Thursday, October 13, 2005


The following information is provided thanks to Retired Sgt. Michael Bosak, and provides a very interesting picture of the Yankees history.


�For the longest time, any official N.Y. Yankees reference to their history began with the purchase of the N.Y. Yankees by Colonels Tillinghast L�Hommediu Huston and Jacob Rupert, for the sum of $460,000 in January of 1915. The Yankees have never mentioned the significant influence that the NYPD and Chief of Police William S. Devery have had on Yankee tradition.

Many articles have appeared in various N.Y.C. newspapers, touting a history dating back to 1903, and proclaiming 2003 as the 100 Year Anniversary of the New York Yankees. And we�ll have to go back even farther, to January of 1877 to get an even truer picture of Yankee tradition.

But let�s not get ahead of ourselves. We�ll start with the original purchase of the American League Baltimore ball club. On January 9, 1903, Tammany Democrat leader, Frank Farrell, and NYPD retired �Chief of Police� and former First Deputy Police Commissioner, William �Big Bill� Devery, purchased the defunct and bankrupt Baltimore American League franchise for the measly sum of $18,000.

Being two of the most powerful Tammany politicians in New York City at this time, approval for any and all NYC permits for a professional ball club and park was a foregone conclusion. Franchise approval by the American League was granted on March 12, 1903, and construction on an all-wood ballpark was started at 168th Street and Broadway on the grounds of what is now Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. Because the ballpark was constructed on one of the highest spots in Manhattan, Farrell and Devery named it �Hilltop Park� and called the team the �N.Y. Highlanders.�

However, during the 1905 baseball season, the name "Yankees" began to appear in many newspapers. And by the time Devery and Farrell moved the ball club from decaying Hilltop Park to the Polo Grounds in 1913, the club�s official name had been changed to the now commonly used "New York Yankees."

The interlocking "NY" made its first appearance on the uniforms of the New York Yankees in 1909 at the bequest of �Big Bill� Devery. The design actually comes from the Patrolman John McDowell Medal or, as �Boss� George Steinbrenner would later name it, �The Thurmon Munson Yankees� Captain�s Medal of Valor.�

Louis B. Tiffany created the original silver medal in 1877 for Ptl. John McDowell, who had been shot early in the morning on January 8, 1877. Today, the original silver medal, having been mistakenly bronzed by the Department, can be seen at the Police Museum�.


NOTE: The following information is also copyrighted by Retired Sgt Michael Bosak, and is provided here as a great historical anecdote from the NYPD files.

�On January 8, 1877, at 2:45 AM in the morning, a burglar by the name of George, a/k/a James, Flint, an Irishman, along with two other burglars (who were not apprehended), came in through the skylight of Bernard Courtney�s Saloon, located at 315 7th Avenue with the intention of stealing whatever they could.

Patrolman John McDowell and Detective Max Schmittberger, along with Capt. Alexander �Clubber� Williams, were all in civilian clothes and had been drinking heavily. In all probability, McDowell and Schmittberger, as the 29th Precinct�s detectives, were Captain Williams� bagmen.

According to sworn testimony given in court, all three had passed out from drink and were sleeping in various positions in the saloon, when the burglars came in thru the skylight. When McDowell came to, he realized what was going on and he began to struggle with the skells. In the struggle, McDowell was shot behind his left ear by a ball fired from a black powder flintlock pistol. He survived his injuries and helped make the arrest.

He was awarded the silver medal in question for his efforts. A few years later, McDowell retired as a �Roundsman� from the 22nd Precinct. (Today�s Midtown North Pct.) to work security in the Federal Reserve Bank�s Sub Treasury in lower Manhattan.

Max Schmittberger would later be caught taking a bribe of $500 from the French Steamship Company. He then rolled over, and in sworn testimony in front of the Lexow Commission, admitted to being �Clubber�s� bagman and running a pad for him. This sworn testimony caused many police officers to lose their jobs and go to jail. Because of his testimony, Teddy Roosevelt, then President of the Board of Police Commissioners pardoned Schmittberger. Catching religion, he went on to hold the position of what today is titled �Chief of Department�.

Alexander �Clubber� William was promoted to Inspector, and as X.O. to Superintendent of Police Thomas Byrnes, he retired as second in command of the NYPD. When given command of the 29th Precinct in Manhattan, he coined the name �The Tenderloin� for this area of over 3,000 French and Irish prostitutes and more than 300 after-hour bars and illegal saloons. Later, he and �Big Bill� Devery went on to become close and longtime personal friends�.


I noted some duties that were designated in the 1956 Department Manual of Procedure, pertaining to Homicide cases, that I found of interest.

It is noted that, at a homicide crime scene, the department photographer will respond to take photos of the deceased, the scene, etc.

Also, the photographer is responsible to take the fingerprints of the victim, while still at the scene, as well as the fingerprints of any other people that may have had access to the location that the victim is found at. There was no waiting for the body to be taken to the morgue � fingerprints taken right there.

Also, at homicide scenes, the ranking Detective MOS at the scene would �dictate to the stenographer from the homicide squad, a detailed description of the surroundings, layout of the premises, description of the body��

I was just wondering: whatever happened to this stenographer? Couldn�t you use one at your crime scene today? Try and get someone else you work with to take notes for you, and see how far that goes.


A device has recently been developed that reads SIM cards from mobile phones.

This will certainly be something we�d like to see TARU get access to.

The new program can recall all deleted messages in the card. As long as there is memory available, the program will show what is in the card. The information can be copied to a spreadsheet for future reports and analysis.

Some police agencies have already started using the device, which originated in Europe.

Sound interesting? You can check the company�s web site at:

Or you can e-mail them direct at:


Here�s some more information on the location of old Brooklyn Police precincts, continued from a previous posting to this site.
In 1887, the Brooklyn Population was estimated as 765,000, and the police force consisted of 930.

Location of Brooklyn Police Station Houses 1887.
Pct: Location:
1st Adams St. near Myrtle Ave. (1st floor of Police Court House.)
2nd York & Jay Sts.
3rd Butler St. just off Court St.
4th Corner of Myrtle & Vanderbilt Aves.
(One of oldest S.H. in Brooklyn, was 44th Pct. in Metro. P.D.)
5th Corner of North 1st St. & Bedford Ave. This was a 3 story brick building, built 1859/1860 by Cornelius Woglon- a carpenter, who later joined the Brooklyn P.D. and was Captain of this Precinct.
6th S/E corner of Stagg St. & Bushwick Ave. This building was erected about 1860 for a court house.
6th-Sub. Graham Ave., between Frost & Richardson Sts.
7th Corner Greenpoint & Manhattan Aves.
8th Corner 5th Ave. & 16th St.
8th-Sub. 3rd Ave. near corner of 35th St.
9th Near corner of Gates & Marcy Aves.
10th N/W corner of Bergen St. & 6th Ave. (Red Hook)
11th Corner of Van Brunt & Seabring Sts. This was built as a 4 story brick dwelling house, made into a S.H. on April 19, 1876.
12th South side of Fulton St., just above Schenectady Ave.
13th Bartlett St. & Flushing Ave.
14th No location given. This was an old 2 story wooden building: In July 1887, a new S.H. at 16 Ralph Ave. was opened.
15th Congress St. near Columbia St.
16th Clymer St. near Kent Ave. This was built as a tenement house, later became the 5th-Sub. Pct. S.H; then became 16th Pct. S.H. July 15, 1885.)
17th Bradford St. near Atlantic Ave., New Lots. This was a 2 story brick building, and was originally occupied by the New Lots Police Department on Dec. 11, 1873. On Aug. 1, 1886, the New Lots Police Department was annexed (merged in today�s term) to the Brooklyn Police Department, and became the 26th Ward; the S.H. became 17th Pct.


Some more from the files of �truth is stranger than fiction�.

A story reported recently in news sources � and documented as a true story � takes place in California.

I�m sure some of our boaters will get a real kick out of this; something Steve Stemmler or Mike McWilliams can certainly relate to � those crazy new boat owners!

It seems that down on Lake Isabella, located in the high desert, an hour east of Bakersfield, CA, some folks, new to boating, were having a problem. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get their brand new 22 foot boat, going.

It was very sluggish in almost every maneuver, no matter how much power they applied. After about an hour of trying to make it go, they putted into a nearby marina, thinking someone there may be able to tell them what was wrong.

A thorough topside check revealed everything in perfect working condition. The engine ran fine, the out-drive went up and down, and the propeller was the correct size and pitch.

So, one of the marina guys jumped in the water to check underneath. He came up choking on water, he was laughing so hard.(Now, remember...THIS IS TRUE.)

Under the boat, still strapped securely in place, was the trailer!


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
October 17, 1989 PO Anthony Dwyer, MTS, Pushed from roof, burglary
October 18, 1938 Ptl Martin Hanke, 68 Pct, Shot-accidental
October 18, 1988 PO Christopher Hoban, MN Narco, Shot-warrant execution
October 18, 1988 PO Michael Buczek, 34 Pct, Shot-Investigation
October 18, 1996 Lt Federico Narvaez, 70 Pct, Shot-Investigation
October 19, 1929 Ptl Charles Saver, 76 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
October 20, 1967 Ptl James Dandridge, 32 Pct, Shot:Accidental by MOS


I omitted the entry of these two Detectives, from the 67 Squad, who gave their lives on September 10, 2004 effecting an arrest.

I apologize to all, and ask that you keep their families in your prayers. May they rest in peace.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I came across an old newspaper article from June 18, 1966, from the New York Herald-Tribune, that had some interesting NYPD information.

Titled �The City�s Toughest Cop�, it discussed Detective Johnny Broderick, and a time in New York City that will be quite foreign to today�s officers.

I am including it for its information. I found it interesting, and sure that many of you will too. As with much in history, understanding your past is helpful in understanding how you got to where you are.

�Even the fat dictionary doesn't have such a word, but for a 20 year period until 1947, a common expression heard around town, especially in and around the Times Square area was "To Broderick".

It meant to " rough Up, clout, belt, clobber." And the underworld coined it in grudging respect for a bulldog faced cop who rarely used his service revolver, preferring to go in with his fists. While there have been apocryphal stories about Johnny Broderick, who signed his name John J., it is a hard fact that his knuckles were so badly bent from banging the heads of bad guys that Bellevue Hospital once used him as a live exhibit to show what the human fist can endure.

Johnny Broderick who died in 1966 (this article was an obituary to Broderick) would be miserable in today's Police Force. He retired as a first grade Detective in 1947 after more than 24 years on the job.

In all probability, he'd be pelted with constant criticism from groups accusing him of brutality--and in all likelihood he would have quit.

His view was "Legalismo is a lot of bunk". For instance, he once walked into a cafeteria looking for a murder suspect. He saw him. The man identified himself, as requested. Johnny picked up a fully loaded sugar bowl and knocked the suspect cold. As Johnny picked him up off the marble floor, the detective pulled a loaded .38 Caliber revolver out of the man�s pocket. "Case closed." said Johnny.

Fellow officers regarded him as brave, all right, but also fierce and foolish. Along Duffy Square, "Broadway Rose" and bookies were laying 9 to 5 that their pal Johnny would be knocked off any day, in all probability by the likes of Jack (Legs) Diamond; the notorious Legs Diamond was one of the many hoodlums whom Johnny Broderick whacked on the chin, picked up and dumped into an ash can head first, legs flopping.

But Johnny fooled them all. He died of natural causes in the bucolic surroundings of his home in Middletown, on his 70th birthday. Surviving are his wife, a daughter 3 sisters and a brother.

To the end, he kept in touch with his New York, which he found distasteful in recent years. He felt that fists and nightsticks would clean up the town.

Young Broderick was born in the old East-side Gashouse District, which now house Stuyvesant Town. His father died when Johnny was 12, and he went to work driving a truck to support his mother. As a member of the Teamsters Union he somehow met Samuel Gompers, president of the AFL, at a convention and Gompers took a fancy to the husky youth, and made him a bodyguard.

After serving in the Navy during WW1, where he excelled as a boxer, he spent nine months as a fireman. He then, in 1922, found the firematic career tame and donned a Police uniform in January 1923. With the right connections, he was a First Grade Detective within 5 years. He soon became the best known officer on the force.

He worked out of the so called "Main Office Squad" which meant he could go anywhere he pleased. He liked Midtown, where he became as much of a part of the scenery as Madison Square Garden, The Palace, and Lindy's. Inevitably he became the bosom buddy of the greats of the fight game, especially of Jack Dempsey, who once reportedly remarked, "I'd take Johnny on in the ring under Marquis of Queensbury rules--but not in an alley."

The cop with the thin lips and full round face stood only 5' 9" and weighed 175 but he had a mania for physical fitness and worked out almost every day at Stillman�s gym. He shunned tobacco and booze.

It was Johnny Broderick who in 1931, went in and pulled James (two gun ) Crowley out of a West Side building after hundreds of fellow cops laid down a siege and tried to smoke him out. By then, Johnny's knuckles were beginning to ache, so he developed the method of grabbing the tie-wearing gangsters by the knot and twisting until the felon fell back, almost choked to death.

In 1926 three inmates escaped killing the warden and a keeper. Scores of police surrounded the prison. Johnny got there late. He picked up the top of an ash can, weaved his way into the Tombs courtyard, crawled on his belly to where the three convicts were hiding behind a coal bin. He had emptied his revolver by the time he got to where he found them dead. The apocryphal story is that Johnny killed them. He did not-they had committed suicide, possibly because they saw him coming.

He knew all the big-time rum runners-and they knew him. As long as they behaved themselves, they were not Brodericked. Old timers along Times Square recall how Johnny picked up three punks who were misbehaving in a restaurant and threw them through the plate glass window- and charged them with the breakage.

It was amazing too, to see hoodlums slink out of eating places when he came sauntering in with his tight, custom tailored light-weight suit, wearing monogrammed shirts, handkerchiefs and underwear.

Oh there were times when he got his lumps. Before he made detective a thug he had once beaten up telephoned and invited him to have it out. Johnny showed up -and walked into a room loaded with 16 gangsters. He broke a few noses before he emerged-bloody but in one piece, and he hung around until reinforcements came, when he got back at the thug that had invited him.

Besides the Main Office Squad, he was at times assigned to other squads known as the Broadway Squad, Strong-arm Squad and the Industrial Squad. On occasion he served as body guard for Dempsey and Queen Marie of Romania, and he was really honored when in 1936 President Roosevelt specifically asked that Johnny Broderick be close to him on his New York visit.

He had detective partners who made names for themselves too, such as the famed Johnny Cordes.

Johnny Broderick was busted from first grade detective to patrolman, back to uniform, in 1934, during the LaGuardia regime. In a few months, though, he was a detective again driving around in his Cadillac.

In 1949, two years after retiring he took a fling at politics seeking the Democratic leadership of the Times Square area. He got clobbered but Hollywood paid him in excess of $100,000 to do his life story the film being called "Bullets for Ballots" which, inevitably, Edward G. Robinson played the part of the one man anti-crime force.

He vehemently denied that he quit the Police Force under pressure to avoid a scandal. His political foes so charged, saying he had been forced to retire because he had accompanied underworld figures to places such as Hot Springs for the Baths.

The detective who had won eight citations, always cringed when he heard this story: That Johnny Broderick walked into a funeral parlor where a Hudson Duster gangster was laid out and spit in the thugs eye. �I Brodericked him when he was alive," Johnny would say, "But it's against my religion to do anything like that to the dead."

He had a sense of humor and would tell stories on himself:

"One day I was in a detective squad and I started to ride a rookie cop; he told me to cut it out, but I refused. We went at it right there in the squad room. He knocked me out. When he learned who he had done this to, the rookie fainted. He didn't know that I was THE "tough " Johnny Broderick".


With a thank-you to Ret Det1 John Reilly, here�s a listing of old Brooklyn police precinct�s that you may find of interest. Initially police by the Metropolitan Police Department, the following is a breakdown of the Brooklyn Precinct�s along with their manpower.

METROLITAN Police Department:
Brooklyn Police Station Houses- 1868.
Pct: Strength: Location:
41st 47 Washington St. near Johnson.
42nd 41 York & Jay Sts.
43rd 56 Butler
44th 51 Myrtle Ave. corner Vanderbilt Ave.
45th 55 North 1st St. corner 4th St.
46th 46 Wyckoff St. near Ewen St.
47th 24 Franklin St. corner Union Ave.
48th 27 19th St. & 4th Ave. (Gowanus)
49th 39 Fulton & Bedford Aves. Later this Pct. moved to a new S.H. at Gates & Marcy Aves, becoming the 9th Pct. of the Brooklyn Police Department. (Later, the 79 Pct!)
50th 27 Flatbush Ave. near 5th Ave.

A more �intense� google-search system. Try it out!


Surveillance during inclement weather can create a host of problems for the investigator.

Keeping your windows clear, if your surveillance is inside a car, is certainly problematic. Try this next time.

Keep your vehicle windows fog-free by smearing a light coat of shaving cream on the interior of each window. Wipe it away with toilet tissue or paper towels and buff out the streaks. Do the same thing with eyeglasses, camera lenses, etc.

In addition, a wax coat on the outside of car windows also precludes moisture runs and allows quick wipes.


You�ve probably used it countless of times. �Check the address in NADDIS�, or �Run the name through NADDIS�.

This was a common check conducted on shootings and homicides, especially when there was a suspected drug connection.

HIDTA was the source for the info in the past; now we run the records via the Real Time Crime Center.

What is NADDIS?

It stands for the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Information System. A centralized automated file of summaries of reports on subjects of interest to DEA, consisting of over 3,500,000 individuals, businesses, vessels and selected airfields identified through the DEA investigative reporting system, and related investigative records. It probably goes back to the agency which preceded the DEA, which was then known as the BNDD � Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.


Here are some more from the files of the moronic.

Are we communicating?

A man spoke frantically into the phone. "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!""Is this her first child?" the doctor asked. "No," the man shouted, "This is her husband!"

Certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed.

In Modesto, CA, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun.

Unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.


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 6, 1864 Ptl Charles Curren, 42 Pct Brooklyn, shot during arrest
October 7, 1968 Ptl John Varecha, 18 Pct, Shot-investigation
October 7, 1989 PO William Chisolm, 45 Pct, Shot-off duty incident
October 8, 1900 Ptl Charles Horn, 58 Pct Brooklyn, Stabbed
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
October 9, 1866 Ptl John Hipwell, 45 Pct Brooklyn, Shot,burglary
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