Thursday, October 28, 2004


A girl phoned me the other day and said, "Come on over, there's nobodyhome." I went over. Nobody was home.

I went to see my doctor and told him, "Doctor, every morning when I get upand look in the mirror, I feel like throwing up. What's wrong with me?" He said, "I don't know but your eyesight is perfect."

Once when I was lost, I saw a policeman and asked him to help me find my parents. I said to him, "Do you think we'll ever find them?" He said, "I don't know kid ... there are so many places they can hide."


The following information is taken from the September 2004 edition of the ABA Journal. An article, written by Mark Hansen, questions the scientific nature in which ballistic examiners can compare a bullet and � based on the lead analysis � determine a match.

The examination started in defense of a defendant on Kentucky�s death row for two murders he claims he didn�t commit. One of the things that helped put him there was the testimony of an FBI laboratory examiner who said he had �matched� several bullets recovered from the bodies of the two victims to a box of unspent cartridges found in the defendants mobile home.

There was no other physical evidence tying Bowling to the crimes�no DNA, no fingerprints, no blood, no hair or fibers, no gunshot residue. In fact, the only direct evidence of Bowling�s guilt was the FBI examiner�s testimony about the matching bullets and the word of a police informant who testified that Bowling had confessed to the two murders while they were housed together in the same jail.

Bowling contends that he never even spoke to the informant, who had struck a deal with prosecutors to trade testimony in Bowling�s state trial in exchange for a favorable disposition of the federal mail fraud charges then pending against him.

The FBI examiner�s testimony in the case is being called into question by a recent study that raises serious doubts about the validity of the agency�s comparative bullet-lead-analysis evidence.

The study, released in February by the National Academies� National Research Council, found that while the FBI�s scientific method for comparing bullets was generally sound, its examiners have sometimes overstated its importance in court and played down the likelihood of a false match. There is no disputing the fact that trace amounts of certain elements in bullet lead can be precisely measured. The controversy centers on how the FBI has interpreted that data.

For decades, FBI examiners operated on the twin assumptions that every batch of bullet lead was compositionally uniform throughout and that no two batches were compositionally alike. So if two bullets were found to have the same concentrations of the same elements, the reasoning went, those bullets must have come from the same batch of lead. In the past few years, however, critics have begun to question those assumptions.

Some researchers have found that different samples from the same batch of bullet lead can have different elemental compositions. Other research has confirmed that different batches of bullet lead can have the same elemental composition. Still other research has shown that bullets from the same box of ammunition can have different elemental compositions, some of which can be attributed to bullets from different melts and some of which can be attributed to intramelt variability.

Retired FBI metallurgist William A.Tobin, a longtime critic of the bureau�s bullet matching technique says he feels vindicated by the committee�s findings. �They validated almost every single criticism I have of the practice,� he says.

The council recommended a number of changes in the FBI�s procedures, which include improved training and oversight, new statistical methods for analyzing bullet lead data, and a limit on how far experts should go when they testify about the possibility of a match between a crime scene bullet and a bullet traceable to a suspect.

Just because two bullets match does not necessarily mean they came from the same box of ammunition. Comparative bullet lead analysis, known as CBLA, can be a useful forensic tool, but does not have the unique specificity of techniques such as DNA typing, which can be used as stand-alone evidence.

The report indicates that comparative lead analysis should never be used for anything other than circumstantial evidence, and an entire case should not be built around it.

Here�s how bullet lead analysis works: bullets found at crime scenes are tested for trace amounts of seven different elements, including arsenic, tin, copper and silver. Those findings are compared to a similar analysis of bullets traceable to a suspect. If the crime scene bullets and the suspect�s bullets are determined statistically to be analytically indistinguishable for each of those elements, FBI examiners have historically concluded that the two samples probably came from the same source. By the FBI�s own estimate, such evidence has been used in about 2,500 cases over the past three decades, including about 500 trials. The technique has proved especially useful in shooting cases in which either no gun is recovered or a crime scene bullet is too small or too mangled to compare the marks left on it by its passage through the barrel with the marks made on a test bullet fired from a suspect�s gun.

At the trial of Bowling, ballistics evidence linked a gun found by the side of a road on which Bowling had traveled to the bullets used in the first two shootings. An FBI examiner testified at the trial that the bullets at the first murder and bullets at the second murder matched, and that they both matched bullets recovered at the suspect�s home.

The FBI examiner�s testimony made it sound as if each batch of bullet lead is unique, although it is not.

The committee�s report shows that the whole scientific premise on which the bullet lead evidence is based maybe fatally flawed. It may be, and it may not. What�s clear is this: they didn�t conclude that the basic technology was either irrelevant or wholly unreliable. It simply says that the claims for what the technology indicated was possible have been overstated.


The National Police Support Network�s President, Nelson Dones, would like to let everyone know that their Dinner Dance will be held on November 17, 2004 at the Marina Del Rey in the Bronx.

This organization provides a lot of help to police officers throughout the country.

Check out their web site for more information on the dinner dance, and to learn more about the organization and what you can do to help.

One of the honorees at this event will be recently retired Chief Ronald Rowland.


Did you know that from January 1, 1874 to May 29, 1874 the City of New York paid the Yonkers Police Department to police the Riverdale - Kingsbridge area of the Bronx?

Because the NYPD lacked the manpower to police the newly annexed territory, they sought the assistance of our neighboring department. Those same Yonkers police officers then did a lateral transfer at their assigned rank to the NYPD and became the genesis of what today is the 50th Precinct


It�s certainly a good time to be a Red Sox fan, as I�m sure Jay Genna can relate. I guess it�s our turn to get sick and tired of hearing about this dreaded curse; we�ve been dishing it out to Sox fans for over eighty years now. It�s our turn to hear about the �death of the curse� now ad-nauseum!

It wasn�t an easy time, though, as Jay Genna of the 77 Squad will tell you.

Here you go, once again your beloved Sox facing the dreaded Yankees, and down 3 games to none in the ALCS series. Jay spent Game 5 of the ALCS in the squad�s coffe room � closet because when he got a cup of coffee Ortiz hit a home run! He stayed in the closet for luck! For about 5 hours! Well, you can come out of the closet now, Jay. No more harassing by those super Yankee fans Vito and Nicky.

I understand as Jay was celebrating, Nicky was getting sick, replacing Jay on the window ledge ready to leap. It didn�t help any that the games went as long as they did. Nicky, who has a documented sleeping disorder (as anyone who knows Nicky can attest to!) found himself all wound up during the Yankee-Red Sox series. Not wishing to endure it all by himself, I understand he took to making sure that Vito � and his family � were also awake for the extra-innings of the series. He may not have been there in person but I know that Jay Genna was at Fenway Park in spirit � he�s been rooting for the Sox forever; he�s put up with a lot in the past, now it�s his turn. Too bad you couldn�t get Nicky and Vito to take a turn in the closet for a few hours!


The 77 Squad Christmas-Retirement Party is scheduled for October 8. Payment of $60 is due in full by Nov. 5.

The squad will be honoring several retirees. Come out and give your regards that night to Sgt.'s Steve Contino & Dan Shook, and Det.'s Johnny Belfort, Billy (RIP) Franklin, Ronny Orgias, Angel Jimenez and John Muller. What a great cast. And what a big loss to that squad. Best of luck, brothers!


This site is a photo gallery of old NYPD RMP�s and motorcycles. Real nice!

Investigators' Guide To the Internet.
This link will bring you Chapter 5 of a text that is intended as a guide for investigators. If you get into this site you can search around to the chapters before and after; I�ll be publishing the others soon. (Hint: Change the �ch5.� To the other chapters and click.)


Thanks to Joe Tallarine and others in the 83 Squad for finding this little shop in nearby Glendale.

Home of Tobacco Products is located at 62-01 Myrtle Ave, just off Fresh Pond Road. They hand-roll their own cigars right in front of you, and have a variety of sizes and styles in stock. If you�ve ever been to Sanchez Cigars in Manhattan, this is a look-alike shop. It�s worth the trip to stock up on some cigars; you won�t be disappointed. Junior LaBarbera would love this place!

Home of Tobacco Products 62-01 Myrtle Ave, Glendale NY (718) 366-3990

As long as I mentioned it, I might as well give you the info on Sanchez Cigars. If you�re in the MSG area, stop by. �Cuban Hand Rolled Cigars� can be found here, according to his sign. The cigars are very good, and the prices are very reasonable. Can any of our Manhattan South brothers attest to this? As for the sign, as it was explained to me: �I am Cuban. I roll them with my hands. These are Cuban hand rolled�. Seriously, though, the cigars are very good.

Sanchez Cigars 265 W. 30 Street (8 Ave) NYC 212-239-8861


Sgt. John Coughlin of the 79 Squad, a member of the NYPD�s Finest Boxing Team, is training a contender for a Brooklyn North "smoker"?


October 22, 1907 Ptl Eugene Sheehan, 3 Pct, Shot by prisoner
October 22, 1931 Det Guido Pessagano, 20 Sqd, Shot-arrest
October 22, 1970 Ptl Gerald Murphy, 9 Pct, Shot-Arrest, off duty
October 22, 1972 Ptl Joseph Meaders, 63 Pct, Crushed by oil truck
October 24, 1935 Capt Richard McHale, 109 Pct, Shot by disgruntled MOS
October 24, 1939 Ptl Anthony Buckner, 32 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
October 26, 1897 Ptl Frederick Smith, 14 Pct, Shot-burglary in progress
October 26, 1910 Ptl James Mangen, 144 Pct, Head injury, rescue
October 28, 1888 Ptl James Brennan, 21 Pct, Assaulted during arrest
October 28, 1945 Ptl James Bussey, 18 Pct, Shot-investigation
October 29, 1962 Det John Tobin, BCI, LOD Heart attack
October 29, 1982 PO James Whittington, PBBN FIAU, Shot-off duty
November 1, 1923 Ptl Ace Swinder, 33 Pct, Motorcycle accident
November 1, 1931 Ptl Howard Peterson, 66 Pct, LOD Accident

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Just a reminder to all of some events that deserve recognition.

A Retirement Dinner is being held on Thursday, October 21, 2004 for Lt. JOHN AMODEO.

John was most recently the 75 Squad Commander, and served as the 77 Squad C.O. before that. He was a Sergeant in the 73 Squad, and before that served as such in PSA2, where he began his career.
John is also an FBI National Academy Graduate.

Friends will gather Thursday evening (after a COMPSTAT day!) at Eammon Doran's on Montague Street in Downtown Brooklyn, from 7PM to 11PM.

ALL are invited! Much good laughs and cheer will abound, no doubt, for a good person. We all miss John, whose 3/4 Retirement came way too sudden. I'm sure he's easing off the cigars, but a humor filled evening is sure to occurr.

67 Squad Fund-Raiser

In Memory of Detective Patrick Rafferty and Detective Robert Parker, two detective's who recently gave their lives in the performance of duty, the 67 Squad is conducting a fund raising effort to raise money for their families.

A memorial T-Shirt is being sold for $20. All proceeds are to be distributed to the familes of these two hero detectives.

Please make an effort to purchase a shirt. You may do so by visiting the 67 Squad, or you can contact them at 718-287-3225.


Thanks to Dan Mackey.Subject: A web site dedicated to restored RMP's; check out the old cop cars.


I found this to be a pretty funny e-mail I recently received. I'm not sure where it originated, but there's a good chance it was forwarded to me by Bobby Gates - who is sorely missed here in Brooklyn North, now that he's gone on to the retired life. You can always tell who's retired by the amount of e-mail they send out, right?

By the way, Bobby works probably harder now than he has done in the past twenty years, and still manages to get a few good golf games in. And, yes Bob, we really do miss you here. Your replacement reminds us of this fact every day!

Anyway, here are some reminders of life in 2004... You know you're living in 2004 when...

You accidentally enter your password on the microwave
You have not played solitaire with real cards in years.
You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they do not have e-mail addresses.
You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

Friday, October 15, 2004

�If I wake up one morning and decide another person can do a better job with this squad, I will tell the wife �Let�s go to Italy�. Or Brooklyn. Either one of those countries is fine with me.�

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, at a press conference answering a question about when he�ll retire.


Louis Weiner, 83, had been living in a nursing home in Reseda, Calif., when he died April 28, 2004 from a heart attack brought on by diabetes, said his daughter Sari Weiner. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Eunice.

The late detective, who fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal with the Marines during World War II, left behind a sensational legacy as one of three tough officers who finally caught up with Sutton in Brooklyn 52 years ago. He went on to inspire a generation of cops, including his nephew, former Police Commissioner Howard Safir.

Safir fondly recalled how, as a 10-year-old boy, he heard his uncle helped catch the infamous Sutton.

"I kept a picture of the arrest on my desk," Safir said. "He was my role model and the reason I became a law-enforcement officer."

Weiner's claim to fame began Feb. 18, 1952, when tipster Arnold Schuster, 24, strode into the Bergen Street station house in Park Slope to report that he had followed Sutton off a subway and onto a nearby street.

Sutton, who by that time had stolen more than $2 million from more than 20 banks during a storied criminal career, had been living underground in a Queens boarding house after busting out of a Pennsylvania jail more than five years earlier.

Weiner and two other cops, Patrolmen Joseph McClennan and Donald Shea, went to investigate Schuster's claims. When they spotted a man resembling Sutton changing a tire on the street, they took him in for questioning.

"He gave my uncle a phony name, and he didn't believe him," Safir said of Weiner. "My uncle took him to the station house, and he later admitted he was Willie Sutton."

Sutton wound up being sent to Attica state prison, where he remained behind bars until his release on Christmas Eve 1969. He died in November 1980 at age 79, while living with a sister in Florida.


As it has been mentioned on this site previously, the Patrolmen involved in the capture of famed bank robber Willie Sutton were promoted directly to First Grade Detective.

The question arose as to why that happened. Was it a mere oversight on the part of the Mayor and PC, who thought the grades went increasingly from 1 to 3, and not in reverse? Or was it a way of awarding a substantial (at that time) pay raise, as the Third Grade paid the same as a Patrolman, and Second Grade was only a few hundred dollars more?

Debate you may for some time, but leave it to Ret. Det. Al Meller, always a stickler for the facts, to go straight to the horses mouth to get the story.

Al spoke with Donald Shea recently about the promotions after the capture of Willie Sutton. Shea stated that he did not remember if he did or didn�t tell John Clark about the P.C./Mayor�s misunderstanding of Detective grade.

Donald Shea, happily retired and enjoying his family, stated that as a result of the capture of Willie Sutton, he along with his partner Joseph McClennan, were promoted directly to 1st Grade Detectives from Patrolman in the 78th Precinct. He thinks/feels that the jump in rank was because of the notoriety of Sutton�s apprehension. It may also have created greater media attention by rewarding the officers in such a grand manner.

Either way he didn�t question the logic of the powers that be (were). Who would?

Louie Weiner, who is noted in a separate posting on this site, was already a 3rd Grader and was promoted to 2nd Grade. Louie Weiner, the uncle of Howard Safir, never attained the rank of 1st Grade.

Thanks, Al, for all the work!


A forgotten 52-year-old investigative file that details the biggest murder probe ever conducted by the NYPD has recently been found inside a tiny Brooklyn station house, as reported recently by the New York Post.

The glimpse into the city's most infamous unsolved homicide was made by cops in Borough Park's 66th Precinct - headquartered in the smallest of the 76 station houses in the city.

The treasure trove of documents detailed the intricate steps taken by more than 300 detectives to crack the March 8, 1952, assassination of Arnold Schuster, a 24-year-old Borough Park clothing salesman who fingered fugitive bank robber Willie Sutton.

The documents were found in a precinct garage being turned into a locker room, according to Lt. Jack LaTorre. "It was like excavating a tomb in Egypt," he said.

On Feb. 18, 1952, Schuster recognized Sutton, who broke out of a Pennsylvania prison more than five years earlier, followed him off the subway and alerted cops. A short time later, the wily Sutton was in handcuffs.

"We said, 'Let's fingerprint him,' and you could see the blood drain from his head. Then he said, 'You got me!' " recalled Donald Shea, 78, one of the three cops credited with nabbing Sutton. Shea and his two colleagues, both now deceased, won instant promotions. Schuster was less fortunate.
On March 8, 1952, he was hit with a fatal fusillade of four gunshots. Three tore through his head, and a fourth hit his body, according to the autopsy report. He was standing nine doors from his family's Borough Park home.

The task of finding his killer fell to Detective William McKeever, who for several years traveled throughout the country chasing the slimmest of leads. "We did a lot of work," McKeever told The Post from his Merrick, L.I., home.

Within 23 months of the slaying, the case had spawned 1,513 separate criminal investigations and led to the interrogation of 3,977 people, 328 of them known criminals, the case file reveals. Asked if he hoped the case might be closed successfully someday, McKeever quipped, "Hey, I'm 86 years old, so if it happens, it better happen fast. I'm coming into the homestretch."


Did you know that until 1907 the ranks in the NYPD were Patrolman, Roundsman, Sergeant, Captain.

In 1907 the Roundsmen became Sergeants (todays Sgt.) and the Sergeants became Lieutenants (todays rank).


New Service for Reverse Phone Numbers. Click on the web site and then go to their �Starting Points� link.

Another search site of some value.


As noted in some movement around the Boro in a recent posting, the vacancy in the 94 Precinct caused by the movement of DI Theresa Shortell from the 94 to the 6 Precinct, as the C.O., was filled by Captain Michael O�Hara.

Captain O�Hara takes over the 94 Precinct, moving from his most recent command in the Asset Forfeiture Unit of OCCB.

We wish you the best of luck in the jewel of the North!


Friday, October 08, 2004


In a previous posting it was mentioned that Ptl. Donald Shea and his partner were made Detectives for the arrest of Willie Sutton. While there was some question as to their being promoted directly to First Grade, the following information may be of some help.

Ptl. Donald Shea was made a Detective 1st Grade and a remark was made that either the Mayor or the P.C. did not know that Detective grades went from 3rd to 1st and not 1st to 3rd.

What the P.C. did was to follow the words of Willie Sutton, �He robbed banks because that�s where the money was.� The P.C. made the promotion to 1st Grade because that�s where the only meaningful money was in the Detective ranks. Det. 3 was paid the same money as a cop, and a Det. 2nd only received about $200 per year more than a cop, but a 1st Grade Det. made about a $1,000 or more than a cop.

Ret Det1 John Reilly (a true NYPD historian!) notes that while he was not on the job when Willie Sutton was robbing banks and his arrest was made in 1952, his activities effected the department for years. He, as well as other retired MOS I have spoken with (including the Minister�s father) remember bank posts; you got a 7.45 am post change when doing 12 X 8 tours to a bank. The idea was to have a uniform cop stand outside the bank and inspect everyone who was seeking entrance before opening hours. John can remember standing outside a bank at W. 157th St. and Broadway, while there were three bank guards inside the bank, all retired cops from the local Pct. You had to stay there until your relief from the day tour arrived, maybe about 8.30am after he had stopped for coffee

Another incident that is remembered was when a certain Jewish informer and his parents went to the Chief of Detectives office to complain about their son being used as an informer. They did not want him to become a �Schuster� and get killed. Reilly was ordered to discontinue using the informer, but he wanted to continue so we had a big round-up of all the people we had narcotic buy�s on, including the informer.


Do you remember the popular comic strip that ran in the Daily News back from the mid 60�s until 1970, �Pottsy the Cop�?
This comic strip was the creation of Jay Irving, who became a real fan of the New York police because of this image. After completing his studies at Columbia University, Jay Irving worked as a reporter for several newspapers. In the late 1920s, he became a sports cartoonist and created the strip 'Bozo Blimp' for King Features Syndicate. The strip was hardly noticed and Irving went into advertising work for two years. In 1932, Jay Irving joined Collier's Weekly, with which he was to remain for 13 years, doing the weekly panel 'Collier's Cops'. In 1946, Irving created a new comic strip, 'Willie Doodle', for the Herald-Tribune Syndicate. It didn't last long. In 1955, Irving tried his hand at another comic police strip 'Pottsy', for the Tribune-News Syndicate. This strip was run in New York in the Daily News. The popular strip, 'Pottsy the Cop' ran until 1970, when Irving died of a heart attack in his New York Apartment.


Ret Det1 John Reilly notes that he recently attended a reunion of The 1751 Club here in New York City.

This group consists of men and women who were assigned to the Narcotics Bureau in the 1950s and 1960s. The derivation of the clubs name, 1751 Club, comes from the Penal Law in use at the time, with 1751 referring to the narcotics related charges.

The reunion saw about 80 in attendance, but it is sadly noted that every year the numbers go down; at this reunion there were 135 names on the list of past members who have died.

There were some real old timers present, one who was appointed in 1949, and transferred to Narcotics in 1950. When he was asked how many men were in Narcotics in 1950, his reply was 22 and he made it 23. Another former undercover man present was appointed in June 1955, and transferred to Narcotics undercover before the end of 1955. He left the job after 15 years and had a very successful career in the DEA. Another old timer present was Johnny Kai, who for many years the only Chinese detective in the job. He was taken out of the Police Academy and put into undercover, never had a uniform until he had over 5 years in the job.

When John was transferred to Narcotics in September of 1961, there were a total of 130 men and women assigned to the Bureau covering the whole city. When John Reilly went to Narcotics he worked in a group that consisted of 12 men and 2 supervisors. They covered all of the 1st and 2nd Division areas of Manhattan from 42nd Street (east & west) to the Battery. They also had Staten Island, long before the bridge. If we got a investigation in S.I. it was a ferry boat ride to get there. Most of the complaints were Marijuana growing in some field.


A recent posting to this site noted the line of duty death of Det. Philip Curtin, 28 Sqd, on October 2, 1960, with no information available.

It was on October 2, 1960 that Det.Philip Curtin, #1607 of the 28th Squad (temporarily assigned to Detective Boro Manhattan East) died in the line of duty.

Detective Curtin was temporarily assigned to D.B.M.E for duty at the Polish Embassy. On Oct 2, 1960, he was on duty and standing in front of the Embassy at 12 East 66th Street, when he fell backwards from about 3 steps high. He was taken to Roosevelt Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Detective Curtin was 52 years of age, and had 29 years on the job at the time.


Some recent moves within Brooklyn North resulted in the following changes.

We wish the best of luck to Inspector Larry Nikunen on his new assignment with the Intelligence Division. Replacing him at the helm of the 90 Precinct is Capt. John Corbisiero. John has been the XO of the 90 Precinct for a few years, having come through the ranks of Brooklyn North Detectives as a Squad Commander of the 83, Warrants, and a Sergeant in the 81 Squad. Good luck, John, on your new position.

Also moving along is DI Theresa Shortell, who is leaving the 94 Precinct to take over the 6 Precinct. You will also be missed around these parts, Terry. Best of luck to you.


October 9, 1928 Ptl Thomas Wallace, Mcy2, Motorcycle accident on patrol
October 9, 1965 Ptl Philip Shultz, HA-B/SI, Shot-off duty arrest
October 10, 1973 PO George Mead, 42 Pct, Shot-off duty robbery
October 10, 1975 PO Walter Tarpey, MSTF, Auto accident on patrol
October 12, 1946 Ptl George Hunter, 30 Pct, Shot-robbery
October 13, 1968 Ptl David Turman, TPF, Shot-mistaken ID, off duty
October 13, 1970 Ptl Maurice Erben, Harbor, Boat accident
October 13, 1996 PO Brian Jones, PSA4, Shot-off duty dispute
October 15, 1932 Ptl John Fink, 71 Pct, Fire rescue
October 15, 1964 Det James Donegan, 71 Squad, Shot effecting arrest
October 15, 1964 Det Salvatore Potenza, 71 Sqd, Shot effecting arrest
October 15, 1994 PO William Kennedy, Info unavailable

Friday, October 01, 2004

�One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation�

Arthur Ashe


Before the 1898 consolidation of the police departments into Greater New York, there was a station house at 4th Street & Vernon Ave in Long Island City, which became known as the 275th Precinct.

After the consolidation this stationhouse became the 75th Pct., NYCPD. A new station house was built in 1904 for the 75th Pct. at 85 4th St., Hunter's Point. In 1908 a new precinct numbering system was adopted, an all Queens precincts added 200 to their number, so that the 75th Precinct became the 275th Pct.

In 1918, the stationhouse at 85 4th St. became the 109th Pct. In July 1924, it became the 59th Pct. Then in 1929, under the last major change of Pct. numbers the 4th St. SH became the 108th Pct. At some point after 1929 the street address became 5-47 50th Ave, Long Island City. The 108th Precinct stationhouse is the same 1904 building.

The 275th Precinct in Queens covered the area now known as the 108 Precinct. The stationhouse was located at 85 4th Street in Long Island City; 4th Street no longer exists, but would have been near the Midtown Tunnel. From looking at a list of patrol posts, most of the street names seemed to have changed in the area. The "Division of Precinct For Patrol Sergeants" was North and South of Jackson Ave. There were also only 2 Signal Boxes in the precinct, No.1 was located at the entrance to the 34 St Ferry House on Borden Ave and No.2 was at Jackson Ave and Bridge Plaza "on the Shelter". They had 36 patrol posts and 12 school crossings.


Det Donna Torres of MNHS would like to share some intelligence that has been noted by some Florida departments.

An apparent new method to carry large amounts of cash and be undetected by law enforcement may be what are known as �All-Access Debit Cards� (ACE Cards), which can be purchased at just about any check cashing establishment.

By placing proceeds from illegal activity on the cards, they can be carried and then utilized for any purchase that accepts credit cards � gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. No identification is needed to purchase a card; you fill out a form with whatever name you�d like the card issued in. Because it is a debit card, and not a credit card, establishments don�t require ID when using the cards either.

Anyone coming into contact with a person who has in his/her possession debit cards in other names should be aware of the possible uses and intent.


Did you know that America�s most famous gangster � �Scarface� Al Capone � traces his roots to none other than Brooklyn?

Sure, he made his name in Chicago in the 1920�s, but he developed his considerable appetite for cash, silk pajamas, and bloodshed right here in the borough of churches. �I�m no Italian� he liked to boast, �I was born in Brooklyn�.

He punched out his eighth-grade teacher, smoked his first cigar, and even acquired his famous four-inch scar here in Brooklyn.

He liked to brag that he got his scar while fighting overseas in WWI, but the truth is somewhat different. His scar was the handiwork of Frank Gallucio, who slashed Capone with a knife at the old Harvard Inn, a Coney Island dance hall, after he said something less than charming about Frankie�s sister. Capone held many grudges, but none toward Frankie. After he moved to Chicago, Al hired him as his driver at $100 a week.

As an eight year old he and his family moved into 38 Garfield Place, in Park Slope, in 1907. They paid four dollars a month rent. Later, as he was growing up, he worked as a clerk in a candy store at 305 5th Ave in Brooklyn, and liked to frequent the pool hall at 20 Garfield Place most nights.

In 1919 he became a suspect in a murder and fled to Chicago. Before leaving he married Mae Coughlin, who came from 117 Third Place, in the St. Mary Star of the Sea Church on Court Street. Once in Chicago, he became famous for ordering the St Valentine�s Day Massacre, for feeding three traitors a sumptuous feast before bashing their heads in with a baseball bat, and for finally being sent to prison for income tax evasion in 1931. He was Public Enemy No. 1, but considering that he fed an entire city booze during Prohibition, no one was surprised that when he went to Comiskey Park for a White Sox game, the fans gave him a standing ovation.


The 1940 edition of the department�s Manual of Procedure makes several interesting notes on being a detective.

Among those are that �What is desired at the scene of a homicide is a dominating mind, exemplified by the Commanding Officer present.�

�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. Take nothing for granted � investigate and be convinced. A good detective is always more or less suspicious and very inquisitive�.

Who can argue with this wisdom? It may be over 60 years old, but certainly still as appropriate as ever.


This link has many popular investigator directory listings on the web, and is worth taking a look at.

Need information?

Take a look at the Encyclopedia Britannica web site. Just like the twenty-book set, but it fits in your web browser.

Need help with a word or two? Try the Merriam-Webster Online site: Perhaps the best on-line dictionary available.


...To a real friend of all those in Brooklyn North, MICHAEL GABRIEL, who has returned from a short stint of �retirement� with the Library Police. Mike is now the XO of Bronx Detectives.

To all those in the Bronx, you�re getting a great man! Welcome back, Mike.


Have you followed the recent story in the news, about the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens who now goes by the name of Yusuf Islam, who was sent back to England while on a recent flight headed to Washington D.C.?

It seems he is on the Terrorist Watch List that the Homeland Security Agency manages. He is believed to have given money to organizations that support terrorist groups or terrorist individuals.

Am I the only one who finds the most troubling aspect of this entire scenario to be the following? A Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security, Asa Hutchinson, stated that �Right now, under the rules in place (Homeland Security) gets the information 15 minutes after the plane takes off�.

Does that sound ridiculous? Fifteen minutes after the plane takes off, the list is forwarded to Homeland Security? Why not fifteen minutes BEFORE it takes off?

This is more than a just a flaw in the system � it�s indicative of an entire breakdown. I urge you to write to your Senator, Congressman, and anyone else who will listen.


Did you know there was a UF 17 Lamp Outage?

This referred to street lights that were not working. Patrol officers were expected to, while walking a beat, make note of the street lamps that were burnt out and complete a UF17 card.


Some classic excerpts from Mickey Spillane�s Mike Hammer novels, those hard-biting detective stories�

" The cops aren't exactly dumb, you know. We can get our own answers."

" Don't worry, I don't underrate the cops. But cops can't break a guy's arm to make him talk, and they can't shove his teeth in with the muzzle of a .45 to remind him that you aren't fooling. I do my own leg work, and there are a lot of guys who will tell me what I want to know because they know what I'll do to them if they don't. My staff is strictly ex officio, but very practical."


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
October 7, 1968 Ptl John Varecha, 18 Pct, Shot-investigation
October 7, 1989 PO William Chisolm, 45 Pct, Shot-off duty incident
October 8, 1928 Ptl William Stoeffel, 4 Pct, auto accident on patrol
October 8, 1956 Det William Christmas, 92 Sqd, Shot-off duty incident
October 8, 1966 Ptl James Cosgrove, Mcy4(Hwy3), Auto accident on patrol
October 8, 1993 PO John Williamson, HA-PSA6, head injury-bucket from roof