Friday, February 27, 2004


Since my last posting concerning the multiple award bestowed on PO Robert Bilodeau, I have received the following information from Ret Det1 John Reilly on this topic.

Since 1912, only three officers have received the NYPD Medal of Honor twice.

The first multiple award was to Detective Timothy J. Connell who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1922, after he was wounded during a shoot-out in which he killed a hold-man. He also received a posthumous award of the medal in 1926, after he was killed in another shootout with three criminals in 1924.

The second multiple award was to Detective John Cordes. He received the medal in 1924 after a shootout in which he was wounded five times and in 1928 for another shootout. The heroics of Detective John Cordes have been mentioned on this site previously � you may recall his shooting incident on his way into a tobacco store for a pack of cigars one night.

The third recipient was Police Officer Robert Bilodeau, Street Crime Unit, who was awarded the medal twice, posthumously, at the 1981 medal day ceremony. The first award was for an incident on April 5, 1979, when while making an arrest his throat was slashed, an injury that required 63 stitches. The second award was for an incident on Feb. 12, 1980, when Officer Bilodeau chased a gunman into an alleyway. The gunman turned and shot Bilodeau three times. Before he died he was able to wound his assailant.


The following was taken from "NYPD, Stories of Survival From The World' s Toughest Beat" (2002) edited by Clint Willis, concerning the Medal of Honor.

On page 92 it mentions that "John Cordes who retired at the end of 1949 as an acting lieutenant of detectives after thirty -four years' service in the Police Department is the only man in the New York Department's history ever to win its Medal of Honor twice�. (That is an incorrect statement, though, as noted above).

�No matter what shape the Police Department happens to be in at any given period - corrupt to the core, gleaming with virtue, or somewhere in between - this medal is never lightly bestowed. In the majority of cases it has been awarded posthumously, to men who have been killed while performing valiantly in the line of duty. Every New York cop, however cynical he may be towards all else in life, respects it, as members of the armed forces respect the Congressional Medal of Honor".

The paragraph is from a 2 part article from New Yorker magazine which was published in 1953.


The following information, being passed on by the 19 Squad�s DEA Delegate, Det. Herb Griffin, are certainly worth noting in your palm-pilot for attendance.


The Manhattan DA Squad is hosting a fundraiser at The Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street in Tribeca on Friday, February 27, 2004. Members of the band "Proof" will be playing and all of the band's proceeds will benefit the March 10th Undercover Fund, a trust set up by the DEA's Widows' and Children's Fund for the children of Detectives James Nemorin and Rodney Andrews who were shot and killed in the line of duty on March 10, 2003.

Donation for admission is $5. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Manhattan DA Squad. For more information, contact Detectives Vito Ciaramella or Bobby Muldoon at the Squad.


In loving memory of Detective Rodney "Jay" Andrews, a memorial mass will be said at 12:15 on Sunday, March 14 at Mount Carmel Church in the confines of the 90.

Hope many of you can make these worthy events for an extremely worthwhile cause!


Congratulations are in order for two of our Brooklyn North Detective�s.

Congratulations wishes go out to Det. DONNA WRIGHT of Homicide on her designation to DETECTIVE FIRST GRADE.

Also seeing the promotion, to Detective Second Grade, is Det. ANGEL SANCHEZ of the 81 Squad.

Some of our �extended-family� from Brooklyn North will also be receiving well deserved promotions. We extend a hearty �best-wishes� to Tom Gangone and Jim Secreto, on their promotions to Deputy Chief. John Bambury is receiving his oak leaf as a Deputy Inspector as well.

I would also like to extend good wishes to Bernie Blake of Vice Enforcement, a Brooklyn North crime-fighter, on his designation to Second Grade. Also receiving the Second Grade nod that I would like to acknowledge is Eddie Murray of the Warrant Section, a true hero of mine! If you have ever had the opportunity to work with Eddie you know what a true professional he is. It was also great to see Bill Scmittgall of Queens Homicide on the Second Grade list. Bill was one of the 40 Cal. Task Force detectives, well deserving of this overdue promotion.

Best wishes to all who are being promoted on Friday February 27.


Reviewing the list of required office equipment as outlined in the 1940 Manual of Procedure, several interesting items are noted.

For example, among the items required for the Captain�s Office includes 1 couch, and 1 cuspidor.

The Detectives Office, on the other hand, was required to have two cuspidors. So did the Muster Room.

There were no cuspidors required for the Policewoman�s (Matron) Quarters.

Monday, February 23, 2004


The following passage, taken from the 1940 Manual of Procedure, is as relevant today as it was when it was written over sixty years ago.

A detective must possess patience and perseverance.

To succeed he must not be easily discouraged. His duty is to detect. Detection is something more than a mere conclusion or expression of opinion. Do not jump at conclusions from the information submitted at the time the complaint is received � investigate at once.

To detect and arrest offenders the investigation at the scene of the crime must be careful and thorough. Take nothing for granted � investigate and be convinced. A good detective is always more or less suspicious and very inquisitive.


Normally, shields are retired when a member dies in the line of duty and they are never issued again unless the deceased�s family requests its issuance.

Did you know that in May 1946 shield # 6406 was retired for historical reasons? This shield was the exception to the retirement-rule.

The shield was retired at a graduation and promotion ceremony in the old Centre St Headquarters. Police Commissioner Arthur Wallander presided over the ceremony and the Mayor spoke to the new recruits. When he finished, the Commissioner presented shield #6406 to the Mayor.

He told those gathered that, �He (the Mayor) wore it proudly, with great credit to himself and the Department which he loves. He is the first man in the history of our city to rise from the position of patrolman to the high and exalted post of Mayor, therefore we of the Police Department, in tribute to one whom we hold in the highest esteem, have ordered the discontinuance of the use of shield number 6406 which, from the date of his appointment, July 13, 1917, until the date of his resignation, July 23, 1924, was his official identification number. The shield was then handed to the Mayor as a keepsake and memento of a job well done.

This Mayor was William O�Dwyer.

INTERESTING WEB SITE (Law Library Resource Xchange, LLC) is a unique, free Web journal dedicated to providing legal, library, IT/IS, marketing and administrative
professionals with the most up-to-date information on a wide range of Internet research and technology-related issues, applications, resources and tools, since 1996.


In response to the growing number of Spanish-speaking citizens in the United States, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) offers a CD-ROM that gives basic instruction in Spanish phrases commonly used in law enforcement. The training can increase officers' ability to communicate with the public.

To obtain a copy of this CD-ROM, visit the NIJ Web Site at

"Espanol for Law Enforcement: An Interactive Training Tool," helps law enforcement officers gain a working knowledge of Spanish. The video takes viewers through English translations, phonetic spellings, and pronunciations of Spanish words in situations involving interviews, crime scenes, motor vehicles stops, and domestic violence incidents.

For more information, visit:

Place orders at:

The National Institute of Justice, NIJ, is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice and is dedicated to researching crime control and justice issues. For more information on NIJ, please visit:


P.O. Robert Bilodeau, Shield # 31182 of the Street Crime Unit was killed in the line of duty on February 12, 1980.

Officer Bilodeau was shot and killed when he approached six suspicious men in the Bronx. Officer Bilodeau and his partner observed one of the men adjusting what they thought was a gun in his waist band. When they exited their unmarked car to investigate, the suspect fled on foot down an alleyway. Officer Biloduau pursued the suspect and was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire.

The suspect, who was wounded in the exchange, was arrested by an Officer of the Mount Vernon, New York, Police Department when he arrived at a hospital for treatment. He was charged with murder and convicted after a trial. The suspect was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Office Bilodeau was awarded his second NYPD Medal of Honor posthumously. At that time, he was the only Officer to have received two Medals of Honor during his career. His first incident, which he survived, involved him suffering slashes to his neck while undergoing the role of a police decoy.


An addendum to the recent posting on Call Box Keys, provided by Ret. Det1 John Reilly, is that both Call Box & Fire Box Keys were a serial numbered item which had to be accounted for.

When a man Retired or left the job he had to turn in his keys the same as his Shield, and the transaction had to be recorded in a log book in Headquarters.

For those �former Transit� people � remember the TA key you had to turn in?


If there is anyone who is in contact with retired Detective William F. Butler, Shield 2190, formerly of the 32 Sqd, please let me know (via e-mail). Another MOS who is seeking to contact him has written to him at his last known address, with no response.

If you have contact with, or know how to contact, this Retired detective, please contact me for further information.


You can send e-mail to:


February 19, 1931 Det Christopher Scheuing, 13Sq, Shot-burglary in progress
February 19, 1968 Ptl Anthony Graffia, 106 Pct, Shot-robbery
February 19, 1971 PO Horace Lord, MN PEP Sqd, Shot-arrest investigation
February 20, 1921 Ptl George Smith, 96 Pct, LOD Accident
February 20, 1971 Det Erle Thompson, 114 Pct, Shot-off duty domestic dispute
February 21, 1920 Ptl henry Immen, 53 Pct, Shot-burglary in progress
February 21, 1982 PO george Werdann, 47 Pct, Robbery, off duty
February 22, 1925 Ptl Maurice Harlow, 13 Pct, Shot by prisoner
February 23, 1930 Ptl Joseph Keenan, PA, Shot-accidental discharge
February 24, 1930 Ptl George Coughlin, Mcy Dist, Auto accident on patrol
February 24, 1968 Ptl John Augulis, 83 Pct, LOD heart attack
February 24, 1980 PO Seraphin Calabrese, TPD-1, Shot-arrest
February 25, 1938 Ptl Henry Masterdon, 11 Pct, Injured on patrol
February 26, 1988 PO Edward Byrne, 103 Pct, Shot-assassination guarding witness

Editor�s Note: You are urged to visit, and bookmark, the web site:

for an excellent tribute to all our brothers and sisters who have gone before in service to the people of this city as members of this city�s police department�s. You are encouraged to add comments on this site appropriately.

Friday, February 20, 2004

�Detective work is intensely practical and requires the ability to draw swift, accurate and logical conclusions from the facts presented to the senses and the ability to draw upon the imagination�.
Manual of Procedure, 1940


The 1940 Manual of Procedure for the NYPD includes the following passage as it relates to Detectives responding to the scene of a Homicide.

�At homicide scenes, the ranking Detective will immediately summon a stenographer and dictate to him a concise and detailed description of the surrounding conditions, the physical lay-out of the premises, the condition and appearance of the body, weapons, etc.�

Further review revealed that there was always a Stenographer on duty in the Borough Detective Bureau Office.

Just where can you find one of those stenographers now?


Regarding the recent posting concerning the actions of Sgt. Michael Fanning on December 12, 1879, Ret. Det1 John Reilly has the following information to add.

At the Board of Police Commissioners meeting held on Dec. 23, 1879, Honorable Mention was made in the minutes of the conduct of Sgt. Michael Fanning of the 18th Pct on December 12, 1879, during the arrest of two desperadoes.

On May 31, 1888, at the annual Police Department Parade, Sgt. Fanning was presented The Honorable Mention Badge/Medal (this medal later became the Department Medal of Honor).

On Sep. 30, 1890, Sgt Fanning retired from the Police Department in the rank of Sergeant.


Did you know that the department included in its earlier Manual of Procedures a description of the proper way to fold a UF49 communication before inserting into an envelope?

The report should be folded in three equal parts parallel with the writing.

Further, �the top is folded toward the back and the lower fold over the face so that the entire superscription will show without unfolding the communication.�

In other words, you should be able to open the envelope and see the top portion of the communication including the �Subject� without having to remove it from the envelope. I�m told that was to enable the boss to quickly decide whether he wanted to read it, delegate it, or toss it!


Court TV�s Crime Library is an excellent web site, that I have noted here previously.

They also have an excellent free-service E-Card site. On this site you can select a card to e-mail, including a notorious crime figure on the cover that you can customize to your liking. You�ll certainly want to bookmark this site once you see it!

Monday, February 16, 2004

�A good investigator doesn�t know what he�s looking for till he sees it�

A quote from Elmore Leonard�s new novel, MR. PARADISE.


Although the original boxes, both telegraph and telephonic, were installed requiring a key to open them this practice evolved progressively to the point that New York became different from other jurisdictions in that the boxes were open and didn't require a key. This also allowed the public to use them to call the police.

If you recall, in the movie The Untouchables, it was the call box key of the Chicago cop played by Sean Connery that had a role in several scenes, as a prop to portray the police officer aspect of that character.

The call box key is also a visible prop to the LAPD - Joseph Wambaugh 1970�s episodes, most notably The New Centurions.

Retired Det Capt Frank Bolz recalls some interesting items concerning call boxes from his early patrol days. One way the local youths would get back at a patrol cop who took their broom stick / baseball bats away was to leave a gift of horse manure in the call box and close it up. That always left an impression on the next cop making a ring from the box! As horse-drawn peddlers carts became scarce, as late as the 1950�s � 60�s, dog manure became the weapon of choice!

I also have heard that the call boxes made a handy little storage spot for the foot patrolman as well, just don�t let the Sergeant find anything there or you�d be sure to get your share of extra �sees� on post.

While call boxes are basically extinct these days, (I can�t recall a working box around anywhere today)it was the call box that was the life-line of the cop on foot patrol. Portable radios didn�t come into play until the 70�s. Imagine walking a foot post � solo � with no radio, depending on the call box on the corners for you to use to call for assistance? Certainly a very interesting patrol concept!


Utilizing a NY Times web-site that was posted on this site several weeks ago, Sgt. Michael Fanning, of the Hate Crimes Task Force, was able to find a historical item on another Sgt. Michael Fanning � from 1879!

The December 13, 1879 edition of the NY Times contained a story about a Police Sergeant who was shot �while arresting two ruffians on Avenue A�.

On that date, Sgt. Michael Fanning of the Eighteenth Precinct was twice shot and brutally kicked while making an arrest. After going out on patrol he was alerted to two men who were intoxicated and acting disorderly (ruffians!) inside a commercial location at 311 Avenue A. He went there and ordered the two to leave, but did not arrest them. Ten minutes later, the Sergeant was again back at the location, as a crowd was gathered in front, with the two ruffians having returned. It was then, as he attempted to make an arrest, that one of these bandits pushed a small revolver at him and shot him. �Before Fanning could use his billy Murphy again fired, wounding him�. A physical struggle then ensued, with Fanning taking on both combatants, despite being shot himself! Eventually Officer Michael Smith came to his aid, and they brought the two under control.

�The patrolman knocked him senseless with a blow of his club and secured the revolver.� It was then noted that, after word of the incident reached the 18th Precinct, the Captain �called out the reserve force� and the �went on the double quick� to the location.

Sgt. Fanning was able to walk to the Station House, and the prisoners were taken there. The Sergeant was attended to by the Police Surgeon, and taken to his residence to recuperate. Not without a fight left in them, one of the combatants attempted to break out of the holding cell later that evening, before he was �put under guard�.

It was noted that this Sgt. Fanning was appointed a patrolman in 1864, a roundsman (the current equivalent of a Sergeant) on Christmas 1870, and a Sergeant (equivalent to today�s Lieutenant) in 1872.

Speaking from personal experience I would say that it seems this Sergeant Fanning is about as tough as the other � and although they may not be blood relatives, there�s a lot in common! I�d certainly feel safe knowing either of the Sergeant Fanning�s was covering my back!


Det. John T. Donohue, #423, assigned to the Detective Division, was killed in the line of duty on February 16, 1923. He was shot by an EDP.

On October 01, 1922, Detective Donohue was shot by a rookie in the Police Department training school. The Rookie - the perp - was firing shots into a crowd of people on West 135 Street near 5th Avenue.

Donohue heard the shots and went there along with 2 other policemen (1 Detective and 1 Patrolman). Donohue leaped to seize the perps gun and the perp shouted �I�m a Policeman� and fired again. The perp was brought down by the Patrolman. The perp died 2 days later.

It was not known how the perp got a hold of the gun since rookies who were in police training were not supposed to have guns yet. The perp was believed to have been crazed by bad whiskey.

Detective Donohue died on February 16, 1923 as a result of the wounds. He lived in the Bronx and had 7 children, some of whom were already grown. He�d been with the Police Department since 1904, for nineteen years.


That was the title of a section of the old SPRING 3100 magazines, which was devoted to items of interest for the wives of the officers.
Some notable items in a 1949 issue included the following topics.

�How to Keep Cool�. This offered the advice �thinking cool thoughts is one way to keep cool in hot weather�. (Yes; and so is getting your cheap husband to break down and buy a fan!)

One of my favorite items was a recipe for �Mixed Green Salad with Herbs�. The recipe stated to �get two or more kinds of salad greens, wash them off and pat them dry with a clean towel. Add dried or fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon, savor, or dill. Mix them together, then toss with a salad dressing�
For this you need a recipe? Keep in mind, these are actual items from the magazine!


The Web Site: NYPD Angels, which can be found at:
contains a listing of MOS who have given their life in the line of duty.

One interesting fact is that this list of Angels that is published on the site differs from the City's 'official' list.

Did you know that there are approximately 75 New York City Police Officers who fell in the line of duty that are NOT included on the Memorial at One Police Plaza, nor the Memorial at Battery Park? On the fourth floor of the Police Museum, the Hall of Heroes, there are still spaces where the badges of these fallen officers were supposed to have been added, but any recognition by the City of New York of the sacrifice that these men made has been indefinitely postponed.

A ceremony had been scheduled to install their names on the Memorial at One Police Plaza in September 2001 - it was postponed due to the events of 9/11. Under the Bloomberg administration, there is no intention of ever rescheduling any acknowledgement of the ultimate sacrifice of over 77 men of the New York Police Department.

This site is an EXCELLENT tribute to our fallen brothers and sisters. PLEASE visit the site, and let others know about it.

Their hope, to �Keep the names and faces alive in our hearts�, is moving to everyone who serves. Let others know.

�Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift -- that's why we call it "The Present".

Monday, February 09, 2004


Once again I found myself perusing the old issues of SPRING 3100 when I came across a notable feature.

Each month would feature a �Wanted Criminal� on the back pages. Realizing their dated features, from the 1940�s, reveal some interesting characteristics.

One fugitive, wanted for murder, is noted as a �neat dresser�. Another lists his occupation as �sewing machine mechanic� who has �a large nose�.

Then there is the murderer who is described as �a flashy dresser� as well as �a slow talker�. This same fugitive is noted to �frequent race tracks and steam baths�.

He may be wanted for murder, but at least he�ll be neat and smell good!


Det. Daniel Murphy of the 80 Squad was a Patrolman in the Midtown Squad, on foot patrol, on July 7, 1947 when he observed a male fleeing from a robbery at 42 Street and Avenue of the Americas.

Murphy gave chase, and followed the bandit as he entered a bus at the corner of 42 & Ave Americas. As Murphy entered, the culprit drew a pistol, but was disarmed by the officer. As he was removing the culprit from the bus, the bandit drew another revolver and fired several shots which struck the officer.

The culprit then fled to the center of the bus, but because of the confusion caused on the crowded bus the officer could not return fire. Instead, although seriously wounded, he exited the bus through the front door and made his way alongside the bus toward the center. Observing the criminal, he reached through the window and discharged several shots at the bandit.

He then entered the bus through the center door and fired two more shots, which struck and killed the hold-up man. Two guns were recovered, and the officer recuperated from his wounds.

This real-life scenario appears to be the basis for the fictionalized closing of a 1950�s book, Signal Thirty, by Mackinlay Kantor. This book was the subject of an earlier posting on this site, and at that time Ret. Det. Capt Frank Bolz noted that he recalled the closing to appear to be based on an actual occurrence. I believe this is the one, Frank.


Soliciting information and evidence through interviews is the most important part of any investigation. Electronic devices, high-tech equipment and computers are extremely helpful, but they are only support tools. The real payoff is through the interviews you conduct.

You should break the interviews into three parts.

The first part is a feeling out period. The more homework and information the investigator does prior to the interview, the more likely the questions are to be focused so that the final objective can be achieved. It is critical for the investigator to establish a bond of trust (not to be confused with friendship) with family members/friends of the victim and/or the suspect.

Why would a person who is involved with or related in some capacity to the alleged suspect want to talk with you? Probably because they are just as curious as to what facts they are able to learn from you. Always keep this in mind as not to divulge too much information at this point.

It is significant for the investigator to realize that it is human nature not to tell a stranger (interviewer) everything at the first encounter, but obtaining trust is critical. At this stage, people are not candid, however that has to be accepted in order to get on to the second phase.

The 2nd phase is when the interviewee mixes the denials, half-truths or lies with the truth. This is the time where an investigator has to work hard and question cunningly to sift fact from fiction and truth from lies. This helps establish a bond between the person being interviewed and the interviewer, as you are now absorbing, listening and showing interest in everything that the person expresses. With effort, a working bond of trust should come out of this part of the interview process.

Finally, the objective of the third part of an interview is to eliminate the fabrications and less than candid responses, and concentrate on the truth. Decide exactly what you want to get out of the interview. This stage is where the critical information is shared. Give them just enough that they realize that you have done your homework. Be sure that their perception is that you have obtained a great deal of knowledge about the case.

Keep in mind that you may only have one chance for an interview and if you alienate that one piece of indispensable communication, there may be no second opportunity. Again, leave the person with a sense that you are able to return and re-interview them. Do not terminate the interview without coming away with other leads and directions.


Here is a site that can help an investigator who needs to come "up to speed" on a topic under investigation quickly. A good way of doing this is to find periodical articles on the subject.

Here's a good place to do that:


It was noted by Ret. Det. 1 John Reilly that, in General Order No. 6, May 1st 1950, The Brooklyn Citizen's Medal For Valor was awarded to Sergeant James J. Kiernan of the 77th Pct., (was a Patrolman in the 84th Pct. at time of incident) and The Martin J. Sheridan Medal For Valor was awarded to Patrolman John F. Reilly, 84th Pct. in regards to their water rescue.

Thanks, John, for keeping those updates coming!


Patient: �Doctor, are you sure this is pneumonia? Sometimes when a person is being treated for pneumonia they die of something else�.

Doctor: �Don�t worry, when I treat for pneumonia, you die of pneumonia�.


February 10, 1926 Ptl Frank White, 35 Pct, Shot-Burglary in progress
February 11, 1966 Ptl Stanley Butch, Harbor, Fell from boat
February 11, 1982 PO James Carragher, PSA1, Shot: Off duty robbery
February 12, 1930 Ptl George Miller, 22 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
February 12, 1936 Ptl James Young, Mounted, Shot-robbery
February 12, 1940 Ptl John Holt, 28 Pct, Off-duty burglary
February 12, 1980 PO Robert Bilodeau, SCU, Shot-investigation
February 13, 1918 Ptl Samuel Rosenfeld, 102 Pct, Shot-Robbery in progress
February 14, 1921 Ptl John Sheridan, 70 Pct, Line of duty incident
February 14, 1925 Det Chester Hagan, DetDiv, Shot-investigation
February 14, 1963 Ptl Vincent Zichetella, 14 Pct, Shot-robbery
February 14, 1984 PO Thomas Ruotolo, 41 Pct, Shot-Robbery
February 14, 1999 PO Matthew Dziergowski, 123 Pct, Auto accident
February 15, 1917 Ptl Samuel Cunningham, 42 Pct, Shot-GLA Arrest
February 15, 1932 Ptl James Goodwin, 34 Pct, Shot-off duty robbery
February 15, 1971 Det Joseph Piciano, 41 Sq, Shot by prisoner
February 16, 1918 Det John Quinn, DetDiv, Physical assault during arrest
February 16, 1923 Det John Donohue, DetDiv, Shot by EDP
February 16, 1923 Ptl Joseph Reilly, 21 Pct, Shot by perp
February 16, 1941 Ptl Leon Fox, 60 Pct, Shot-Robbery in progress
February 17, 1921 Det Joseph Bridgetts, DetDiv, Shot-GLA Arrest
February 17, 1996 PO Charles Oddo, Hwy2, Struck by auto

Friday, February 06, 2004


Best wishes are extended to D.I. VITO SPANO, most recently the Commanding Officer of the Cold Case Squad, as he retires from NYPD and begins a new career!

Vito�s law enforcement career continues, as he takes over as the Chief Investigator for the NYS Attorney General�s Medicaid Fraud Investigation Unit.

Vito�s history as an investigator span over twenty years. Before his position in Cold Case, he served as the Captain for the Brooklyn North Gang Investigation Squad, and was the Investigative Captain in Brooklyn North Detective�s when this writer assumed command of the 77 Squad several years back. He was also the Squad Commander of the 105 Squad, Queens Sex Crimes, and served as an SDS Sergeant in numerous detective squads � Brooklyn Sex Crimes among them.

I�m sure there is much to his command history that I am missing, but it goes without saying that Vito�s long investigative background with this department will prove very valuable to his new assignment.

I am sorry to see a friend like Vito leave this job, but I sincerely wish him all the best in his new position. Keep in touch, Vito!!


By 1914, the telephone and mechanical transportation began to play an important part in rendering quick aid to the public.

Telephone booths were set up in suburban areas, manned by a two man team. These booths were similar to those still existing police booths common in Nassau County areas.

The booths, manned by a two-man team, enabled one patrolman to take emergency calls from the public or from the station house, and the other to respond to them on a bicycle or motorized bike.

For the first time, the public was urged by means of an educational campaign to participate in communicating news of emergencies.


A teacher was having some trouble with a young student so she decided to contact the mother.

�Your son is very bright, but he is also very mischievious. He seems to keep getting himself into trouble. What do you suggest?�

The mother replied: �You�re on your own. I�m having enough trouble dealing with his father�.


On March 10, 1949 at about 2:14 pm, these officers from the 84 Precinct responded to a radio call of a man in the East River at the end of Washington Street.

The officers observed the man, and removed their uniforms and equipment, entered the freezing water, and swam to the man who was fast losing consciousness. After a struggle with the tides and baring the freezing cold water they were able to get this man to a pier, and brought him to safety. All three were treated in a local hospital for exposure.

It is noted that Ptl. Kiernan was on sick report for 4 days, and Ptl. O�Reilly for 11 days.

Monday, February 02, 2004


The Signal Call-Box System was begun in 1885 and completed on a city-wide basis in 1924, and for many years was not only the primary means of a citizen calling for police assistance, but also acted as a means of contacting the patrolman on post to alert him of a �job�.

Original boxes were operated on a telegraph system which gave way to the telephone.

In 1914, flashlights were attached to the boxes which threw a light visible for a distance of 1000 feet. Policemen could be summoned by the citizen on the street or by lieutenant in station-house, by a push-button system. Some boxes were equipped with both a bell and a light.

Patrolman�s posts were arranged so that they were always within calling distance of a box. Response time to box averaged five minutes.


By maintaining a vision of the entire case and keeping an open mind throughout the investigation, other leads and other directions will manifest. However there are a number of do's and don'ts to be considered:

Conducting an interview without first organizing your thoughts, preparing your questions, and seeking answers that will lead to other meaningful intelligence . . . will result in dead ends.

Do not sit back and wait for the evidence, data or information to come to you. Do not be passive, go out and seek information, pursue leads and be aggressive.

Remember to absorb all information, whether it appears important or not, as it may come to mean something as the investigation proceeds. Do not focus on one suspect, one scenario, one direction, look at all peripheral information. In time, when you start to assemble the puzzle, all of the information gathered will start making sense.

There will come a time in conducting a complicated investigation when things simply seem to fall apart. To the inexperienced investigator, it appears as if there is no hope and all leads are exhausted. This is the time when you need to push the investigation that much harder. Suddenly, new information will appear, not by luck, but by continuous hard work and diligence. In cases of persons who mysteriously disappear, or the perfect premeditated murder, there is most likely an attachment to the victim, boy/girlfriend or husband/wife. A random killing is much more difficult to solve because it is not as likely to be premeditated nor is there an attachment to the victim.


Please keep the family of Sgt. Keith Ferguson of ESU in your prayers.

Sgt. Ferguson suffered a fatal heart attack this past weekend while coming to the aid of another officer. Only 38 years old, this tragic incident has stunned many. Remember to keep him and his family in your thoughts.


If you happen to find yourself in Florida, or if you care to tune in on your computer, there is a radio show hosted by a Florida Law Enforcement officer that you may find of interest.

Airing on Sunday mornings at 8:00 am on WWNN, 1470 AM, you can catch it on the web at:

�Behind the Badge� features some law enforcement people sharing ideas and talking shop, and includes call-ins and e-mail question and answers. Check it out, and let me know what you think.


Just keeps on rolling along!

I�ve been fortunate to find myself several back issues of SPRING 3100, some going as far back as 1948. If you enjoy police history you can imagine what is stored in these annals! Interesting reading, to say the least.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted with the very-interesting items as I go through them. In addition to real-old issues I have come across some which are �a-little-old�, from the early 90�s �late 80�s. These, too, provide some interesting reading as well. Finding someone�s wedding photo, an item in the �All In A Day�s Work� column about a good collar, and the precinct reporter items all have provided an interesting glimpse into the recent past of some of our Brooklyn North family members.

You can be sure to find more of these items in the future postings!

If you happen to come across any back issues of SPRING, keep in mind that The Minister is always in the market � save me the time of bidding on E-Bay, and drop me an e-mail; we can do business!


Remember, you can send an e-mail to:


February 1, 1935 Sgt George Nadler, ESU, Explosion-investigation
February 2, 1975 PO Frank Bugdin, Midtown North, Shot-investigation
February 4, 1933 Sgt Eugene Monahan, 34 Pct, Shot: Robbery pursuit
February 6, 1914 Ptl Edward Murtha, 147 Pct, Shot-Robbery investigation
February 6, 1944 Ptl Eugene Mahoney, 5 Det Sq, Auto accident on patrol
February 9, 1963 Det Richard Arundell, DetDiv, LOD Heart attack