Wednesday, June 30, 2004


I recently came across an interview that was printed in the January/February 1991 edition of Spring 3100 in which Chief Joseph Borrelli, the then-Chief of Detectives, commented on the role of the Detective.

Chief Borrelli shared what he described as his �Four Basic Ingredients to be a Detective�, and I would like to excerpt them here, as they are just as appropriate today as they were back then.

He stated that the four basic ingredients to be a detective are: immense professional pride, knowledge of the law, patience, and a true sense of caring.

�Teamwork is extremely important in detective work. Detectives must be patient; you learn quickly that you can�t force things. Detectives need to carefully examine every detail in addition to using their deductive and inductive reasoning skills to draw conclusions. (I sometimes have wished that others in authority recognized that patience is necessary, and that you can�t force things!)

Luck, too, plays an important role. But luck is not enough. Some cynical people think that a case is solved by a phone call, and at times that�s true. But that phone call was assuredly preceded by much hard work separating the truth from fiction, and misconceptions from outright lies. Detectives work hard in gathering information and isolating the truth, but if that phone call does come in, you must be ready for it.�

Emotionally, Chief Borrelli recognized that detectives have to like people. �They must care about each of their cases. Cases that make front page news are often forgotten in a few days time. But for the family and the detective who has that case, it goes on until it can be closed - however long that takes.�


On June 26, 1918 Ptl. Joseph A. Nolan Sh# 1626 of the then 22nd Precinct (Midtown South) was killed in the line of duty.

At about 2 am on June 26, 1918, while on post on Eleventh Ave., Ptl. Nolan heard pistol shots in the vicinity of 39th St. between Tenth and Eleventh Aves. He rapped for assistance with his nightstick on the pavement, and when Patrolmen Walsh and Neville responded they found Ptl. Nolan questioning several persons who were standing on the stoop of No. 526 W. 39th St. The men were allowed to go, the officers assuring themselves that they knew of the pistol shots.

After the men left, the officers remained in front of the building, and while they were standing there a number of bricks were thrown from the roof, one of which struck Ptl. Nolan on the head and he fell to the sidewalk. An ambulance was called immediately, but before it arrived at the hospital Nolan died.

In 1921, Ptl. Nolan was Posthumously awarded the NYPD Medal of Honor. (Special Note: Ptl. Neville was killed three years later (1921) in a lot at 544 W. 39th St., not 100 feet from the spot where Ptl. Nolan was killed.)


Some happy, some a little bit sad, but there has certainly been some news flying around the boro recently.

With a little bad of sadness in our hearts, but wishing him all the best just the same, we see TOMMY JOYCE leave as the 79 Squad�s Commanding Officer and take on new responsibilities in the Cold Case Squad. I have known Tommy for many years, and have had the privilege of working with him when he was a Squad Sergeant in the 77 Squad when I took over that command, and then later as a fellow colleague and Squad Commander. He also sits on the LBA Board in one of the Sentinel positions (Outside/Inside). I will certainly miss his input around here, knowing that the loss to Brooklyn North Detective�s is truly a gain by the Cold Case Squad! A true professional, and a cop�s cop� I join all of my Brooklyn North brothers and sisters in wishing Tommy ALL THE BEST in his new position! We�ll miss you!

It was great to see Sergeant CHUCK RIBANDO's name on the recent promotion list, with his well deserved bump to SDS Sergeant. I also count Chuck as a long time friend, and had the privilege of working with him most recently in the 75 Squad before I left for Homicide and Chuck moved on to the Joint Terrorism TF. Another cop�s cop; it�s great to see the recognition come to someone so deserving.

Another promotion to a Brooklyn North Detective alum saw the eagle pinned to the collars of MIKE HARRINGTON, the current C.O. of the 79 Precinct. Many of us still remember when he was the Detective Captain, running around town with his fellow Detective Captain, Paddy Boyle. His work in the 79 Precinct is reflected in this fine promotion. I fondly recall working with Mike�s father (boy, do I feel like Paddy Boyle now!) when I was a cub-patrol cop in District 33 and Neil Harrington was a newly promoted Lieutenant. He certainly left a good impression on his family, to say the least, with many footsteps following him into law enforcement. There was a story that was running around back then that the elder Neil Harrington went to work one morning, driving from Staten Island to District 30 in downtown Brooklyn, before realizing that one of his younger tribe (there are more than a handful of young Harrington�s) was asleep in the back seat of the car! I�ve never verified the story, but just wonder about that all the same.

Recuperating well at home is another great friend, JOHN AMODEO. Undergoing several surgical procedures to place stints in his arteries may have set him back for a while, but John is recovering quite well, and sounding fine. We are looking forward to getting him out for some lunch dates, as I�m sure he is as well. Your wit, humor, and more importantly your professional advice are sorely missed by all here in Brooklyn North. We all look forward to the day we see you playing a foursome at one of the golf outings! Keep up your spirits, and know that you have touched many here in Brooklyn North who continue rooting for you.


While this has nothing to do with detectives, I recently came across this item and thought it interesting enough to pass on to readers of this site.

Regarding the military detail assigned to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington DC, did you know any of the following?
A guard takes 21 steps during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns. These steps allude to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary. For this same reason, he hesitates 21 seconds after his about face to begin his return walk.

The guard wears his white gloves wet, moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face, and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30 inches. In addition, a candidate to the Guard must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.

The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.

Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror. The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis, the boxer, and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of W.W.II, of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

Recently the US Senate and House took 2 days off as they couldn't work because of an expected storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that, because of the dangers from Hurricane Isabelle approaching Washington, DC, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!"

Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person.

The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since 1930.


Since the modern medal era came into being in 1915, when the name of the highest NYPD award �The Department Medal� was changed to �The Medal of Honor�, only three members of the NYPD have been awarded the 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 shootout in which he killed a hold-up man. He also received a posthumous award of the medal in 1926, after he was killed in another shootout with four 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 during a stickup in a store. He received it again in 1928 for a second shootout.

The third recipient was PO 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 to heal. The second award was for an incident on February 12, 1980, when he chased a gunman into an alleyway. The gunman turned and shot Bilodeau three times. Before he died he was able to wound his assailant.


It was reported in the January 1961 issue of Spring 3100 that a reorganization of department commands had taken place on November 22, 1959, with borough and division commands in Manhattan and Brooklyn affected.

It was during this reorganization that the borough commands were reorganized as North and South, where previously they were arranged in an East and West format.

Brooklyn North commands included those of Divisions 13 and 14, and the headquarters was at � 179 Wilson Avenue!

Brooklyn South included Divisions 10, 11, and 12, headquartered at 485 Bergen Street (78 Precinct).


Rolex Watch Database

The Rolex database includes dates of service when a watch has been worked on at one of two authorized Rolex service centers � New York and Dallas.

Also included in the database is the serial number of watches reported stolen.

If a stolen watch is brought into an authorized service center for service, it will be confiscated. Information from the database is available to persons with legitimate nned to know, including law enforcement, insurance investigators, jewelers and others.

Telephone requests are not honored. There is no master registry of Rolex ownership.

Fax your requests on company letterhead to:

Rolex (Fax) 212-980-2166
Rolex: Telephone 212-758-7700


I have always found it informative, as have many readers to this site, to hear from retired Detective�s with their �old-time� stories �From the Squad Room�.

What was it like when you made Detective? What were the Squad�s like; how did that duty chart work, with those �Open Days� and the tours that ran from 1700 to 0900 hours. How did investigations proceed, detectives working around the clock on a homicide, without any overtime? Did you even know that a Detective Captain existed? Did cops naturally progress from �plainclothes� assignments to �The Squad�?

If you have any stories you�d like to relate, please pass them on to me. If you don�t want me to use any on this site, just say so � I�ll enjoy them anyway, and won�t post them or reveal the source if you care not to. I�ve always felt it�s important to know where you came from � the history that surrounds the squad is better than any fiction writers imagination.

I look forward to hearing some of your stories.

Please e-mail me at:



July 1, 1911 Ptl Michael Lynch, 22 Pct, Shot by perp
July 2, 1922 Det John Moriarty, DetDiv, Shot-robbery in progress
July 2, 1970 Ptl Paul Donadio, 75 Pct, Patrolwagon accident
July 3, 1857 Ptl Thomas, line of duty incident
July 3, 1917 Ptl John Flood, 31 Pct, Assaulted, head injury
July 3, 1966 Ptl Willie Stephenson, HAPD, Drowned, rescue
July 4, 1940 Det Joseph Lynch and Det Ferdinand Socha, Bomb Squad : Investigation
July 4, 1993 PO Rudolph Thomas, PSA3, Shot-off duty incident
July 5, 1946 Sgt Isaac Price, 28 Pct, Heart attack during robbery arrest

Monday, June 21, 2004


A recent article that appeared on the John E. Reid & Associates popular investigative web site dealt with the issue of �False Confession Cases�. Some of the highlights from this are excerpted for your review. This area is certainly one that has been receiving increased attention lately.

In the past several years a number of false confession cases have received extensive publicity. In several of these cases the convicted individual has been exonerated by DNA testing and the actual perpetrator, in turn, has been identified. In these cases it is important to examine in detail exactly what happened; what went wrong; what are the lessons to be learned, and what are potential safeguards that can be put into place to prevent future mistakes.

To be sure, in the experience of most professional interrogators the frequency of false confessions is rare. When we do learn of them, however, the interrogation tactics and techniques should be scrupulously examined, as well as the circumstances surrounding the interrogation. When this has been done, there are four factors that appear with some regularity in false confession cases:

1. The suspect is a juvenile; and/or
2. The suspect suffers some mental or psychological impairment; and/or
3. The interrogation took place over an inordinate amount of time; and/or
4. The interrogators engaged in illegal tactics and techniques

Every interrogator must exercise extreme caution and care when interviewing or interrogating a juvenile or a person who is mentally or psychologically impaired. Certainly these individuals can and do commit very serious crimes. But when a juvenile or person who is mentally or psychologically impaired confesses, the investigator should exercise extreme diligence in establishing the accuracy of such a statement through subsequent corroboration. In these situations it is imperative that interrogators do not reveal details of the crime so that they can use the disclosure of such information by the suspect as verification of the confession�s authenticity.

A review of the available information in false confession cases has revealed that in many of the interrogations the investigators engaged in the use of impermissible threats and promises. Interrogators in these cases have made such statements as: "You�re not leaving this room until you confess", and "If you tell me you did this you can go home and sleep in your own bed tonight (when such is not the case)."
A tactic utilized in interviewing according to �The Reid Technique� involves the use of alternative questioning. The proper of use of the alternative question should never threaten consequences or offer promises of leniency.

The following are improper alternative question examples:

"Do you want to cooperate with me and tell me what happened, or spend the next five to seven years behind bars?" (improper)
"Do you want to be charged with first degree murder, which will mean life in prison, or was this just manslaughter?" (improper)

There has been the suggestion by some critics of police interrogation techniques that the alternative question � "Was this your idea or did your buddies talk you into it?" is potentially dangerous because it only offers a suspect (including an innocent one) only two choices, both of which amount to an admission of guilt. Obviously the third choice is for the suspect to deny any participation in the commission of the crime that is under investigation.

It should be noted, however, that the courts have rejected the idea that a confession is inadmissible if a suspect confesses because he harbors some internal hope that his confession may lead to a lesser sentence.

Confession corroboration may be a vital task for the investigator.

Simply taking a confession at its face value, without ensuring the accuracy of the statement, could lead to problems later on.
It is imperative that interrogators do not reveal details of the crime so that they can use the disclosure of such information by the suspect as verification of the confession�s authenticity. In each case there should be documented "hold back" information about the details of how the crime was committed; details from the crime scene; details about specific activities perpetrated by the offender; etc. This is becoming increasingly more and more difficult in the atmosphere of multiple sources requiring a �Need to know�! Have you ever decided to hold back what you felt would be a key piece of information, only to read about it the next morning in the NY POST?

The goal should be to match the suspect�s confession against these details to establish the veracity of the statement. It should be remembered, however, that suspects do not always tell us everything that they did and they do not always remember all of the details themselves. �It is also a fact that most confessors to crimes of a serious nature will lie about some aspect of the occurrence, even though they may have disclosed the full truth regarding the main event. They will lie about some detail of the crime for which they have a greater feeling of shame than that which they experienced with respect to the main event itself."

Nevertheless, when significant and substantial contradictions exist between the known facts about the crime and what the suspect describes in his confession, extreme care must be exercised in the assessment of the confession�s validity.


I�ve recently received a copy of an article that was written by Lona Manning for a publication named OLD NEWS, on the story behind Detective Joseph Faurot, the NYPD detective who pioneered the fingerprint identification system as a means of making criminal identifications here in New York, in the early 1900�s.

Prior to that Faurot and other policemen in New York City used a method called the Bertillon system to keep track of repeat offenders.

The Bertillon system was developed in 1885 by Alphonse Bertillon of the French criminal investigative agency, or Surete, which assisted in identifying criminals no matter what alias they used.

Whenever a suspect was arrested, the police recorded his hair color, eye color, and other distinguishing characteristics, and also recorded various body measurements such as height, forearm length, and width of the head. These details were noted on index cards with mug shot photos attached, giving each criminal a unique identification.

You can check out Lona Manning�s web site, which has links to her other crime related articles, at the following:


I came across an article in the Summer 1979 edition of Spring 3100 concerning two friends, and an incident they were involved in while still assigned to the 83 Precinct.

At the time they were radio car partners in the 83 Pct, and PO Jack Beisel and PO William Kilbride responded to a silent alarm that was set off inside a Bushwick bar by the owner as he was being held up by two men.

Arriving on the scene the officers found the front door locked, and a man inside refused to open the doors. They solved that problem by obtaining a key from the building owner�s wife. Once inside they saw another man coming from the rear with a gun and holster clipped to his belt, off-duty style. Announcing to the officers that he was �on the job�, he produced a shield and ID of a correction officer. He was immediately contradicted by the owner, who yelled from the rear that he was being robbed. Guns wre drawn and shooting started.

The gunfire wounded Beisel in the chest, but he was able to get himself up and join Kilbride in a shot-filled pursuit of the gunmen. Although the gunmen was struck in the back he avoided capture until other responding officers from the 83 found him lying in a vacant lot. The second gunmen was arrested later at his residence.

Beisel was taken to Wyckoff Hospital where he satisfactorily recovered from his wound.

What the Spring article doesn�t fill in is a post-script to these officers.

Following this incident, Beisel and Kilbride were offered an opportunity to change commands, and seeking a change in work environment they were transferred to the 11 Precinct; closer to home, and a little less action. So you would think.

Shortly after arriving in the 111 Pct, the Brooklyn North at heart officers managed to keep themselves busy. Responding to a stolen car report they soon found themselves (once again) in pursuit � shots fired and all. No injuries to the MOS; arrest effected.

Jack Beisel and Bill Kilbride later attained their gold shields, and continued as very active homicide detectives in Queens (covering the back of The Minister�s father, I�d like to add).

At last contact they had retired, continuing their law enforcement expertise with the Queens DA�s Office.


One of the early duties performed by the Detective Bureau (Detective Division at the time) included assignment to �Cruiser patrols� within a division.

At a time when precincts did not have officers working in plainclothes (there was no Anti-Crime teams), the Detectives that were assigned to �Cruiser patrols� performed those functions. This was the �first stop� for many newly-assigned white shields to The Squad.


When the first police force began to patrol in the summer of 1845, they only badges on their civilian clothing. The badges were 8 pointed stars with the seal of the City at the center and were made of stamped copper.

The newspapers of the time referred to the new force as the "Star Police" but people seeing the shiny copper shields began to call the new force "Coppers" which was later shortened to "Cops."

There is also a British police term; Constable On Patrol which may account for the term "cops" in England as well.
Travelers to Chicago will note that the term �coppers� is still used today when referring to police officers there.


June 18, 1932 Ptl Joseph Burke, 32 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
June 19, 1980 PO Joseph Keegan, TD1, Shot-arrest
June 20, 1930 Ptl Patrick Mitchell, 30 Pct, Shot
June 20, 1942 Ptl William Rooney, 30 Pct, Shot
June 20, 1974 Lt. Henry Schiermann, InspSvcs, Shot-off duty robbery
June 22, 1942 Ptl Joseph Swoboda, Traffic C, Trolley car accident
June 24, 1922 Ptl William Dearies, 113 Pct, Line of duty incident
June 26, 1918 Ptl Jospeh Nolan, 22 Pct, Brick thrown causing head injury
June 26, 1930 Ptl Wilson Fields, 62 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
June 26, 1937 Ptl George Mahonken, Mcy Unit, Motorcycle accident
June 26, 1977 Det Henry McDevitt, 48 Pct, Assaulted

Monday, June 14, 2004


Awarded to those members of the department undergoing extraordinary personal risk and exhibiting indomitable courage in the performance of duty. This medal was awarded from 1912 to 1972.

What was to become known as the Police Department Medal of Honor was designed in 1912 by Tiffany & Co. It was initially referred to as The Department Medal, but on October 10, 1914, Police Commissioner Woods announced that the name of the honorable Mention Medal was changed to the Medal of Honor.

Until 1921, there had never been a posthumous award of a medal. Upon recommendation of the Honor Committee, it was Police Commissioner Enright who approved the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor to members of the department killed in the performance of duty.

The first posthumous awards were made in 1921 and were retroactive to 1918.

From 1918 to 1972 there were only four years � 1956, 1958, 1959, 1969 � in which there were no posthumous awards of the medal of Honor. The most posthumous awards, 11, were made in 1931.

The first presentation of the Medal of Honor went to a Detective Bureau member. Acting detective Sergeant Charles Carrao was honored for his actions in the early morning hours of September 15, 1911. He followed a suspected Black Hand bomber into a tenement house on East 13th Street. The bomber lit the fuse to the bomb, which Det. Carrao pulled out and extinguished on the hallway floor. With the aid of other detectives the bomber was arrested.


The Summer of 1979 was extremely busy for this department. The Summer issue of Spring 3100 contains many notable entries, among which is a Medal Day ceremony of some note.

The June 12, 1979 Medal Day saw the Police Combat Cross awarded to two members of the 83 Precinct for actions they performed on March 15, 1978.

On that day PO Fred Falcone and PO Joseph Esposito were informed that three men, one armed, had just entered a store. As the officers approached, the men fled and during the subsequent chase a gun battle ensued resulting in the wounding and capture of a suspect.

You all know one of those PO�s as Chief Of Department today!

This same Medal Day saw the Medal of Honor awarded, posthumously, to PO Norman Cerullo and PO Christie Masone of the 79 Pct.

Six members of Brooklyn North were awarded the Combat Cross, and another nine MOS from Brooklyn North were awarded the Medal for Valor at this ceremony.


Ptl. William Ramos of the 80th Precinct was killed in the line of duty on June 14, 1960, while intervening in a holdup that had just taken place.

At about 1320 on June 14, 1960, Ptl. Ramos was on foot patrol on Fulton Street when he intercepted a man and a woman leaving the scene of an armed robbery they had committed in a hotel at 124 Fulton Street, Brooklyn. During an exchange of shots in which the holdup man was wounded, Ptl. Ramos was fatally wounded and died later that day.

The two bandits were arrested later the same day.


For help in locating a particular state agency or office you can try contacting the general information operator. Local state�s operator information numbers are:

New York 518-474-2121
New Jersey 609-292-2121
Connecticut 860-566-4200
Pennsylvania 717-787-2121


The publisher for a cook book featuring recipes from law enforcement officers is seeking contributions.

The publisher is coming out with a wonderful cookbook this fall featuring recipes from law enforcement from all over the country and the world. The book will feature photos of each contributor, their special dishes, and a brief history of their career.

They have already received some great submissions from all over, but could certainly use some contributions from New York.

You can check out the book's website at:

You can contact the publisher directly via e-mail at:


June 9, 1931 Sgt William O�Shaughnessy, 28 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
June 9, 1939 Ptl Alexander Stult, ESU, Asphyxiated during rescue
June 9, 1969 Sgt Edward Henninger, AIS, LOD heart attack
June 11, 1925 Ptl James Cullen, 37 Pct, Motorcycle accident
June 12, 1991 PO Kenneth Hansen, Harbor, Drowned
June 14, 1960 Ptl William Ramos Jr, 80 Pct, Shot-robbery
June 15, 1944 Ptl Eliote Holmes, 13 Sqd, Line of duty injury
June 15, 1967 Ptl Walter Ferguson, DetDiv, LOD Heart attack
June 15, 1979 PO Ted Donald, PSA7, Shot-burglary arrest
June 15, 1980 PO John Patwell, 43 Pct, LOD Injured
June 15, 1983 PO John Mandia, 25 Pct, Fell under train
June 15, 1984 PO Juan Andino, 40 Pct, Shot-robbery arrest
June 16, 1927 Sgt Joseph Weckesser, 71 Pct, Fire rescue
June 16, 1967 Ptl Lloyd Innes, TD30, Shot-previously arrested by him
June 16, 1988 PO Gary Peaco, PSA7, Auto accident
June 17, 1912 Ptl Thomas O�Connell, 29 Pct, Drowned during rescue
June 17, 1973 PO Ralph Stanchi, 32 Pct, Shot-investigation

Monday, June 07, 2004


It was October 7, 1961, when Sonny Grosso and Eddie Egan, two detectives in the Narcotics Division, were so elated that they �went out on the town, despite having worked for the past twenty-seven hours�. So describes the beginning of this infamous case by Edward Conlon, in his recent blockbuster book BLUE BLOOD.

They went to the Copacabana, because Egan had his eyes on the coat-check girl, and because they could easily tin their way in to the swank club.

It was there that they recognized some mob-connected dope dealers and gamblers, but were stunned by the person who was the center of attention, as they had no idea who he was. The detective instincts in them took over, they followed this person from the club as he changed cars, parked a car, and ended up in a Brooklyn (North) luncheonette on Bushwick Avenue and Maujer Street.

So begins the investigation of what is perhaps the most celebrated investigation in NYPD history, related in a great book and an even greater movie, as the French Connection.

All knew Eddie Egan, who made First Grade in just four years on the job, as �Bullets� or �Popeye�. The Irish street kid, he was outgoing and �hard-charging, skirt-chasing, strongly built with a bit of a belly, ruddy and fair�.

Sonny Grosso was known as �Cloudy� because �he kept an eye on the down side�. He was also �disciplined and reserved, tall and thin, with dark eyes and olive skin�. A sharp contrast to his partner, for sure.

It is noted that Popeye made detective a year after he joined the department, and that he and Grosso teamed up in narcotics in 1959.

One of the ways that the movie version of the French Connection is perversely gripping is in its depiction of the grueling dullness of surveillance, and the monotony of putting a case together. �It was all shoe leather and peeking around corners�, real detective work, that put everything together.

The scene in the movie where Popeye and one of the Frogs do an elaborate dance in the subway, stepping on the train, then off, then on, until the Frog is on and Popeye is off, and he tips his hat as the train pulls away � that happened. The famous car chase scene as the elevated train is pursued from station to station � didn�t. Sonny and Popeye did have to beat a train to the next stop, but the train was underground. Although they did have to dodge midtown traffic, trying to beat the Shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square, there was no shoot-out at the end.

The car they seized the heroin from was a 1960 Buick Invicta, which had nearly 112 pounds of nearly pure heroin concealed in the rocker panels. By the way, in the movie, when the French television anchor goes to the auto pound to retrieve his car, the Sergeant at the desk is played by Randy Jurgensen � one of Grosso�s former partners, who played a large part in the Murder at the Harlem Mosque incident.

This great narcotics investigation became a legendary one. At the time the NYPD had only 200 cops assigned to the Narcotics Division, and there were only sixty federal drug agents assigned to New York. The drugs that they seized consisted of approximately one month�s supply of heroin for the entire country.

What the movie left out was that a large part of the drug seizure took place months after the initial ones. The first phase took three months; the second phase that involved the Frenchmen took another ten days. For another full month Sonny and Popeye had to sit in a basement in the Bronx, surveilling a steamer trunk, where the luncheonette thugs brother lived. Of course, when would this surveillance come to fruition? On a Saturday that Sonny was the best man at a wedding, wearing a tuxedo at St. Patrick�s cathedral, he got a call from Popeye telling him to �Get back, this is it�.

Sonny skipped the reception and came back to collar the main target wearing his black tie outfit!


When the High Constable of New York City, Jacob Hays retired from service in 1844, permission was granted by the Governor of the state to the Mayor of the City to create a Police Department.

A force of approximately 800 men under the first Chief of Police, George W. Matsell, began to patrol the City in July of 1845. They wore badges that had an eight-pointed star (representing the first 8 paid members of the old Watch during Dutch times). The badges had the seal of the City in their center and were made of stamped copper.


From 1889 to 1911, the department awarded a medal known as the Department Medal, or �Medal of Honor�.

On January 15, 1889, the Board of Police Commissioners made Honorable Mention in the minutes of the board meeting and awarded a Department Medal to Ptl. John Meagher of the Steamboat Squad for his rescue of a man who had jumped into the North River. This medal was previously known as the Honorable Mention Badge. After 1889 the medal was known as the Department Medal, or a Medal of Honor.

Although not always done so, some commissioners, in particular Theodore Roosevelt, would have a formal presentation ceremony at Headquarters.


Clumsy Crooks - A hilarious lineup of true stories of actual crimes committed by clumsy crooks.

Government Telephone Directory Online

The Government Services Administration recently revised U.S. Blue Pages Online. You can search federal government blue page listings by state, city and state, area code or keyword.


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.

Several police organizations are in the process of correcting this oversight.


It was nice to see the great turnout at the recent Brooklyn North Detective Club Spring BBQ.

So many of our members showed up for great time, that was aided by some great weather as well. It was nice to see those retirees taking the time out to join us as well. Joe Heffernan looked great, well tanned, and at ease with everything. There was Bobby Quinlan and Steve Amalfitano, recent 75 Squad retirees, joining in as well. They both looked great! Retirement seems to suit them well, as it does for Bobby Gates, and Bobby Fragoletti. Fragoletti thought he could combine the detective�s BBQ into a dinner he owed some former team members, but they wouldn�t have any of that! He�ll just have to make up with a special lunch at Mendy�s.

Louis Savarese and Lester Kakol put a lot of hard work into setting things up, and it was greatly appreciated. Paddy Adams did a fine job grilling the food to perfection. The festivities weren�t complete until some of our more valiant gumshoe�s jumped in to take part in some karaoke � (dare I say who they were?).

A great time was certainly had by all!


All of the Brooklyn North Detective Family wish to extend our sympathy to the family of Det. Larry Eggers, from Brooklyn North Homicide, whose nephew was killed while serving in the Armed Forces this past week.

On May 29, 2004, three soldiers three soldiers supporting Operation Enduring Freedom were killed in action. They died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when the vehicle they were operating hit a land mine.

Larry�s nephew, Capt. Daniel W. Eggers, 28, of Cape Coral, Fla, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), from Fort Bragg, N.C.

Other casualties were Staff Sgt. Robert J. Mogensen, 26, of Leesville, La. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, NC and Pfc. Joseph A. Jeffries, 21, of Beaverton, Ore. He was assigned to the Army Reserve�s 329th Psychological Operations Company, Portland, Ore.

Captain Eggers will be returned to the States, and following a memorial service in his hometown he will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Ptl. Sid Thompson of the Transit Police Department was assigned in plainclothes on a fare evasion stakeout at the 174th Street IRT No. 2 subway station in the Bronx on June 5, 1973.

While attempting to arrest a fare evader, Officer Thompson was fatally shot by the farebeater�s companion. Both were linked to the Black Liberation Army terrorist group.

Later, in a police raid of an apartment, one suspect was killed, others were arrested, and a Transit detective was wounded.

Officer Thompson left a wife, a son who became a New York City Police Officer, and a daughter.


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, McyUnit, Injured on patrol
June 5, 1977 PO Sid Thompson, TD12, Shot-arrest
June 6, 1939 Ptl Emmitt Cassidy, 120 Pct, Shot-off duty incident
June 8, 1958 Ptl Herman Corn, 52 Pct, Auto accident on patrol

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


I�ve just finished reading a book, BLUE BLOOD, written by one of NYPD�s own, Detective Edward Conlon, which outlines his life as a New York City Police Officer � with the NYPD running through his veins.

Conlon, now a detective in the 44 Squad, started his NYPD career as a Housing cop in the Bronx, working his way up to the SNEU in PSA7. His story was finely told, and has been receiving some notoriety on the book circuit � certainly helped along by the fact that Conlon is a Harvard graduate.

Described as �an epic work of nonfiction about what it means to protect, to serve, and to defend among the ranks of New York�s finest�, it was certainly worth the price of the book and will take a prominent place in the Minister�s Library.

Cops could be the most brutal critics when it comes to �cop-memoirs�, but I would highly recommend this book for your summer reading list. Conlon got his literary start writing a �Cop Diary� column in THE NEW YORKER, under a pseudonym, so as not to call too much attention to himself at work. This was all done, of course, with the approval of DCPI.

Conlon is fourth-generation NYPD � his great grandfather was �an officer of dubious integrity�, whom he has gotten a copy of his 10-card � and his father was an FBI agent.

While Joseph Wambaugh � himself a retired LAPD Sergeant turned acclaimed author � describes the book as �the most stunning memoir ever written about the cop world�, I would have to agree that at least Conlon is a terrific journalist and a born storyteller. I can also see how the �civilian� population would take to this book; he describes the PD-world in terms that is easily understood, while still managing to describe the often-times discouragement and monotony common to police work.

Conlon talks about police work being a vocation, and about his love for the job, and desire to be out on the street. He dislikes inside, administrative tasks, and is described as portraying "being a cop is as much a public trust as holding office or serving in the Peace Corps". No wonder why I really like this guy! That and the fact that he's a teamate of Bobby Nardi's.

Don�t pass up an opportunity to read this book, and recommend it to your civilian friends. You � and they � won�t be disappointed.


One of the passages in BLUE BLOOD that I enjoyed was his description of the French Connection case. I guess it was reassuring to know that I�m not the only cop-buff who finds the book, and the movie, to be spectacular. It also helps to know the real story behind the movie version � which is why I enjoyed the hardcover book so much.

Some regular department larger-than-life figures emerge from this tale. Eddie Egan, whose character is played by Gene Hackman under the screen name of Popeye Doyle, as well as Sonny Grosso, who is the model for the character Cloudy Russo, were in fact real partners in Narcotics who literally stumbled across the largest case the department had seen at that time.

After the fame of the French Connection hit, you will no doubt be surprised to learn that Sonny Grosso and Eddie Egan were split up in 1967 and sent to precinct detective squads in Harlem (Grosso) and Brooklyn North (Egan). Although they were celebrities outside the department, their fame was met with the predictable jealousies that both fame and presumed wealth provoked. In addition, the hard-charging, smack-�em-around-and-figure-it-out-later Popey Doyle-Egan image was the exact opposite of the image Commissioner Patrick Murphy wanted to project for the NYPD. Edward Conlon describes an interview he had with Sonny Grosso, describing Egan as �as good a street cop as the NYPD ever produced; he was the first through the door and the first to the bar. Perps in the cells used to brag about getting locked up by him�.

Egan had made First Grade Detective with less than four years on the job! After the French Connection case, when they were sent separate ways, Sonny and Eddie both began to moonlight in the movie business. On the job, Sonny moved ahead steadily, while Eddie occasionally stumbled. The glory days of their Narcotics past was over, and the paperwork of the detective Bureau was a crutch to Egan�s style, not helped by the fact that he could barely spell. Finding himself the subject of some inane allegations, Egan was faced with a Trial Board hearing that found him guilty of some procedural infractions, for which Commissioner Murphy sought to have him fired for!

Calling to mind the anonymous quote �To err is human � to forgive is against department policy�, Murphy sought to make an example of Egan, for surely �wasn�t a cop like him who wasn�t caught taking money simply too smart to be nabbed�? And surely with all the �Hollywood money� he was making, �how could anyone tell the clean from the dirty�? (Yea. Murphy was a real friend of the rank and file).

As it was, Egan made a total of $3,900. for all his work on the book and the movie. Though eventually reinstated to his full rank, when he left the job he was less than wealthy, with a bank balance of $89.79. Finding some small acting parts, usually playing a cop, he opened a detective agency that failed, and a bar in Florida called The Lauderdale Connection. As Conlon sums it up, �The Job was not his friend, either�.


The ranks are a little sadder these days.

Truly a gentleman, and a consummate professional detective, Retired Detective Sergeant Jack Cassidy passed away last week after a bout with cancer.

Detective Sergeant Jack Cassidy was my first detective supervisor, when I entered the Transit Police� Detective Bureau almost twenty years ago. He commanded one of the teams in the Major Case Squad, and paved my way into becoming a detective.

I can still see him standing there, wringing his hands the way he did with a sinister smile across his face, welcoming me to �The Squad�, with his cheery �Welcome, Lad�.

I was always called �lad�, despite that over time I not only reached his rank, but passed on to the next level, and despite I was now at the point I could qualify as a member of the Dinosaur Club. After the merger of the departments, Jack stayed in place in command of the Special Investigations Unit of the Transit Bureau. It was there that he found himself in contact with all levels of the department, helping detectives as well as Chief�s find their way around the Byzantine known as the Transit Authority. When the Transit Authority was expanding the MetroCard to the point of eliminating tokens, it was Jack who helped point out the areas subject to fraud, and helped ease the transition. When a detective from a squad had an inquiry about MetroCard usage, it was jack that saw that the proper attention was given; remembering always that he was a Detective Sergeant, with the emphasis on detective.

I shared a lot of good times with Jack and his team. I caught my first homicide with Gerry Gallagher, on the night we were supposed to be celebrating a retirement. �Nice job, lad� was my greeting from Jack the day after the arrest was made.

Melancholy, perhaps, but I want to remember the smile on his face when he stood at his retirement dinner, and greeted me with a �Hello, lad�. You have left a lot of good friends behind, and have left us with great memories. Good night, lad!


Thanks to Ret. Det1. John T.M. Reilly, who recently published a book �AWARDS FOR VALOR�, that documents the medals of the New York City Police Department from 1871 to 1998. A true police historian, John has done a magnificent job documenting this part of department history.

The earliest NYPD medals were established on August 5, 1871. There were approximately sixteen such awards given by January 21, 1884, under the resolution that was passed by the Board of Police Commissioners for a medal to be presented for meritorious conduct.

The medal was first awarded to Ptl. Bernard Tully of the 19 Precinct, on August 17, 1871, for the capture and arrest of a burglar.

The original medal was in the shape of the then shield of the department. On the obverse are the arms of the City of New York, the names of the police commissioners, and the words Municipal Police. The reverse contained an inscription describing the act for which the medal was bestowed.

Later editions of this award saw a silver medal in the shape of a police shield, hanging from a ring and suspender, on which the letters �N.Y.� are entwined (think, Yankees interlocking �NY�) and attached to a top bar with the word �Valor� inscribed.

While the commissioners had also specified that gold or silver medals might be awarded, there is only a record of one gold medal being awarded. This medal was presented on February 26, 1879 to Captain Thomas Byrnes of the detective Division for the arrest of thieves who had assaulted and robbed a woman on Fifth Avenue.


Brooklyn North Detectives congratulates MARK MURRAY of the 75 Squad on his recent promotion to Detective Second Grade!

Not wishing to take away from Mark�s deserved bump in grade, I am only saddened by the fact that such promotion congratulations are not accompanied by a longer list, in multiple categories.


Certain to be found humorous to non-department readers is the way that Edward Conlon describes the procedure for calling in sick.

He notes that if you have a cold, you cannot tell that to the Sick Desk. �You can�t have a cold�, he was told by the Sick Desk. �We can�t put that down. You have to say you have �flu-like� symptoms�.

He then notes that, for his next �non-colds�, he tried out a variety of ailments. He called in with �Space Dementia�, which is what Steve Buscemi had when his spaceship circled the comet in the movie ARMAGEDDON. This was recorded, without question, by the Sick Desk. When he next tried to call in with Dutch elm disease, which happened to be responsible for wiping out many magnificent trees across the country, he was told �You can�t go Admin Sick with Dutch elm disease. You have to go Regular Sick�. His answer was simple. �Right, I forgot. I guess I�ll have flu-like symptoms�. �Okay, you got it. Hope you feel better�, was the response from the Sick Desk.

Although he didn�t try it himself, he convinced a friend to call in sick with �autoerotic asphyxia�, which he successfully managed to do.

Personally, I�d like to see a list of the ailments used by Nicky Dimonda!

MOS 10-13

There is an upcoming 10-13 benefit scheduled for an MOS who is awaiting a kidney transplant.

JEFF JAMAL of the 25 Squad, formerly of Manhattan Warrants and the 28 Pct, is awaiting kidney transplant surgery and is currently undergoing dialysis and other high-priced medical care.

On June 17, from 1900-0200 hours, there will be a benefit racket at Gaelic Park to benefit Jeff.

For tickets, and other information including directions to Gaelic Park, please contact the 25 Squad at 212.860.6536.


Is never an easy task. Some changes in Brooklyn North Detectives, among Squad Commanders, includes the following.

Lt. Joe Ferrara has gone from the 73 Squad to the 75 Squad, to take the spot left vacant with John Amodeo being out on medical leave.

Lt. Eddie Lott moves from the 81 Squad to the 73 Squad, where he is no stranger, having been the RIP/RAM Sergeant there in the past.

The 81 Squad will be commanded by Sgt. Richie Lapera for the time being. Richie is certainly capable, and the right man for that job!

We hear that help is on the way, in the form of new supervisors in the Lieutenant and Sergeant ranks - long overdue. With the recent transfers of new investigators still making their way here, we may actually see some squads back up to their required manpower levels. Wouldn't that be great?


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