.

Jessica McCormack is a pediatric nurse.

"It's a mixed blessing for me, with the boys on the job, and I'm sure it would have been for him," McCormack's widow, Susan, said last week.

"I think they were called to do it, partly because of family tradition and how they felt about their father. I'm sure they felt like they wanted to light the torch and carry it on."

In the years after her husband was slain, Susan McCormack became increasingly frustrated at the lack of benefits given to the families of fallen cops.

In 1998, she and two other police widows launched a support group called Survivors of the Shield - or SOS, the universal cry for help.

The group successfully pushed for legislation to enhance the benefits for children of slain cops, and continues to offer services to heartbroken families.

"For me, the reason my husband died had to be helping other families who went through what I went through," Susan McCormack said.

On Sept. 11, 2001, she nearly had another personal tragedy.

In the minutes after the World Trade Center attack, Joseph McCormack Jr. - the spitting image of his father - responded with his team, led by Sgt. John Coughlin.

Coughlin and his men - McCormack, Brian McDonnell, Stephen Driscoll, Thomas Langone and Paul Talty - were ordered to assemble a search and rescue team to scour the burning south tower for victims.

As they were about to enter the smoldering building, Coughlin turned to McCormack.

"I need you to go back to the truck. We need a rope harness," Coughlin told him.

By the time McCormack ran two blocks through the raining debris and returned, his ESU brethren had hustled into the building. Seconds later, the tower disintegrated, killing Coughlin and his men.

"John [Coughlin], I credit with saving my life on Sept. 11. They went in without me never to come out again. It's almost like someone was watching over me, someone with bigger hands than I have," McCormack said.

But Susan McCormack would like to think her husband's hands were the ones her son referred to, the ones that guided him away from death nearly 18 years to the day after his father died.

"I want to believe my husband is looking down on us," she said. "When he lived, it was a message to me, a message from Joe."


HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is just the latest example of how well-intended privacy laws are creating a society that is being suffocated by over-regulation and lawsuit-happy lawyers.

The Associated Press reports that HIPAA, the new federal medical privacy bill, has been cited on numerous occasions by hospitals for denying law enforcement officials access to crime and accident victims.

In one notable case, the victim of a botched robbery was taken to a South Carolina hospital with a gun shot wound. Police went to the hospital to interview the victim and see if he could identify the shooter. Hospital administrators not only refused to let the investigating officer see the victim, they also refused to confirm that the victim was in the hospital, citing HIPAA patient confidentiality!

When one of the lawyers who helped draft the law (for the Clinton administration) was interviewed about this, he replied that police merely need to obtain a warrant when they want such access.

Do we really want to live in a world where detectives have to go to a courthouse to get a warrant to interview a crime victim?

Closer to home, right here in Brooklyn North, we recently had to wait three days for a court order to be written and signed by a judge (with the proper wording - that took 2 days alone!) and delivered to a Drug treatment center in order to get a look at their CCTV shots that overlooked a street where a homicide victim was found stuffed inside a bag. The facility quoted HIPAA concerns, as they were concerned any images in the street might capture images of their "clients", and they were protecting their rights under HIPAA!

(Watch for more information on HIPAA in future postings.)


NIJ Publications Database Now Online.
The National Institute of Justice's publications are now searchable by title, author, topic, keyword, and date. NIJ's publications page has been reformatted with this new search feature at the top of the page. Your search results can be sorted by date or by title, and provide links to document summaries and full text files.

Visit NIJ's publication page at:


An extra set of chopsticks for dinner.
The sushi take-out menu from the local sushi-restaurant.
Herbal green tea next to the coffee pot.
Soy milk for that green tea.
Decorator window shades.
New-age background music to help you type case reports.
Inspiration-phrase posters (You know the ones, those corporate types with the catchy phrases and wildlife photos for �Perseverance�, �Teamwork�, etc.).
Hillary Clinton�s photograph in a picture frame.
Latest issue of Glamour magazine.
Incense candles to set the right mood and ambience.
Crackers and brie for the 4x1 tour at turnout.
The Three Tenors opera CD.
An extra pair of galoshes for your shoes.
Blue pens.
And, sadly enough, a hat rack for all those grey fedoras!


It�s not easy being a Jets fan! Perhaps I should take up golf to replace the misery of sitting and watching Sunday football games.

After another lousy weekend of football, I open my e-mail and get the following message! You Jets fns will know what I mean�

Q, Who is the only man in the world who can overthrow Sadam Hussein ?
A. Vinnie Testaverde !

Q. What's the difference between the Jets and the US Military?
A. The US Military has an air attack.

Q. What do the Jets and Billy Graham have in common?
A. They both can make 77,000 people stand up and yell "Jesus Christ."

Q. How do you keep a Jets player out of your yard?
A. Draw a goal line there.

Q. What's the difference between the Jets and a dollar bill?
A. You can get four good quarters out of a dollar bill.

Q. What do you call 50 people sitting around a TV watching the Super Bowl?
A. The New York Jets

Q. How can you tell when the Jets are going to run the football?
A. Curtis Martin leaves the huddle with tears in his eyes.

Q. What do the Jets and possums have in common?
A. Both play dead at home and get killed on the road.

Q. Why was Herman Edwards upset when the Jets playbook was stolen?
A. Because he hadn't finished coloring it.


September 29, 1854 Ptl James Cahill, 11 Ward, Shot-Burglary **
September 29, 1965 Ptl Donald Rainey, Auto Crime, Shot-Mistaken ID, off duty
September 29, 1983 PO Joseph McCormack, ESU, Shot-barricade situation
October 1, 1963 Ptl John Donovan, GCP-Hwy3, Motorcycle accident on patrol
October 2, 1960 Ptl Philip Curtin, 19 Pct, Info not available
October 2, 1969 Ptl Salvatore Spinola, ESU, Asphyxiation during rescue
October 3, 1913 Sgt Joseph McNierney, 29 Pct, Stabbed during arrest
October 3, 1929 Ptl William McCaffrey, Traffic Div, Auto accident on patrol
October 4, 1928 Ptl John Gibbons, Mcy1, Motorcycle accident on patrol

** Note: This is the first recorded MOS killed in the line of duty in NYPD.

Friday, September 26, 2003

"...all good police work done in Manhattan seemed to be more important than the same quality of police work done in the other boroughs. The newspapers and the police brass just seemed to notice good police work more in Manhattan.".........

Dan Mahoney, �Detective First Grade, A Novel of the NYPD�, page 115.


Allan Pinkerton, born in Scotland, is nevertheless a man of America, one of the USA's greatest historical assets.
Sigmund A. Lavine, a Pinkerton biographer, writes, "A man of great power of observation and courage, (Pinkerton) prevented an assassination attempt on Abraham Lincoln; organized the first official Secret Service for duty behind Confederate lines during the War Between the States; and rode with lawmen along the Old Frontier, hunting down members of Jesse James' gang, the Reno brothers and other desperadoes."

Studying Allan Pinkerton's achievements and those of the organization he shaped from its birth, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, is actually studying the history of the growth of America during its last century and a half. The man himself crossed paths with many of the greatest figures this nation has known; he made an impression on each of their lives and, without a doubt, changed the course of American History as we know it.

At a time when the nation's towns and cities � even the largest ones � possessed unqualified law enforcement bureaus, Pinkerton's agents took on the most difficult assignments; cases ranged from financial and property thefts to government overthrows to murder. And the agents always got their man (and woman).

Allan Pinkerton was well known to the members of the 19th Century underworld. They knew he was incorruptible and so was his agency. They were also well acquainted with Pinkerton's tenacity; if necessary he would chase you to the end of the earth.

Adds Time-Life Books' anthological The Wild West, "So effective were agents' methods that when the government formed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1908, it used Pinkerton's agency as its model."

It isn't surprising that the man who was to become America's greatest detective and one of the world's most notable sleuths was born to a family whose patriarch was a policeman. William Pinkerton, a police sergeant in Glasgow, Scotland, first heard the squeals on his newborn son on August 25, 1819.

The agency which Pinkerton founded, Pinkerton�s, has since been merged with other international security concerns, including Wells Fargo, Burns, and First Security, and presently operates under the Securitas Corporation (a Swedish based company, for an American legend - once again, you can�t make this up).


When the decision to interrogate a suspect is based essentially on circumstantial or testimonial evidence, it may be necessary to introduce evidence that does not actually exist.

Before doing so, an investigator should be aware of the legality of this tactic. The landmark decision addressing the issue of engaging in deception during an interrogation is Frazier v. Cupp, 1969 U.S. The Court ruled that deception by an investigator is generally permissible provided that it does not shock the conscience of the community or court.

An investigator will only succeed in persuading a suspect to tell the truth if the suspect trusts what the investigator is saying. Furthermore, during an interrogation a suspect has a heightened level of suspicion and will pick up on the slightest misstatement by the investigator and use the error to fortify his resistance to tell the truth. Because of this consideration, lies about having evidence against a suspect during an interrogation should be carefully weighed.
Consequently, an investigator should consider misrepresenting evidence to a suspect during an interrogation only as a last resort when other persuasive efforts have been ineffective, and the investigator is still convinced that the suspect is guilty.


As you may recall, I acquired a copy of a 1930 book written by Retired D.I. Arthur Carey, who retired as the commander of the Homicide Bureau. Carey�s book, titled �MEMOIRS OF A MURDER MAN�, provide an interesting insight into the early Detective Bureau of the New York City Police Department. It also allows Carey to provide his instructions on homicide investigations in general.

In 1906 Theodore Bingham became the Police Commissioner. One of the first things he did was, under approval of the legislature, provide for a fourth Deputy Commissionership. This new Deputy Commissioner would take control of the Detective Bureau. Also at this time, all Detective Sergeants were raised to the rank of Lieutenant (which included Arthur Carey).

Arthur Woods became the Deputy Commissioner in charge of the Detective Bureau. He was the first such person to hold this title.

Woods was a Harvard graduate and a former English instructor from an upper-class prep school. The idea of such a person in charge of detectives was received with various reactions by the members of the force. Woods had previously studied policing systems in Europe, and particularly liked the way that the Metropolitan Police in London operated its famous detective arm � Scotland Yard. He liked the Yard�s system under which detectives were assigned to special investigations according to crime category. He laso liked the Paris system which also deployed detective specialists in squads that were assigned by crime category.

Woods suggested, and then established, a special squad in New York City to handle all homicides. Carey was placed in charge of this squad, as its Captain. This was the first such organized homicide squad in the world!

�The idea was to place a mobile force of trained investigators at strategic points where no time would be lost in getting to the scene of murder, and then take up the hunt�.

This special squad was designated �Squad Number One�, and known all over as the Homicide Squad.

In 1909, under a �shake-up�, things changed. The Police Commissioner left, as did his deputies. The Detective Bureau was reorganized (�as usual�, says Carey), and the branch detective system was abolished. Carey was transferred to commander of a precinct, where he spent �four years in the uniform meditating upon the vicissitudes of life in a police department, the largest in the country, where a man would just get settled down to building an effective machine to control homicides and then be transferred to a totally different job�. He settled in to the task of a precinct commander, and was �quite contented � yet I was not engaged in my favorite pursuit � murder inquiry�.

Not for long, however. In April 1914, under a new Mayor, Arthur Woods was once again installed as the Police Commissioner, and Carey was once again placed in command of the Homicide Squad �and started afresh�.


ACLU Sues Over Ten Commandments Display In Georgia


So you find yourself in lower Manhattan, maybe you�ve just left 1PP, and in need of a bite to eat.

Checking with the Under-Minister of Stats, John Cantwell, he put his former lower East Side sleuthing in the 9th Squad experience to good use and came up with a solid recommendation � Two Boots Pizza.

It comes with very good references to make a visit to this spot, at E. 3 Street & Ave A.

I would solidly endorse John�s recommendation; remember, he�s the one that turned us on to the other 9th Squad eatery, Three of Cups, for brick-oven dining.

Two Boots Pizza (For a slice): E. 3 St & Ave A
Three of Cups (Brick oven dining; opens at 5pm): 1st Ave & 5th St

Monday, September 22, 2003


It should be noted that the Transit Police Department, prior to its merger with NYPD in 1995, suffered three of its twelve line of duty deaths during the month of September.

On September 22, 1983, PO JOSEPH HAMPERIAN, a member of the Citywide Task Force, was on duty in plainclothes performing anti-pickpocket duty at a bus stop in Brooklyn when a car skidded out of control on wet pavement and smashed into him. PO Hamperian was 25 years old at the time. He died the next day from his injuries.

On September 21, 1984, PO IRMA LOZADA was on plainclothes patrol on the L line in Brooklyn when she spotted a man who had snatched a piece of jewelry from a passenger. She was separated from her partner when she gave chase from the train into the Wilson Ave train station, and out onto the street where she encountered the culprit inside a lot behind the cemetery area at Chauncey & Central. First pretending to be looking for a lost dog, she was able to apprehend the culprit at gunpoint; attempting to handcuff him she was overpowered, and shot with her own gun. It would be three hours before her body was discovered in the lot. The murder suspect was arrested the next day. She was 25 years old at the time, and is the first female officer ever killed in the line of duty in New York City.

On September 22, 1987, PO ROBERT VENABLE was in an RMP with other MOS being transported to the command with a prisoner. On Pitkin Avenue, in Brooklyn, they were alerted to "Men with guns" at a house. He and other MOS approached the location and were met with gunfire. Officer Venable was hit and died three hours later. A raid of the building resulted in the arrest of two men, one of whom was charged with murder. PO Venable was 35 years old at the time.


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About one hundred seventy years ago, Scotland Yard, which at the time had been established as headquarters of the Metropolitan Police in London, tried an unusual experiment.

Its senior officials sent some of its policemen out on duty in plainclothes. Thus, the first formal detective squad was inaugurated within the Metropolitan Police, forerunner of todays Criminal Investigation Division (C.I.D.).

Imnmediately there was a loud outcry against this new approach in dealing with the growing criminal element in the community. The general public, led by newspapers and journals of the day, was uncompromising in its attitude of firm hostility towards the police who performed their duties in plainclothes. Detective became a dirty word, and a policeman in plainclothes was considered an unwarranted and undesirable spy in the public�s midst and someone to be shunned and even hindered in the performance of his duties.

A century later, the picture is very different. Plainclothes police are now accepted as a necessary safeguard against the malpractices of modern-day criminals. The general public today looks upon the detective as a proved bulwark of complex society, in an unceasing war against the underworld in all major cities of the world.


A serial killer known as The Axeman of New Orleans terrorized the Big Easy for quite some time.

For many years this phantom stalked the people of the Big Easy, killing without any consistent pattern or motive. One of the truly great unsolved crimes, it was originally thought to be solved, but authorities soon learned the man they thought responsible could not have been the killer.

Striking first in 1918, the story of this serial killer can be read fully on the Court TV web-site.

To access the full story, go to:


September 22, 1946 Ptl William Brophy, 109 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
September 22, 1983 PO Joseph Hamperian, TPD-SCU, Struck by auto
September 22, 1987 PO Robert Venable, TPD-D33, Shot during arrest
September 23, 1896 Ptl Thomas McIntyre, MTD, Horse accident
September 23, 1937 Det John Wilson, 1 Pct, Shot-robbery
September 23, 1941 Ptl James Schowers, 28 Pct, LOD heart attack
September 23, 1970 Ptl Michael Paolilo, IdentUnit, Stabbed-off duty investigation
September 25, 1953 Ptl Harry Widder, GCP-Hwy3, Auto accident
September 25, 1971 PO Arthur Pelo, HA-BkSI, Shot-robbery arrest
September 25, 1995 PO David Willis, 10 Pct, Auto accident, radio run
September 26, 1977 PO Vito Chiaramonte, HA-CCU, Shot
September 27, 1945 Det Frank McGrath, 2 Sqd, Shot-investigation
September 27, 1992 PO William Gunn, 67 PDU, Shot-investigation
September 28, 1921 Ptl Joseph Reuschle, 42 Pct, Shot by prisoner
September 28, 1934 Ptl John Fraser, 4 Div, Shot-robbery in progress

Monday, September 15, 2003


The Labor Day weekend is traditionally the end of summer and the end of many police details to Coney Island, but in 1962 it was the permanent end of all details for two Brooklyn police officers.

On the evening of August 31, 1962, shortly before 11 p.m., James Clark, 27 years old, entered a rooming house at 2919 West 32nd Street in Coney Island. Clark had been feuding with the landlady, Mrs. Shaw. He had assaulted her in July and there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Entering Mrs. Shaw�s apartment Clark shouted and pointed a revolver at her. He pulled the trigger twice but the gun misfired both times. He then pointed the gun at Mrs. Shaw�s husband and shot him in the shoulder. Running out into the street he saw Mrs. Laura Carter sitting on a stoop, and as he passed her, he fired at close range, killing her.

He continued running on the street firing his revolver right and left. He wounded three other persons.

On the Boardwalk at West 25th Street Clark came up behind Ptl. Robert Byrnes, 94th Pct., and shot him in the head, and then before continuing on he took the officer�s revolver.

Ptl. Byrnes was removed to Coney Island Hospital where he died on September 4th.

A short distance later Clark came up behind Ptl. Nicholas Panico, 62nd Pct., and shot him as well. Panico died at the scene; again Clark took the officer�s gun.

With the reports of "shots fired" police cars responded to the area. Clark continued running until he was hemmed into a factory doorway on West 21st Street near Surf Avenue. He continued firing shots at the police for over ten minutes while the police were also firing at him.

Seeing that the gunfight was at an impasse an Emergency Service officer Ptl. Herbert Nolan of E.S.U. 6 put on a bullet-proof vest, dashed forward and killed the gunman.

Both officers had been on special summer duty at Coney Island. Ptl. Byrnes was 29 years old, married and the father of three small children. Ptl. Panico was 32 years old and married.

On June 6, 1963, at the NYPD annual medal day ceremonies, both officers were awarded the NYPD Medal of Honor. Ptl. Nolan was awarded the PBA Medal of Valor.


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Investigative Software


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.


September 18, 1927 Ptl Jerome DeLorenzo, 4 Pct, Shot-accidental discharge
September 19, 1943 Sgt Mathew McCormick, 120 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
September 21, 1952 Det Philip Lamonica, 42 Sq, Shot during arrest
September 21, 1984 PO Irma Lozada, TPD D-33, Shot-robbery arrest (RIP, Fran!)

Friday, September 12, 2003


The following statement appeared in the "Steuben Shield", the newsletter of the Police Steuben Association of Nassau County, sometime in the late 60�s � early 70�s. It was sent to me by Ret. Det. Capt. Frank Bolz, and although it may be dated, it is certainly not out of date.

Much has been said about the very important guy, the "Patrolman", who wears the familiar blue uniform. He is without question the "First line of defense". He is the first, usually, to come into the line of fire when a crisis arises. There is no doubt that any Police Department cannot function without the Patrolman, for they are admittedly the "backbone" of the department. But�

What about the Detective?

How often do we hear of his functions, his deeds, his involvement in the overall law enforcement picture? Remember� every detective was once a "Cop in uniform". He went the same route as every man in uniform. He must have been a good cop, or he would not now be a Detective. He works crazy hours just like the man in blue. He gets involved in their cases and tries to tie everything in for successful presentation and conclusion of the Patrolman�s caper. He takes over where the "Cop" leaves off. He might spend hours, days, weeks and more, developing leads and following up cases to a successful conclusion in a great number of instances.

When a Cop becomes a Detective he is overwhelmed with a new area of police work. He finds himself swamped in a very short time with "paperwork" until he becomes inundated, trying to keep up with his assigned investigations. He is socked with all sorts of "Special Assignments" foreign to men in uniform, but he doesn�t squawk about it. He doesn�t have a set of regular procedures he can hang his hat on, he must make big decisions off the top of his head, and they better be the right decisions. He can�t in good conscience "sign off sick" unless he�s really out off his feet, because to do so, some �buddy� of his has to assume his responsibilities.

Regardless of popular opinion the detective is ready and willing to try and assist the Patrolman at every turn. He is ready to respond, shotgun in hand to apprehend an armed suspect. He is required to travel out of the Borough, and into hostile territory to ferret out and apprehend the most dangerous subjects. He has to have an understanding wife if he is married, for she must understand that she has a competitor for her husband�s undivided attention. Finally, it must be realized that after all is said and done, a Detective is nothing more than a Cop who is not wearing a uniform, who now bears a hell of a lot more responsibility than he ever had to contend with before. He always remembers, however, that he is still on the same team. He ain�t such a bad guy!

My note: Please note the gender references as they were meant. Especially today, he can easily be replaced with she, and the references and meaning are the same. Please don�t take exception to this.

Also note that, when this was written and published, it was the Detective�s in the Squads that were shotgun trained, and took out these weapons when necessary, hence the reference to "shotgun in hand". Part of the Detective�s Firearms Training included shotgun training; ask any �old-time� Detective and he�ll recount the sore shoulder stories from shooting the shotgun at Rodman�s Neck.

Along with this narrative on the Detective I also received a copy of a research paper, prepared in the Spring of 1972, on New York City Detective�s.
A little background to the above piece should be noted, as apparently, at the time this text above was written, and this research paper was prepared (1972), the department was moving along the lines of looking to eliminate detectives completely, or to transfer much of their duties to the patrol force.


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.


Medical Dictionary Online

VIN decoder


A crook who decided he wanted to be quick jumped out of his car, ran into a convenience store, and while simulating a gun in his pocket (which he did not really have) demanded the money from the clerk.

After getting about two hundred dollars, he ran back out to his car.

It was then that he realized he had left his car running. He also realized that he had locked the doors.

He was offered a ride by the responding squad car!


September 11, 1976 PO Brian Murray, Bomb Sq, Explosion investigation

As we have commemorated the second year since the terrorist attack on the WTC this past week, let us take a moment and remember the 23 MOS who lost their lives while trying to save others on that day:

Sgt John Coughlin #3751, ESS4
Sgt Michael Curtin #3256, Ess2
Sgt Rodney Gillis, #1889, ESS8
Sgt Timothy Roy #2926, STED
Det Claude Richards #244, Bomb Squad
Det Joseph Vigiano #4511, ESS3
PO John Dallara #4011, ESS2
PO Vincent Danz #2166, ESS3
PO Jerome Dominguez #10003, ESS3
PO Stephen Driscoll #17482, ESS4
PO Mark Ellis #11441, TD4
PO Robert Fazio #6667, 13 Pct
PO Ronald Kloepfer #22403, ESS7
PO Thomas Langone #14356, ESS10
PO James Leahy #8943, 6 Pct
PO Brian McDonnell #6889, ESS1
PO John Perry #3266, 40 Pct
PO Glen Pettit #3815, PA
PO Moira Smith #10467, 13 Pct
PO Ramon Suarez #12671, TD4
PO Paul Talty #28907, ESS10
PO Santos Valentin #21630, ESS7
PO Walter Weaver #2784, ESS3

September 12, 1968 Ptl John Madden, 104 Pct, LOD Heart attack
September 12, 1991 PO Hector Fontanez, 47 Pct, Shot during investigation
September 13, 1928 Ptl Jeremiah Brosnan, 24 Pct, Shot by perp
September 14, 1931 Sgt Timothy Murphy, 8 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
September 14, 1974 PO Bruce Anderson, 32 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
September 15, 1931 Ptl William Eberhardt, 15 Pct, auto accident on patrol
September 15, 1979 PO Melvin Hopkins, 77 Pct, Shot, robbery, off duty
September 16, 1927 Ptl Henry E.A. Meyer, 54 Pct, shot-robbery arrest
September 16, 1975 PO Andrew Glover, 9 Pct, shot-assasination
September 16, 1975 Sgt Frederick Reddy, 9 Pct, shot-assasination
September 16, 1977 PO Daniel Nowomlynski, 23 Pct, shot-off duty

Monday, September 08, 2003

"Live every day as if it's your last. One day you'll be right"


September 3, 1932: Ptl. Peter DeCarlo, #6157, 72 Pct.

At about 10.40 a.m. September 2, 1932, Ptl. DeCarlo and his partner, Ptl. DeFranco, responded to a hold-up alarm from a pawnshop at 537 Court St., Brooklyn.

The two police officers split up, and DeCarlo said he would cover the side door. His partner Ptl. DeFranco entered the shop and encountered one of the robbers. Three of the robbers tried to flee by the side door. In an exchange of shots with the bandits DeCarlo was mortally wounded, shot in the spine.

Prior to removing him to the hospital a police officer sought to remove his revolver from his hand, DeCarlo said, "A cop never gives up his gun." His partner Ptl. DeFranco killed one bandit, and mortally wounded a second one. Ptl. DeCarlo was removed to Holy Family Hospital where he died the next day, September 3, 1932.

Ptl. DeCarlo was appointed to the NYPD in July, 1932. He was 32 years old, married with four small children. An Inspector�s Funeral was held for Ptl. DeCarlo on September 7, 1932 at the Church of St. Mary, Star of the Sea. Burial was in St. John�s Cemetery, Queens. On June 5, 1933, at the annual NYPD medals awards ceremony Ptl. DeCarlo was posthumously awarded the NYPD Medal of Honor, which was presented by Mayor O�Brien to his widow Mrs. Mary DeCarlo. At the same ceremony the Isaac Bell Medal for Valor was presented to his partner Ptl. Antonio DeFranco.


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.


Online Investigative Manuals:

Firearms Identification Manual (Guns ID)

Polygraph Manual

Taping Conversations

Telephone Tape Recording Laws

Forensic Law and Science


Cono D�Alto, known to most Brooklyn North detectives as the former proprietor of Mama Maria�s of Graham Avenue, has moved his business out to Long Island.

If you�re in the area stop by and say hello � you�ll be happy to find the same excellent food, and some familiar faces adorning the walls of his salumeria.

Cono, his wife Lena, and sister Margaret, always a friend to Brooklyn North, would love to have some old friends stop by and say hi.

When recently visiting some of the cast of NYPD BLUE on the set in Brooklyn I had the opportunity to chat with Bill Clark, the Executive Producer and former NYPD Detective. Bill, who retired from Queens Homicide (where he worked with the �Father-Minister of Investigation�) reminded me that he started his homicide career here in Brooklyn North, in the 14th District Homicide Zone. He then started to recite some of the places he recalled as regular-dining spots for the squad back then, and Mama Maria�s was at the top of his list! He asked about the sandwich-store on Graham Avenue, known even back then as Mama Maria�s, and recalled many a meal at the hands of Margaret and staff.

Mama Maria of Brooklyn
440 Dogwood Avenue, Franklin Square, NY
Located on Dogwood Ave, between Nassau Blvd/Hempstead Tpk and the Southern State
(Dogwood Ave runs off of Nassau Blvd, which is off Hempstead Tpk. Don�t break my shoes; go to if you need help!)


A man walked into a convenience stores and placed a twenty dollar bill on the counter, asking for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the robber pulled out a gun, demanding all the cash in the register.

Quickly, the clerk acquiesced and the man fled, leaving the twenty on the counter. The total amount of money he got from the cash register was less than fifteen dollars.


September 10, 1951 Det James Daggett, Safe,Loft&Truck Sqd, Explosion
September 10, 1964 Ptl Anthony Esposito, 66 Pct, LOD Hear attack
September 11, 1976 PO Brian Murray, Bomb Sq, Explosion investigation
September 12, 1968 Ptl John Madden, 104 Pct, LOD Heart attack
September 12, 1991 PO Hector Fontanez, 47 Pct, Shot during investigation
September 13, 1928 Ptl Jeremiah Brosnan, 24 Pct, Shot by perp
September 14, 1931 Sgt Timothy Murphy, 8 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
September 14, 1974 PO Bruce Anderson, 32 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
September 15, 1931 Ptl William Eberhardt, 15 Pct, auto accident on patrol
September 15, 1979 PO Melvin Hopkins, 77 Pct, Shot, robbery, off duty
September 16, 1927 Ptl Henry E.A. Meyer, 54 Pct, shot-robbery arrest
September 16, 1975 PO Andrew Glover, 9 Pct, shot-assasination
September 16, 1975 Sgt Frederick Reddy, 9 Pct, shot-assasination
September 16, 1977 PO Daniel Nowomlynski, 23 Pct, shot-off duty

Friday, September 05, 2003


On June 12, 1934, Police Commissioner O�Ryan announced the formation of a committee to consider the creation of five or six more medals to reward police officers for deeds of heroism. The members of the committee were; the First and Second Deputy Commissioners, the Secretary to the commissioner and the Chief Inspector of the department.

Commissioner O�Ryan had formed the new committee because while 32 men had been awarded Honorable Mention in 1933 and were being considered for decorations there were only 12 medals available. Of the 12 medals available for award, only one was a department medal, the Medal of Honor, the others were medals donated by private individuals or originations.

On July 10, 1934, Commissioner O�Ryan announced that the Police Honor Board had officially adopted a new medal, the Police Combat Cross.

On July 19, 1934, in a General Order announcing the annual award of medals, there were six awards of the Police Combat Cross.

On Oct. 10, 1934, at a City Hall ceremony in the Plaza, 5,000 people saw the presentation of the first six awards of the Combat Cross. The first one was to Sergeant Harry C. Bilms, who while off duty on Apr. 22, 1933, entered a restaurant in Queens, encountered three robbers, he killed one and wounded another.


When batons were made of real wood.

Day sticks.

Making your rings to the Sergeant on the TS, and they better be from boxes at opposite ends of your foot post.

Your first time in a radio car and the veteran sitting next to you saying "Sit down; don�t do anything; don�t say anything; and don�t touch the &$#@! radio without me telling you to. Got it"?

Making emergency RMP repairs at a local cab garage.

A 5 and 56, a 5 and 56, and a 4 and 80 duty chart.

A 6 and 32 duty chart (really back in the day!)

Bringing 50 cents to your swearing in ceremony to pay for your shield pin.

An offer to "buy a hat" or a "suit".

Long winter overcoats � horse blankets � all 15 pounds of it.

Getting your scratch on your foot post the last hour of your tour because you didn�t salute the sarge properly the day before.

Washing your sector car at the local bus garage.


Here is the short list of read back numbers I thought I had lost.

(800) 444-4444

(800) 444-3338

(888) 324-8686

(800) 444-3333

(800) 727-5207

In NYC the readback number is "958"


Yes, clam pizza.

You�ve got to try it before you knock it.

In the never-ending quest for the finest in pizza in and around this great city I�ve been led to a rather unusual � but great � find. A restaurant in Staten Island makes a Clam Pie, "created by Tony", that is phenomenal. Mozzarella cheese and fresh clams (no sauce) adorn this creation, that was found by the gumshoes in the 79 Squad, that will knock you out.

Next time you�re passing through Staten Island stop by. You won�t be sorry.

The Roadhouse Restaurant
1400-1402 Clove Road, Staten Island
(Clove Road exit on SI Expwy; go north a few blocks).


While conducting a decoy operation one day at the Canal Street Station of the #6 subway line, a rather well dressed male seemed to be eyeing the decoy, getting ready to snatch the decoy�s chain.

What stood out, though, was the manner that this perp was dressed. He was well dressed, in a suit and tie � not what you would normally expect for such a crime.

Sure enough, he grabbed the chain from the decoy�s neck and tried to run, only to be quickly grabbed by the backup officers. We soon learned why he was dressed so well.

He was currently standing trial in New York Supreme Court for a robbery he had committed months earlier. His trial broke for lunch, and he was due back in court in an hour. Needless to say, he was delayed getting back to trial!


September 1, 1891, Ptl John Sherman, 26 Pct, Stabbed during arrest
September 1, 1923 Ptl John Egan, 51 Pct, Shot by perp
September 1, 1954 Ptl Anthony Balga, PBBklyn, Auto accident on patrol
September 2, 1953 Sgt Saul Starett, 50 Pct, Electrocution
September 2, 1956 Ptl William Long, 103 Pct, Shot-arrest
September 2, 1982 PO Robert Seton-Harris, 122 Pct, Heart attack LOD
September 3, 1932 Ptl Peter DeCarlo, 32 Pct, Shot-Robbery in progress
September 3, 1967 Ptl John Darcy, 28 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
September 4, 1961 Ptl Francis Walsh, 32 Pct, Shot-robbery
September 4, 1962 Ptl Robert Byrnes, 94 Pct, Shot by EDP
September 7, 1970 Ptl Patrick Canavan, PA, Stabbed, off-duty incident
September 9, 1979 PO Edwin Fogel, Hwy1, Shot-car stop

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Circumstantial evidence involves such things as the suspect�s opportunity to commit a crime (alibi), his access to commit a crime (special means or knowledge) and motive (financial or psychological). Even if a particular suspect has opportunity, access and motive to commit a crime, in all likelihood, so too do other suspects. Consequently, circumstantial evidence is the weakest proof of a suspect�s guilt.

Testimonial evidence involves human inferences or interpretation. For example, an eye witness who relies on memory to pick out a suspect from a line-up is offering testimonial evidence. Other examples include behavior symptom analysis, polygraph, handwriting analysis, medical and psychiatric opinions and information provided by an informant. While testimonial evidence tends to directly link the suspect to a crime, its accuracy can range from chance levels to within the 90th percentile.

Forensic evidence describes scientific testing that matches an unknown sample to its source. Examples of forensic evidence include fingerprints, tool marks, DNA, hair and fiber analysis, toxicology reports as well as ballistics. While forensic evidence is extremely accurate, it rarely proves a suspect�s guilt. Rather, the evidence may indicate that the suspect was at the crime scene, had sex with the victim or that a bullet was fired from a gun owned by the suspect.

Direct evidence describes evidence that directly links the suspect to a crime. An example is finding property stolen during a burglary in the back seat of the suspect�s car that was pulled over two blocks from the home that was burglarized. Other examples include a surveillance video clearly showing the suspect robbing a clerk or an employee caught smoking marijuana in the company washroom. Direct evidence represents the strongest proof of a suspect�s guilt.


It has recently been reported that the NYPD is having problems attracting candidates for its next scheduled Open Competitive Exam.

According to the department, 3,352 applications have been received since the filing period opened July2.

The department�s number also differs from the number that the City�s Administrative Services has for those filed � they have 1,735 applications. This difference in numbers was explained by the fact that the department accepts applications directly at their web site.

Regardless of those differences, you have to questions the low number � 3,352 applicants so far � for the exam.

A spokesman attributed this low number to the fact that opening for the filing began in the summer.

This leads to the next obvious question.

Do you suppose an exam for Police Officer in Nassau County, Suffolk County, or even Westchester County, that opened filing in the summer, would see the same low number of applicants? Or could it possibly have something to do with the low starting salary package? Just a thought.


Dan Mahoney, retired Captain from NYPD and author of several novels involving the NYPD, as well as an all-around nice guy, has just released his latest book, titled JUSTICE, A NOVEL OF THE NYPD.

This book continues with the lead characters Det. Brian McKenna and his partner, Det. Cisco Sanchez, as they get involved in a serial killer case. The characters are part of the Major Case Squad.

(Captain Mike Hines, the current CO of Major Case, would love this angle - Major Case taking over a serial murderer case. Just remember, Mike, it's fiction!)

What I enjoyed, and found interesting, which many of my Brooklyn North associates are likely to appreciate, is the introduction of a Brooklyn North detective to this latest story � named Detective Steve Chmil.

Many of you will undoubtedly remember the real Detective Steve Chmil, formerly of Brooklyn North Homicide and the 79 Squad. The author, Dan Mahoney, worked with Steve, and included his character in this latest story.

One of the serial murders takes place in the Classon Hotel, a �short-stay hotel in Bedford-Stuyvesant�. This Brooklyn case is assigned to Detective Steve Chmil of the Brooklyn North Homicide Squad.

Both of the lead characters know Chmil, and speak well of him.

"Cisco always talked well about Chmil but considered him to be an unusual detective; Chmil was a first-grader who had worked in a few other prestigious units, but his heart was in the place he had made his bones, the Brooklyn North Homicide Squad, and he always returned there. Since Chmil had condemned himself to solving murders that didn�t generate much press interest, Cisco thought Chmil might be insane".

McKenna goes on to meet with Chmil to review the case, and describes him as well.

"Chmil was a short, balding man, but strong and built like a fire hydrant. His appearance could easily give the impression that he was plodding and deliberate, but McKenna knew from personal experience that Chmil�s looks were deceptive. Chmil was a marathon runner, and they had run many marathons together. He trained hard, was a determined runner who never slackened his quick pace, and in a few marathons he had even managed to beat McKenna in the sprint at the end of their twenty-six-mile ordeal. McKenna also knew that Chmil ran his cases the same way he ran his marathons. Once a murder was assigned to him, he worked long, hard, and smart, using all resources available to him until he had his killer identified. Then Chmil switched gears, and the bloodhound in him took over. Most of his killers he managed to arrest in short order, but those he couldn�t get always knew they had a tenacious somebody dogging their trail. Chmil never slowed and never quit, and he knew every detail of those rare old cases in which his killer was still on the loose."

While this story is a novel � a work of fiction � the character of Steve Chmil is right on the money! Anyone who knows Steve knows that the author is right on target with his description. One of the finest detectives this borough has seen, Steve has retired and moved to Virginia � where he is now, you guessed it, a Police Officer!

If you get a chance I highly recommend you pick up this latest book by Dan Mahoney. You will enjoy it. In fact, I can highly recommend you pick up and read all of Mahoney�s books. They�ll provide you with a guaranteed good-read.


Investigators Guide to Sources of Information

In the search box put in "Investigators Guide to Sources of Information"


One of the cases I investigated as a Detective involved the robbery of a subway token booth in the Bronx.

The perp approached the clerk, handed him a note that demanded money threatening to set the booth on fire. The clerk complied, and the perp fled. He left the note behind.

The note was written on the back of an envelope. The front of the envelope revealed it was addressed to a male at a rather unusual � and well known � address in New York. Rikers Island!

It not only had the name, but the ID number and facility. Apparently this perp, who had recently been released from jail, used the first thing he could find to write out his robbery note � an envelope that was addressed to himself.

A photo ID was quickly obtained, and in a short time the arrest was made.