Friday, March 23, 2007


Here’s an interesting story by Mike Bosak that sheds some light on the history of policing New York City’s parks.

NYPD Forgotten History: The New York City and the City of Brooklyn Park PolicePrior to the consolidation of NYC in 1898, both Brooklyn and New York had their own park police with all the lawful police powers and responsibilities of the regular police.

They also had pay parity with their city's police.

New York and Brooklyn 's police departments responsibility for policing its respective city parks stopped at the park line and the park police had their own police station houses.For example: The NYC Park Police had two station houses in Central Park and two in Pelham Bay Park. Bronx Park and Van Cortland Park each had their own police station house. Even Riverside Park once had its own precinct and station house. Brooklyn was the same.After consolidation, their city's park police departments became part of the NYPD. One example would be today's 52 Pct., who owes its origin to the Park Police precinct that worked out of the old Lorillard Mansion in Botanical Gardens.One last thing - the author obviously didn't do his research on Flushing Meadow Park.

Flushing Meadow Park was the home to two World's Fairs and its own police sub-station and NYPD detail to police the park. Later on the building became the headquarters for S.O.D., the Tactical Patrol Force, and Auto Crime. Hundred of cops worked out thebuilding with scores constantly coming or going at all hours of the day and night.

When the tennis center was expanded in the late 80's, the police station was torn down and all the units moved on to the locations that they areat now.


Regular readers will recall me relating fond stories about the “Police Camp” on past postings to this site. This was a really great place for cops families to spend a week’s vacation in the mountains, and anyone who attended will surely have great stories to tell.

I came across this story on, that are some fond memories of the Camp from Ret. Det Joseph Gannon.

Check it out – I’m sure you’ll agree.

ONLY IN THE 79: 1967

An entry found in the October 1967 edition of SPRING 3100, under the 79 Pct.’s report, is deserving of mention here.

It notes that Ptl. Mirabito and O’Hara made a nice Grand Larceny arrest – G.L. of a Fire Truck.

“When a male attempted to drive off with a Hook & Ladder with ladder extended with a fireman on it”.


Allan Pinkerton emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1842, when he was 23 years old; he soon settled in the town of Dundee, northwest of Chicago.

By the beginning of the 1850s, Pinkerton and a partner had established the North-Western Police Agency, which had its offices at Washington and Dearborn Streets in Chicago.

One of the first private detective agencies in the United States, this company worked for the Illinois Central and other railroads. By late 1850s, Pinkerton employed 15 operatives.

During the Civil War, the company provided intelligence to the Northern armies.

After the war, promoting itself with the slogan “we never sleep,” the company opened offices in New York City and Philadelphia.

Much of its business came from banks and express companies, who wanted to deter robberies. Starting in the 1870s, Pinkerton detectives also began to work for industrial companies as spies and strikebreakers, and they quickly became despised by American labor.

The company's most infamous strike-busting operation came in 1892, when 300 Pinkerton employees fought with workers at the Homestead, Pennsylvania, steel plant owned by Andrew Carnegie. When the two sides exchanged gunfire, nine strikers and seven Pinkerton agents were killed.

By the time Allan Pinkerton died in 1884, his sons William and Robert Pinkerton were leading the company, which had about 2,000 full-time employees and several thousand “reservists.” During the 1920s, annual revenues approached $2 million. In 1937, Robert Pinkerton II, a great-grandson of the founder, ended the firm's antiunion operations.

By the late 1960s, just after the name of the enterprise became Pinkerton's Inc. and the corporate headquarters moved to California, it had 70 branch offices (including central offices in Chicago and New York), about $75 million in annual revenues, and some 13,000 full-time employees worldwide. In the mid-1970s, the company had about 800 employees in the Chicago area. By the end of the century, the enterprise founded a century and a half earlier had become a subsidiary of a large Swedish corporation called Securitas.


The name Clifton Wooldridge means little to people today, but to Chicagoans and Chicago criminals, he was notorious.

Wooldridge, a former police officer was described at the time as "the incorruptible Sherlock Holmes of America," and he was on a mission to save Chicago from itself.

He considered Chicago the "wickedest city in the world."

It certainly had the right ingredients.

Chicago was seen as the land of opportunity, or at least the gateway to it. People passed through on their way to homesteading further west, the railroad brought folks to the city, in the hopes they would find one of the many possible jobs in this burgeoning city. It became a hotbed for vice and corruption.

As a police officer on the beat, Wooldridge saw what was happening. He battled everything: quack doctors, prostitution, gambling, investment swindles, insurance scams, fake banks, clairvoyants and marriage agencies. He associated with the down and out and the richest of the rich. Apparently he would stop at little to learn the ways of the criminal. Wooldridge was adept at disguising himself, and would dress for the part, whether it meant posing as a rube in from the country or even donning black face.

In 1906, after 20 years on the police force, he proudly proclaimed a record of 19,500 arrests, with 3,200 criminals locked up, 6,000 people paid fines, 100 girls rescued from prostitution, $100,000 worth of property recovered, and 100 marriage bureaus closed.

He wrote numerous books detailing crimes he'd witnessed in the sincere hope of preventing further victims. Titles included: Hands Up! In the World of Crime," and "The Devil and The Grafter and How They Work Together to Deceive, Swindle and Destroy Mankind."

Wooldridge was a man on a mission, intent on stopping further people from falling prey to thieves.

He wrote a list of tips called "Detective Clifton R. Wooldridge's 'Never-Fail' System for Detecting and Outwitting All Classes of Grafters and Swindlers."

Some of his tips included:

"When a man tries to hurry you into spending your money put it back in your pocket and keep your hand on it."

"If the promoter could do one-half of what he claims he would not need your money, but soon would be rich beyond the dreams of avarice."

"Industry, energy, thrift! These are the dice that win."

While his books read like the pulp fiction popular at the time, they also provide an unparalleled look into the criminal underworld of Chicago


The following has come to my attention, and perhaps you can contribute some assistance.

A group of people are trying to get a law passed regarding repeat-offenders that may be of value.

The law concerns a recidivist offender, who is convicted of a designated amount of misdemeanor offenses, would have subsequent offenses handled in a more serious manner.

Please check out this web site,

which will provide all of the information about the proposed law and available resources for people to show their support.

“It is not how they died that makes them a hero, but how they lived their lives”.

March 22, 1932 Ptl George Myers, Line of duty injury
March 23, 1986 PO James Holmes, PSA3, Shot-off duty robbery
March 26, 1949 Ptl Anthony Oetheimer, 114 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
March 26, 1992 PO Joseph Alcamo, 100 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
March 27, 1921 Ptl Joseph Connelly, 10 Div, Shot-investigation
March 27, 1944 Ptl Arthur Eggers, Traffic C, Auto accident on patrol
March 28, 1922 Ptl James Baker, 83 Pct, Motorcycle accident
March 31, 1914 Ptl Thomas Wynn, 155 Pct, Arrest-robbery
March 31, 2002 Det Jamie Betancourt, BxNarco, Stabbed- o/d dispute
April 2, 1880 Ptl James Stone, 3 Pct Brooklyn PD, Assaulted – struck by brick
April 2, 1914 Det Joseph Guarneri, DetDiv, Shot-arrest
April 2, 1930 Ptl Thomas Harnett, 13 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
April 2, 1978 PO Christie Massone and PO Norman Cerullo, 79 Pct, Shot-car stop
April 3, 1953 Ptl John Pendegrass, 32 Pct, Shot-robbery
April 3, 1972 Ptl Phillip Cardillo, 28 Pct, Shot-investigation
April 4, 1947 Ptl Jack Chason, 79 Pct, Shot-robbery
April 5, 1926 Ptl Charles Reilly, 13 Pct, Shot-Robbery arrest
April 5, 1952 Insp Thomas Boylan, Airplane struck auto
April 6, 1937 Ptl Daniel Sullivan, Mcy Unit, motorcycle accident
April 6, 1953 Ptl Sam Katz, 32 Pct, Shot-investigation
April 6, 1955 Ptl John Conlon, 28 Pct, Injuries sustained on patrol
April 10, 1937 Det Michael Foley, 9 Sq, Shot-robbery arrest
April 10, 1950 Ptl Louis Balzano, line of duty incident
April 10, 1960 Ptl Vito Valenzano, 20 Pct, LOD heart attack

Remember to check out – and bookmark – NYPDAngels web site: