Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Regarding the 1 year lapse of postings on this site, a common comment among some friends has been, “for such a buff, how could you just stop writing about this cop stuff”?

Without going into a deep dissertation, which no one really wants to hear, I guess I can sum it up best as follows. And, really, without realizing it until I started writing again, this is probably the best way to put it.

I let the calculators take over.

What am I talking about?

Previously on this site I have mentioned my analogy of the composition of this department, as being made up of either “handcuffs”, or “calculators”. Let me explain further.

There are two types of people in this department. Handcuffs, or calculators.

The handcuffs are those that are out in the field, fighting crime. “Locking up bad guys”, as I like to put it. The handcuffs work all crazy hours, they often work weekends and holidays; they get used to eating Chinese food out of a container at 1:00 in the morning when their only choices are pizza, Chinese, or cuchifritos. Then they wonder why they can’t seem to lose those last 10 pounds they’ve been trying so hard to shed. Handcuffs fight the fight, they walk the walk, and they are the reason why politicians can take credit for falling crime rates, rising tourism rates, and every other measure of success that they never get any credit for themselves. The handcuffs get dirty, they get their shoes ruined in the rain, they stand in mud over dead bodies. They walk through burned out tenements with dead bodies inside it while others are safe, warm and fed inside their heated buildings attending celebratory services.

You get the picture. The cop on patrol, the detective in the squad room – the handcuffs.

Then there are the calculators.

The calculators are those that wear the badge of the street fighter, but manage to keep themselves actually out of the nuts and bolts, the dirty work part of the organization. The calculators review your forms (prepared in quadruplicate, typewritten, buff copy filed…) and send them back to you when you forgot to check off a box on Line J of a 4 page document. The calculators crunch the numbers, they carry the checklist and they make sure you dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. The calculators sit in offices and make plans that will be carried out by the handcuffs, then manage to take the credit for the performance of the handcuffs work. Calculators walk into your office and find fault when you missed one step of a 4 step process to document a single task. Calculators have the time to read and memorize all of the details in directives, and can be sure to point out to you which steps you missed, whether or not it has any bearing on the actual task at hand.

The calculators forget that the mission of the organization is putting handcuffs on the right people, and believe that the “proper performance of a task is more important than the performance of the objective”.

You get the idea. Calculators.

The problem becomes when the calculators outnumber the handcuffs. If this is combined with the delegation that the calculators also wield more power, then we are really in trouble.

Now not all of this is so cut and dry. There are in fact some gray areas.

There are many calculators that were at one time handcuffs. They have crossed over the line, though they refuse to admit as much. They can go either way – they can act as handcuffs at times, before regressing into the calculator role, and as such can be helpful to the pure of either side.

All calculators, or all handcuffs, are not a good fit either. A combination is necessary.

That’s where the formula comes in.

I was always pretty good at math, though I was never of the mathematical mind of Kenny Sanzel, who has risen to stardom with a television show that uses mathematics to solve crimes. Again, that’s a whole other story. But my math skills were always pretty much above average (yet it was to journalism and English that Columbia looked to me).

Here’s what I have come up with.

H + H = +/- X

H + C = (+) X

C + C = - X

C + C = + Y

Where H = Handcuffs; C = Calculators; and X = the value toward crime reduction

Handcuffs + handcuffs can very often produce a positive crime reduction, but could be in danger of turning into a negative factor if combined too highly.

Calculators + calculators will always produce a negative number where X is crime reduction. However, when calculators are added to other calculators, they always produce a positive number Y when Y is the factor of bureaucratic paper shuffling and mind boggling decisions that have no logical basis.

There is also a danger factor.

Calculators produce a high level of danger when they believe that the work they do is much more important than any task the handcuffs perform. Two combined high-danger calculators are all that is needed to drive an operation into infinity, where infinity is the certain void of no return from outer space.

For handcuffs, the secret of success is to never, ever let the calculators get the best of you. Don't ever let them get you down, because when the handcuffs are down, then the calculators have won.

For a brief period of time, I guess I let the calculators get the best of me. Well, not any more.

Take a look around, surely you can spot the two.


Compstat is the process where the organization tries to remind the large sum of its parts what its stated mission is – reduction of crime.

It is in this process that the handcuffs and the calculators must get together, on the playing field so to speak, to produce a positive result.

Hence, it is in Compstat that the true measure of the formula:

H + C = (+) X and also that H + C = (+) Y

And very often, for about 90 minutes on a Thursday morning in New York City, the “C”s and the “H”s share a common bond of agreement, success in many ways.

When performed properly, you can achieve

H + C = 1 and even H = C

And for those approximately 90 minutes on a given Thursday, this formula will ring true.

How long it lasts depends on how long it takes for the calculators to remember that they have more positive power than the handcuffs.

This, my friend, is a sure sign that I had way too much time on my hands this morning, and should have finished my Salman Rushdie book instead.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

“A friend will help you move. A real friend will help you move the body”


Thanks once again to (Ret) Sgt Mike Bosak, a true department historian, for putting together this information on the department’s Medal of Honor.

The department did not award its first Medal of Honor until May 18, 1912 and it was awarded to Acting Detective Sergeant (today's rank of detective) Charles S. Carrao, Italian Squad for police action performed on the morning of September 15, 1911.

The 'Italian Squad' worked out of Police Headquarters, 240 Centre Street and worked primarily on the 'Black Hand', an organized crime entity that preyed mostly on recently arrived Italian immigrants.

Detective Carrao confronted a "Black Hand" extortionist, who had just lit the fuse on an explosive device in the hallway of a tenement house located at 356 East 13th Street.

Carrao then extinguished the fuse; gave chase, where shots were exchanged with the perp, and personally affected the arrest. This Black Hand extortionist had just four hours earlier ignited another bomb at 314 East 12th Street, causing extensive damage.

According to former Detective 1st Grade John Reilly (Now Deceased), this first NYPD "Medal of Honor" was designed by Tiffany & Co. and it was originally referred to as the "Department Medal."

NYPD General Order # 19, dated April 22, 1915, authority of Police Commissioner Arthur Woods changed the name of this medal from the "Department Medal" to the "Department Medal of Honor."

New York City had it first police "Medal Day" on Saturday, May 26, 1855 in City Hall Park, when the "NYC Municipal Police Department" gave out seven (7) silver medals. "Chief of Police" George Matsell and Mayor Fernando Wood awarded six (6) of the solid silver medals for heroism and good arrests and one (1) silver medal for "meritorious service."

The first medal given out by the NYPD was awarded on August 17, 1871 and was for given for quote, unquote “meritorious conduct.”

It was awarded to Patrolman Bernard Tully of the 19 Precinct (today's 17th Precinct) for the arrest of a burglar with one shot fired. And that was the only medal that the NYPD awarded in 1871.


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.

John Cordes is the ONLY member of the department to have ever been awarded the Medal of Honor on multiple occasions, and to have lived to receive the second award!

Appointed to the department in 1915, he spent over 35 years with the department, and retired as the Lieutenant- Squad Commander of the Riverfront Squad on January 1, 1950.

(More on John Cordes on later postings; or you can check on prior postings to this site by searching this blog).

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.


I have often wondered why we do not, as an organization, teach our new recruits in the Police Academy about some of this heroic department history.

How many Police Officer’s graduating from the Police Academy are aware that there are only 3 department members ever awarded the Medal Of Honor on multiple occasions? Why isn’t the name John Cordes imbedded in these same graduates?

The way the Marines teaches its recruits about its historic past – in fact, they are quizzed and can recite it in their sleep – this department should consider teaching some of this to our new recruits. Let’s try to instill a sense of pride in the young, for the deeds of the past.

This department is more than just the Knapp Commission and Serpico!


DI Vincent Didonato, known to all simply as “Vinny D”, passed along the following item which merits mentioning as a “Guiding Light” of Investigative Knowledge.

Vinny notes that “A detective should solve a case by gathering facts and developing a theory and change his theory as the facts change, rather than change the facts to support his theory”.

This follows along with the idea that a detective should let the investigation lead to the conclusion, not to make a predetermined conclusion and then investigate around that theory.

I also like the following statement that Vinny made.

“There are three types of people in this world. Right-handed, Left-handed and the Under-handed.

A long time ago people thought the world was flat, Columbus proved the world
was round.

We know the world is Crooked.

Detectives investigate the Under-Handed and the Crooked”.

Yes we do!


Retired Captain Frank Bolz – renown as the original commander of the Hostage Negotiation Team of this department – has passed along a comment after my last posting concerning elephants, Jedi, etc.

Frank mentioned how he remembered when he was a newly assigned white-shield investigator in the 81 Squad, in 1958, the squad commander, Lieutenant John Curry, made sure to assign all the new detectives with experienced detectives. It was up to the “old-timers” to teach the newbie’s what they needed to get the job done, and to survive in “The Squad”.

The same way the Frank remembers fondly his partner, First-Grade Det. Joe DePrima, if you ask any “old-timer” they, too, will recall the help they received from these experienced investigators when they were new in the squad.

When you become the “old-timer” – make sure you don’t forget to take on the role!

Now, what about those call boxes?

Frank also passed along the following, concerning the departments call boxes and lessons learned by the young.

Back in the 50’s, and even into the middle of the 60’s, the call box on the corner was the primary way that the uniform cop on patrol kept in touch with the station houses, received assignments, and even called for backup. Before there were portable radios, there was the call box.

The new cop on patrol learned the lesson to “open the call box slowly”.

If some other cop got the kids in the neighborhood mad at him, they would pack Horse manure or dog droppings into the box and on the phone and slam it shut. Now, when the next cop on patrol comes around to use the box, especially if it was at night you might not see what was coming, and you sure would "get an ear full". Frankie’s advise: be nice to the kids, or open the box slowly!

While we’re on the subject of foot posts, Frankie B also noted a department form that I didn’t mention in the last posting but one that was commonly used.

The UF17 – Report of Lamp Outage, is what the cop on the foot post would prepare when the street light was out. If there was a street light out on your post, the Patrol Sergeant would be coming by to check if you made out the report. One of the ways you could get yourself in trouble with the boss.

And the “shield temperature” test in the winter, right Frank?


Degloving- the procedure of a Missing Persons Squad Detective removing a layer of skin from a decedents fingers, and then placing this skin over their own gloved hand, so that it can be inked and rolled in order to try and obtain a fingerprint for identification.

My Note: I would like to thank Lt Chris Zimmerman of the Missing Persons Squad for passing along some of these interesting items from the ME's Office. They are certainly very helpful to many detectives, both those who regularly utilize the ME's Office, and the new investigator who finds the ME's Office a little foreign.

I would also oike to add that I have always found the detectives assigned to the ME's Office to be extremely helpful.


Another one of those stories that illustrates how fact is often stranger than fiction. You couldn’t make this up.

A fugitive from Seattle, who fled the country to Cancun, Mexico in an effort to avoid bank fraud charges, has himself to blame for being captured.

It seems that, between kicking back on the beaches of Cancun and partying in clubs at night, he took the time to make regular entries on his Facebook page. Seems he felt the need to let everyone know how much fun he was having, and even – inadvertently I’m sure – let a federal Justice official join his circle of friends.

He is now awaiting extradition back to the United States.

Facebook – another powerful research tool to any investigator!


November 1, 1923 Ptl Ace Swinder, 33 Pct, Motorcycle accident
November 1, 1931 Ptl Howard Peterson, 66 Pct, LOD Accident
November 3, 1854 Ptl David Gurley, 1 Dist, Stabbed (Munic.PD of NY)
November 3, 1892 Det John Carey, CentOffSqd, Shot-Arrest
November 3, 1931 Sgt Thomas Madigan, 30 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
November 4, 1966 Ptl Anthony Campisi, 1Div, Stabbed-investigation
November 5, 1924 Ptl John HBonahan, McyDist, Auto accident on patrol
November 5, 1928 Ptl Henry Behnstedt, TraffDiv, Auto accident on patrol
November 6, 1854 Ptl David Gourley, NFI
November 6, 1978 Det Horace Ford, SCU, Shot-off duty robbery
November 7, 1863 Ptl John Van Buren, 8Pct (17Pct), Beaten-Draft riots
November 7, 1864 Ptl Joseph Nulet, 29 Pct (10Pct), Shot-burglary invest.
November 7, 1937 Det Arthur DeMarrais, 88 Sqd, Injured-assaulted
November 8, 1930 Ptl Charles Weidig, 28 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
November 8, 1937 Ptl George Pierson, GCP Pct, motorcycle accident
November 8, 1955 Ptl John Albanesi, 60 Pct, LOD heart attack
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It was obviously a natural death – you’re naturally going to die when you get shot that many times”.


Let me start by telling a short story to try and illustrate a point.

A zoo was having some difficulty with its elephant population. It seems that the elephants were being uncharacteristically aggressive to each other, they were defecating in the areas that they populated, and were overall “acting up”.

It was becoming a problem to the handlers, and they were being disruptive with visitors. The zoo reached out to a zoologist expert.

“You’re feeding them the wrong food” was the expert’s opinion. The food was causing them to be overly aggressive. A change of diet, however, did nothing toe stem the issues.

A second expert was called in. “The environment is wrong” was this expert’s opinion. The living arrangements, the dimensions of the sleeping areas and their cages needed to be rebuilt. This, however, also did nothing to change their disruptive manners.

Other experts and evaluations also proved fruitless, and the zookeepers didn’t know what to do next.

There came a time when a visitor to the zoo approached one of the zookeepers and asked, “Where’s all the big elephants”? What do you mean? “Well”, he said, “usually at the zoo I see baby elephants and bigger elephants, and the baby elephants are walking around behind the larger ones”.

Well, this particular zoo only had small elephants. It was a new zoo, and in order to save funds they purchased smaller, baby elephants and kept the cost down by not having larger elephants to take care of.

Therein was the problem.

There were no adult elephants to tech the smaller elephants how to behave. There was no elephant that would show them what was right and what was wrong, how to a ct and what not to do.

This is the same issue that we see with our young detectives. Who is there to teach them what is right, how to act, how to investigate?

Before Louis Savarese retired, we would often discuss this issue. Louis had a great way of putting it, taking a line straight from a popular motion picture. “Who is there to teach them the way of the Jedi”?

We cannot expect baby elephants to know what is right and wrong unless there are adult elephants to teach them. We wouldn’t expect our children to know what to do without teaching them, why do we expect Detective’s to be any different?

Unless we spend the time to teach right from wrong, good case management from bad case management, the proper way to interview, the proper way to document a case investigation, how can we expect it to be done properly?

I have often been an advocate for proper education and training of our supervisor’s as well. To take a supervisor and drop him / her into a squad, tell them to sign off on cases and supervise investigations – without giving them the proper background, teaching, and skills that are necessary to do so, then how can we be surprised when six months later a review of cases finds many shortcomings that the supervisor “signed off” on? How are they to know that what they are “signing off” on is improper, if we never taught them properly?

We are not in a position where we can expect others to do this for us. Don’t expect that your new detectives are being taught by an outside command when they attend training sessions, that is only a beginning.

Take the time, as supervisors, to teach others. Reach out to other supervisors you work with, and lend a helping hand. Take new detectives under your wings, pair them up with the “right” role-models in your squad, and give them a chance to reach their potential.

If you don’t want to be surprised by results down the road, take the time to lay the foundation when they’re young.

As it was so aptly put by a rock and roll band, “Teach Your Children”.

Who will teach them the way of the Jedi?


There is some NYPD history going back to the early days of the New York Yankees that not many people know about.

Sgt. (Ret) Michael E.J. Bosak, a true department historian, has passed along some of this history which I will recount now. I thank Mike for all his work in documenting the history of this department – some of it well known, some of it little known, and many of it totally forgotten.

The story of the Yankees goes back to a bar near 6th Avenue in Manhattan that was owned by Frank Farrell, and was just up the block from the 29th Precinct, whose station house was located on West 30th Street directly opposite of where Manhattan Traffic Task Force's station house is now. Farrell's saloon was the local precinct's after-tour gathering spot.

It was there that “Big” Bill Devery first met Farrell, when he was a young detective in the 29th Precinct detective squad.

Devery later came back years later as a Captain to become the Commanding Officer of the 29th Precinct. History records that this precinct probably had one of the worst corruption records in department history. It also was the most desirable for promotion, as its spot in the limelight of the city saw just about every big NYPD boss pass through as the precinct’s Commanding Officer during most of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Many would say that Devery took advantage of his position working in the part of the city that was known as The Tenderloin (14th Street to 42nd Street, Park Avenue to 8th Avenue). He certainly amassed a huge personal wealth which seemed above his means as a civil servant.
Devery had his own problems with the law and at one time was convicted of a felony, but had this conviction overturned by an Appeals Court.

He then rose to the rank of NYPD's "Chief of Police" in less than one year after he was released from prison after a felony conviction was overturned. His appointment to this title is also noted as the last person on the NYPD to hold that rank – Chief of Police.

Devery was later appointed the department's first "1st Deputy Police Commissioner".

Once again, now as the First Deputy Commissioner, Devery came under the spotlight of corruption. He finally decided to give up police work for good and go into the baseball business, using his amassed wealth – from questionable sources - to help him purchase the NY Highlanders – the team that would later become the N.Y. Yankees.

The Black Sox baseball scandal didn't happen until well over a decade later in 1919.


Contact wound- a star shaped wound that occurs when a firearm is pressed against the body and fired. The gasses expands under the skin and bursts away from the body

Mummification- the drying up of the body as a results of burial in a dry or arid place, dry up and shrivel

Stippling- pinpoint hemorrhaging due to the burning gunpowder discharged from a firearm, usually indicates proximity of firearm to victim


Here are some of the current “buzz words” being thrown around corporate culture that will sometimes find its way into conversation if you are meeting with outsiders. It’s also a good indicator, when used by a department executive, that he / she has probably been a recent PMI (Police Management Institute, conducted at the very Ivy League Columbia University, for executive level department MOS) attendee / graduate.

Action Item: an urgent task requiring immediate action – from someone else.

As discussed: a phrase used to remind someone of a conversation that has never taken place: “You don’t remember? That’s strange. We definitely discussed it.”

Assign ownership: To dump responsibility on someone else as quickly as possible.

B.A.U.: Business As Usual – especially if your business is speaking in acronyms.

Brain dump: A modern and elegant way to describe the process of informing another of one’s knowledge on a given topic. (Think- COMPSTAT).

Communicate: The four syllable version of the word “say” or “tell”; used when communication is not really the main idea.

Drink from the fire hose: To quickly learn all about a topic. The fact that the learner chokes is utterly beside the point. (Think: Evidence handling procedures).

Elevator pitch: The amount of time it takes to pitch someone a new idea while traveling in an elevator. If you’re the one being pitched, it probably feels more like a ski-lift story.

Outside the box: As in “Think outside the box” – an expression used most often by people who will never understand how to actually do it.

Team player: an enthusiastic co-worker who some say can’t get hired anywhere else.


Have you ever wondered where our everyday department forms came from? Simple terms that we use all the time – do you know the origin?

For example, a “UF61”, or just a plain old “61”. Where did this come from?

The “UF” part is an outdated term that goes back to the time when department forms were preceded by the unit or parent command that originated it – used it the most.

The “UF” part stood for “Uniformed Force” – this was the prefix for the “Uniformed Force” records and reports – the Patrol Force. The reports were numbered as they were put into place, thus the “UF-61” was the “Uniform Force Report Number 61”, which was otherwise known as the “Complaint Report”.

The “DD” forms were those having to do with the “Detective Division” – from a time when the Detective force was under a “Division” and not a “Bureau”.

Most of us know the “DD5” as the follow-up report for complaint investigations.

Some questions that I had took some major research to get answered. For example, if the follow up report to an investigation – the thing that detectives do all the time and most frequently – was a “DD5” – what were the 4 other reports that came into being before that? What exactly was a “DD1”?

I have some answers for you.

The earliest record I could find is in the 1913 Manual of Procedure for the New York City Police Department. In 1913, the Detective reports are noted as follows:

DD1 Continuous Precinct Detective Report
DD2 Continuous District Detective Report.
DD3 Consolidate Continuous Detective Report.
DD4 Complaint card.
DD5 Supplementary Complaint card.
DD6 Connecting Reference Card.

So, it seems that the follow-up report to a complaint was the first report that originated for Detectives. The DD1 was the follow up report, or what was called the “Continuous” detective report prepared by precinct detectives. Likewise, the DD2 was the follow up prepared by District Detectives (specialized units).

In the 1929 Manual of Procedure, these forms took a change.

The DD1 was now the Line-up sheet.
DD2 (white) Notice of investigation
DD2 (blue) Notice of investigation
DD2 (pink) Notice of investigation
DD3 Record receipt
DD4 Complaint report
DD5 Supplementary Complaint Report
DD6 Watch card.

The DD5 – the follow up investigation report to a complaint, is now in place according to the 1929 Procedures.

What I don’t have an answer to, is the question – if it took the police department 61 reports before they got to the one that is a report of a crime – which would likely be the most important part of the job – what were the other 60 “Uniform Force” reports?

Give me a break – I had a hard enough time with the first 4 Detective Reports!


On Sunday November 22, 2009 at 1100hrs, the Crushers MC Law Enforcement group is having a FUNDRAISER in the memory of Det. Timmy Duffy, who passed away suddenly last month.

Motorcycles will meet at 1100hrs. at the NY State Troopers – Troop L Valley Stream Barracks on the Southern State Pkwy, Valley Stream.

From there the group will ride to meet with the family and friends of Tim Duffy, arriving at approx. 1200 hrs at the Sick Moon Saloon and Grille, located at 4222 Hicksville Road in Bethpage.

A donation of 25 dollars will be collected, for a BBQ lunch. ALL proceeds will go to the Duffy family to help them through this upcoming holiday season.

You do not have to ride a motorcycle. All are welcome to join them at the Sick Moon Saloon for beverages and food.

For further information you can:

Contact Sgt (Ret) Norman Horowitz at:


Today’s posting to this site also marks my Anniversary with the Department!

With little to regret and a lot to remember and laugh about, it has certainly been a great time!

I would just like to acknowledge the other members of my Academy Class that remain on the job – alumni of the Transit Police Academy Class of 1981 – at the 155 Street school opposite the Polo Grounds. I could write for ours on memories of the academy alone – and perhaps I will, for future postings. (And, no, wiseguys- the Polo Grounds was NOT still a ball park when we attended the Academy! It wasn’t THAT long ago!!!).

Fellow alumni of the October 1981 Transit Police class who currently remain on the job:

Sgt. James Brennan, Staten Island Court Section
Lt. William Brosnan, DC Intell
Insp. James Capaldo, OCCB
LCD John Cornicello, DB BNHM
Insp. James Guida, NBMS
Lt. S/A Daniel McFarland, MISD
PO Michael Morgillo, TB D-01
Det. 1 Robert Nardi, 44 PDU
DI James Reilly, Traffic Division
Dep. Chief Gary Scirica, PSB
Sgt. Peter Tammaro, Bklyn Court Section
Sgt. Donald Wingate, Aviation Unit

My thanks to my old partner, Inspector Jim Capaldo, for putting this list together. Here’s hoping we see each other at happy times!


IN MEMORIAM: DET. HORACE FORD, Sh# 3187, Street Crime Unit

November 6, 1978 – Shot – off duty robbery

Thirty nine year old Detective Horace Ford died as a result of wounds he received when he challenged a gunman in the Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Company branch office located on Kissena Blvd. in Flushing.

Detective Ford worked part-time in the bank as a teller and was behind the counter when the robber lunged over the counter top brandishing a gun and announcing it was a stickup. Detective Ford drew his revolver and exchanged shots with the man. Hit twice, the detective was rushed to Booth Memorial Hospital where he expired despite doctors efforts to save his life.

The gunman died in the gutter alongside the bank where he fled after being hit by Detective Ford’s bullets. A 12 year veteran of the force, Detective Ford had twice received Commendations for outstanding bravery and he earned 24 other medals for his performance prior to his tragically ended career. He leaves his wife, Nancy and a daughter as well as parents, 2 brothers and 5 sisters. The detective’s body was returned to his birthplace in Fairmont, North Carolina for burial.


November 1, 1923 Ptl Ace Swinder, 33 Pct, Motorcycle accident
November 1, 1931 Ptl Howard Peterson, 66 Pct, LOD Accident
November 3, 1854 Ptl David Gurley, 1 Dist, Stabbed (Munic.PD of NY)
November 3, 1892 Det John Carey, CentOffSqd, Shot-Arrest
November 3, 1931 Sgt Thomas Madigan, 30 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
November 4, 1966 Ptl Anthony Campisi, 1Div, Stabbed-investigation
November 5, 1924 Ptl John Honahan, McyDist, Auto accident on patrol
November 5, 1928 Ptl Henry Behnstedt, TraffDiv, Auto accident on patrol
November 6, 1854 Ptl David Gourley, NFI
November 6, 1978 Det Horace Ford, SCU, Shot-off duty robbery
November 7, 1863 Ptl John Van Buren, 8Pct (17Pct), Beaten-Draft riots
November 7, 1864 Ptl Joseph Nulet, 29 Pct (10Pct), Shot-burglary invest.
November 7, 1937 Det Arthur DeMarrais, 88 Sqd, Injured-assaulted
November 8, 1930 Ptl Charles Weidig, 28 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
November 8, 1937 Ptl George Pierson, GCP Pct, motorcycle accident
November 8, 1955 Ptl John Albanesi, 60 Pct, LOD heart attack

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I like homicide detectives. They wear hats. They wear hats so that other law-enforcement people will know they’re homicide

Elmore Leonard, well known crime fiction writer of such works as BE COOL, PAGAN BABIES, GET SHORTY, KILLSHOT, and many more.


“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 mere conclusion or expression of opinion.
Do not jump at conclusions from the information submitted at the time the complaint is received – investigate and be convinced.
A good detective is always more or less suspicious and very inquisitive”.

Where is this quote from?

None other than the 1940 NYPD Manual of Procedure.

Almost 70 years old – and as appropriate today as it was then!

Patience and perseverance – two extremely important traits.

Not jumping at conclusions – another important trait that is sometimes hard to keep under control.

What I like to say is “Don’t investigate your conclusion – let your conclusion be a result of your investigation”. (That is my quote and you may use it whenever you’d like.)


The changes that occur to a body post-death are identified as rigor mortis, algor mortis, and livor mortis.

Because the heart is no longer pumping, muscle cells are deprived of oxygen and they stiffen. This is called RIGOR MORTIS.

The body temperature falls one to two degrees Fahrenheit per hour. This is called ALGOR MORTIS.

Because the heart is no longer churning blood, the red blood cells settle according to gravity and produce the maroon color of death on the skin, known as LIVOR MORTIS.

Lividity appears about 2 hours after death. This can help reveal the time of death, as well as reveal if a body was moved after the person died. In lividity, the normal color is MAROON. A CHERRY PINK color is indicative of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Rigor mortis is the stiffening of the body after death. This occurs because the heart is no longer pumping oxygen through the body.

Rigor mortis begins at the lower jaw and neck and spreads downward. That’s why you will see the MI at the scene examine the jaw/mouth area first.

The whole body stiffens within 12 hours after death. This stiffening will begin to disappear 36 hours after death.

Heat, cold, and drugs can affect the way the body changes after death. Heat speeds things up. The indications noted above regarding time frames is all subject to individual environmental factors – heat or cold, dampness, etc, as well as individual health issues the person may have had.

When it comes to determining “Time of Death” – the science is inexact at best.

Due to varying environmental factors and original condition of the body, a Medical Examiner will NOT be able to determine a specific time of death the way it’s done on TV. At best, you can hope for within a 4 hour time frame. Unfortunately, this may not be what the prosecutor was hoping for, or what you were hoping to get.

“The victim was killed between Midnight and 0015 hrs” only works on CSI, NCIS or Quincy!


Here is a list of some of the Brooklyn police precinct’s from the early 1900’s.

What is currently the PBBN Command office, also housing the Brooklyn North Patrol Task Force at Wilson Avenue, was formerly the 164th Precinct.

The 164th Pct was at 179 Hamburg Avenue in 1909. Hamburg Avenue was renamed Wilson Avenue, and the stationhouse later became the 83 Precinct, before that command moved to a newly built stationhouse on Knickerbocker Avenue in the early 1980’s.

What was known as the 154th Pct. in 1909, that stationhouse was at 16 Ralph Avenue, next to the current 81 Pct.

The 144th Pct. was at 577 5th Avenue in 1909, at 16 Street. This was later replaced by the current 72 Pct.

The 89th Pct. was at 44 Rapalyea Avenue. This was torn down to in order to make room for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and was replaced by the current 76 Pct.

The 31st Pct. was at Ave. U & East 15th Street. This was later replaced by the current 61 Pct.

The 37th Pct. was at 35 Snyder Ave. Its use as a Station House was discontinued on 5/18/1925. Pct. 37-B was established on 11/17/1926. This was the old Flatbush Town Hall. It was later replaced by the current 67 Pct.


There’s no other excuse – I must have been blinded by their beauty!

In my last posting I committed a critical journalism error, one that I can remember from my earliest journalism classes at school – “Verify your credits”.

Well, in the story about Brooklyn Beauties Fighting The Beast – the efforts of some very creditable people at PBBN and their efforts to raise money for the fight against breast cancer - I made a mistake.

I mistakenly attributed the red velvet cupcakes to SPAA Wanda Ricketts, the Team’s Captain, when they were majestically baked by Sgt Marie Devino!

I apologize for the error.

One thing you don’t ever want to do is fail to give proper credit to someone who spent hours and hours in the kitchen baking some of the best-tasting red velvet cupcakes around. Sorry, Marie!!

To properly give credit, it was the carrot cake that was so expertly baked by Wanda Ricketts. No finer carrot cake can be found anywhere!

Sorry, ladies. Hope I can be forgiven?

I must certainly have been blinded by their beauty at the time.

While we’re on the subject – the Brooklyn Beauties Team has collected over $18,000. towards the fight against Breast Cancer! This is a huge accomplishment and a fine testament to the hard work and efforts that all of the team did in helping to raise this money.

The Walk Against Breast Cancer is taking place on Sunday, October 18, at Prospect Park. I understand there will over 100 walkers from the Brooklyn Beauties Team alone! Great job, and a lot of hard work by all members of the team. This was a borough-wide effort that is the result of a lot of hard work and team spirit.

If you can, why not come out that day and walk along with the team? I understand some of them will be wearing pink tiaras, and they are trying to get the captain to wear a pink sash, leotards and matching pink magic-wand! The picture alone will be worth it!

Once again, as posted in the last entry, you may also go online and make a contribution to the Brooklyn Beauties Fighting The Beast. The web site can be found at:


Ten NYPD Police Officers, who died from 9/11 related illnesses, have been added to the Memorial Wall at the Battery Park Monument.

The Battery Park City Monument where the names were inscribed recognizes nearly 800 officers who lost their lives in the line of duty since 1849.

The MOS whose names were added to the monument are:

Det Sandra Adrian
Sgt Edward Thompson
PO Madeline Carlo
Sgt Claire Hanrahan
PO Robert Helmke
Det William Holfester
PO Patrice Ott
Det Roberto Rivera
Sgt Michael Ryan
Capt Edward Gilpin


PO Anthony Dwyer will be remembered during a special service at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Elmont on Saturday, October 17, at 10:30 am.

It has been 20 years since PO Dwyer was killed in the line of duty. He was assigned to the Midtown South Precinct, and died after falling from a rooftop during a struggle with a perp.

Friday, October 09, 2009



Giuseppe Petrosino was appointed to the NYPD on October 19, 1883 (Shield # 285).

In November of 1906 he was promoted to Lieutenant and made C.O. of the NYPD’s “Italian Legion”.

Lt. Joe Petrosino was assassinated while walking through Marine public square in Palermo, Italy on March 12th, 1909, after NYPD Police Commissioner Theodore A. Bingham held a news conference and with stupidity announced that the NYPD had an undercover police officer working on the “Black Hand” in Italy.

Petrosino had set sail for Italy earlier in the week. Remember, this was before airline travel – all travel was by steamship across the ocean!

Bingham held a news conference when Petrosino departed from New York, despite being asked not to do so. Well, the word traveled faster than the steam ship!

It all started when Petrosino's "Italian Squad" went undercover to find who was behind the dozens of "Black Hand" bombings. They arrested many suspected members of the group over the next five years, but the bombings continued.The trail took Petrosino to Italy in an undercover mission in 1909. But someone there didn't like where his investigation was headed and Petrosino returned from Italy in a coffin.

Stories of Giuseppe Petrosino have appeared on this site previously, and can be found – if you wish – through the search query at the top of this blog.


Law enforcement in Italy is provided by eight separate police forces, five of which are national.
During 2005 in Italy the number of active police officers from all agencies totaled 324,339, the highest number in Europe both overall and per capita, twice the number of police officers serving all of the United Kingdom.


The Carabinieri is the common name for the Arma dei Carabinieri, a military corps with police duties. They also serve as the Italian military police.

Carabinieri units have been dispatched all over the world in peacekeeping missions.

Previously, only men were allowed to become part of the Arma (or any military force, for that matter), but military reforms allow women to serve in the Italian military, including Carabinieri.


The Guardia di Finanza, (Financial Guard) is a corps of the Italian Army under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance, with a role as a police force.

The Corps is in charge of financial, economic, judiciary and public safety: includes tax evasion, financial crimes, smuggling, money laundering, credit card fraud, counterfeiting and cybercrime. Along with the Polizia di Stato, they also have a large part in the anti-Mafia operations. They act as the border defense and what in the United States would be part of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement units.

The Guardia di Finanza has around 68,000 employees. Its agents are in service throughout various European Task Forces and Interpol. The Guardia di Finanza also maintains over 600 boats and ships and more than 100 aircraft to fulfill its mission of patrolling Italy's waters.


The Polizia di Stato (State Police) is the civil National Police of Italy. Along with the routine tasks of law enforcement patrol. They conduct criminal investigations throughout Italy, and perform law enforcement duties on the national highways. They also oversee all policing of railroads, bridges and waterways.

The Polizia di Stato is the police force of the Italian Republic.

It is a civilian police force, while the Carabinieri are military. While its internal organization and mindset is somewhat military, its personnel are composed of civilians, and its organization chart resembles most other police organizations. Its headquarters are in Rome, and there are Regional and Provincial divisions throughout Italian territory.

(The symbol of the Polizia di Stato appears at the top of this blog entry. I had an opportunity of meeting with Inspector Dario Stivala of the Polizia di Stato recently. Born and bred in Bensionhurst, he has been serving with the Polizia di Stato for close to 30 years now! He's still retained much of his Brooklynese! Dario presented me with a some lapel pins from the Polizia di Stato, as well as a uniform beret and cap device that they wear while taking police action and tactical operations. I may post, in the future, the picture of me wearing a beret - NOT something you would expect to say in the Marcy Houses!)


In addition, each area or region of the country has its own Provincial and Regional Police that are tasked with enforcing wildlife management and environmental crimes.

The local jurisdictions also usually operate a Polizia Municipal. Its main duty is to enforce local regulations and control traffic, but they also deal with petty crime and anti-social behavior, like quality of life offenses, especially in the largest metropolitan areas. These forces can be called Polizia Municipale, Polizia Comunale, Polizia Urbana or Polizia Locale

The other National policing agencies include the Polizia Penitenziaria (Prison Guards, literally Penitentiary Police) that operates the Italian prison system, and there is a Corpo Forestale dello Stato (National Forestry Department) that is responsible for law enforcement in Italian national parks and forests.



Good detectives pay attention to details – little details, with diligence and follow up, that so often make the difference between success and failure.

Another example of the painstaking attention to details is exhibited in the work done during the investigation of “The Mad Dog Killers”, two Mutt-and-Jeff hoodlums who went on a killing spree starting on Christmas Eve in 1962.

Starting out in Woburn, Mass. on Christmas Eve 1962, Henry Dusablon and Emanuel Samperi wanted to treat their sweethearts to a trip to New York for the holiday. Dusablon was a hulking lug who was described as having “quick fists and slow wit”. Samperi was the swarthy shorty who grew up on the lower East Side, who spent his life trying to prove he was a tough guy.
They started by holding up an antique store that Dusablon once worked in, knowing that cash would be on hand. It wasn’t enough to just rob the place, though. Dusablon made sure to shoot the owner in the head before making off with the one-hundred dollar haul.

They left for New York with their sweethearts, soon finding themselves out of money by December 26. They then took off to holding up a variety store owner as he opened up for business, and once again shot the owner at point-blank range after ordering to lie on the ground. They made sure to remove a diamond ring from the body before leaving with the $15 cash that their latest heist produced.

Next they found themselves in Jamaica, robbing an Army-Navy store, and shooting that owner as well before leaving.

A little while later, in the Bronx, a liquor store was also robbed, and the proprietor shot dead. This was followed by another liquor store in uptown Manhattan, with the clerk once again gravely wounded.

All four victims that day had been shot in the head, with the cash registers left empty.

Detectives who had been working on the variety store homicide from earlier in the morning learned from a relative that the victim often wore a diamond ring, an anniversary ring that was missing from the body.

PAYING ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS: the detectives started a search of pawnshops looking for a recently pawned diamond ring.


One of the detectives found a receipt for a ring pawned at a pawnshop just blocks from the incident. The slip was signed by Henry Dusablon of Woburn, Mass.

CONTINUING TO PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS: the detectives learned that Dusablon and his friend left Massachusetts to go to New York on Christmas Eve.

Detectives now fanned out throughout the Manhattan area checking hotels, armed with a photo of Dusablon they received from the Mass. authorities, and began a search of hotel records.

Bingo! Not only did they find a hotel clerk who recognized the culprits photo, they also found that he and Samperi checked in using their real names!

They then found Dusablon in his hotel room with his girl, and a shot time later apprehended Samperi when he also returned to the room with his girlfriend.

Paying attention to details once again paid off. They found the pawned jewelry by poring over pawnshop records, and then found the killers by canvassing hotel to hotel, in person, until they found them.

By the way, the trial resulted in the pair being convicted and sentenced to death, but because of the repeal of capital punishment in 1965 they ended up spending the rest of their lives in prison. Samperi died in 1998, at age 64, and Dusablon will spend his 41st consecutive Christmas behind bars this year.

Interesting note is that the killers, who were dubbed the “Mad Dog Killers” after the spree became public, got less attention than they deserved at the time due to a newspaper strike.

When detectives asked Dusablon why he chose to murder for such paltry robberies, the thug answered: “Because dead men tell no tales.”

Pay Attention To Details!


Petechial hemorrhages are capillaries that have ruptured because of pressure.

If pressure is put on the neck, the blood backs up and the capillaries, which are the weakest part of the vascular system, rupture.

It takes 60-70 lbs. of pressure to collapse an artery, but only 5 lbs to collapse a vein.

In suffocation, the pressure is primarily on the nose and mouth, not on the neck and usually you do NOT see PETECHIAE. However, when a person struggles this often inadvertently leads to pressure on the neck as well.

Suffocation is a much more rare cause of death than strangulation; there is most often that struggle leading to the pressure on the neck.


According to a research report Anti-Money Laundering: A Brave New World for Financial Institutions, money laundering is typically a three-stage process:

Stage One: Placement. Moving illicit funds into the financial system by, for example, depositing cash in banks, buying valuables (gold, diamonds, artwork), etc.

Stage Two: Layering. Moving the funds around in the financial system to cover the audit trail to the origination point of the funds. Examples are multiple cross-border wire transfers, investments in securities, deposits in overseas “shell” banks or secret bank accounts (e.g., numbered accounts).

Stage Three: Integration. Finally, the disguised funds are reintroduced into the legitimate economy. This may be accomplished by investing the money in real estate or business ventures, or to acquire luxury assets or other goods, sometimes through the use of credit cards. “Front” businesses are sometimes established for this purpose. A front business engages in legitimate business operations, but at the same time generates false invoices or uses other techniques to absorb the laundered funds.

Money laundering schemes can range from simple to sophisticated. Here are a few examples:
Generation and payment of false invoices. This technique involves a front business which creates invoices for goods and services not actually delivered, or delivered at inflated prices, allowing money launderers to collect and bank cash that is effectively disguised as sales for a business operation.

Loan defaulting. In this scheme, the launderer takes out a bank loan, using the illicit funds as collateral. The launderer then deliberately defaults on the loan, causing the bank to lay claim to the collateral. The launderer has thus effectively traded illicit funds (which the bank now holds) for clean money — the loan money originally extended by the bank.

Manipulation of insurance policies. The malefactor purchases a large insurance policy, pays one or more premiums, and then cancels the policy, obtaining a refund of the premiums (usually minus some penalties). An audit trail would show the refunded monies as originating from the insurance company.


There’s a group of beautiful women here in the Brooklyn North Patrol Borough – beautiful in many ways!

Calling themselves the Brooklyn North Beauties Fighting The Beast – a group of women from PBBN, uniform and civilians members, are doing their part to fight breast cancer.

They’ve already hosted a few bake sales, and through their fund raising efforts have raised close to $20,000 towards breast cancer research!!!

Sgt. Marie Devino and SPAA WANDA RICKETTS are two of the leaders of this valiant group. And can they bake!! Wanda made some red-velvet cupcakes that would have the Cake-Man from Brooklyn crawling on his knees – I know what it did to me!

The group will be taking part in the October 18th Breast Cancer Walk through Prospect Park. Let’s all pull together and wish them all the best!

You too can help!

PLEASE: Visit the web site of the Brooklyn North Beauties Fighting The Beast, and take a moment to make a small contribution!

(If clicking on the site above doesn’t take you to the site, you can always “Cut & Paste” it).


More news on cake?

If you’re in the area be sure to stop in at the Great Pumpkin Bake Sale, hosted by the Policewomen’s Endowment Association, on Friday, October 23, 2009 at the Police Academy.

The bake sale will take place on the 3rd Floor of the PA, starting at 0800 hrs and running until 1600 hrs – or until all the cake’s gone!

This Happy Halloween event is hosted by the department’s PEA, who will present an award for the Best Homemade Desserts.



The 87th Annual Scholarship Dinner Dance of the Policewomen’s Endowment Association will take place on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at The Central Park Boathouse Restaurant.

Cocktail hour will start at 6pm, with dinner being served at 7pm. Tickets are $100 per person.

This festive event will include a presentation of scholarship awards, and live music by the NYPD Jazz Combo and DJ E.

The PEA will also have 2 honorees that evening.

The “Man of the Year” Award will be presented to Raymond W. Kelly, Police Commissioner.

And the “Women of the Year” will be presented to Deputy Inspector Lori Pollock, the Executive Officer of Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North.

The dinner committee can be found by checking for the flyer posted at your commands, or by visiting the web site

I will be looking forward to seeing Lori receive this exceptional honor!


October 19, 1929 Ptl Charles Saver, 76 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
October 20, 1967 Ptl James Dandridge, 32 Pct, Shot:Accidental by MOS
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 24, 2002 Det Salvatore Cafiso, SI Narco, Heart attack, LOD
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

Monday, October 05, 2009


Is it possible that it’s been 1 year since I’ve posted on this site?

Yes, it is! Did you miss me?

I’ve been asked at various times “what happened?” I’d like to say I was holding out for more money – but the fact is that I just needed a break from writing.

It was a good friend that recently made me realize that I may actually have something of interest to say on this site, that has convinced me to put pen to paper (well, not exactly in that medium) and once again get this site “up and running”.

So, for anyone who cares – “I’M BAAACK


Oh, come on. You don’t think I could possibly bring you up to date for the past year, do you?

I will make several highlights, and some reminders of what you can find here in the coming weeks.

I have not in the past, and will not start, to use this site as a “rant” or a “complaint box” for gripes, etc. (This may be what has kept me from writing in the past months- the urge not to succumb to this level).

I will TRY to relate past experiences that may be of investigative interest, pass on new items of interest to the detective, and comment as one would should they be sitting around the Squad Room – on items such as books, cigars, pizza, and all the other good things detective’s comment on as they pass the time.

Want to help pass along a comment, or an idea?

Please feel free to do so by sending me an email to:

If you’re new to the site, you may be wondering about the Minister of Investigation title.

That was bestowed on me by a friend and fine detective supervisor, Mark Pouria, back in the days when he and I worked in the 77 Squad. So, that’s me – The Minister of Investigation.

I even have a Certificate signed by a Police Commissioner attesting to this – and I have Ret. Sgt SDS CHRIS CINCOTTA to thank for that!

Let’s all have fun – and be safe!


I will be writing a section that will be known as “The Guiding Light – Principles Of Investigation” which will address common investigative principles and tactics of interest to the detective investigator.

I will continue to update sections of “From The Bookshelf”, which will concern – you guessed it – books!

From The Humidor” will continue to comment on tastings and other interest to the cigar smoker.

Historic items from the NYPD archives will also continue to play a big part.

And, as always – whatever I find interesting at the moment.


What exactly is “SCOTLAND YARD”?

The Metropolitan Police Service of London, England, that is responsible for policing the area of Greater London – with the exception of the area that comprises the London City District – which is policed by the City of London Police - is commonly known throughout the world for the location of its headquarters building – Scotland Yard.

The Commissioner, who heads the Metropolitan Police has traditionally answered directly to the Home Secretary.

This dates back to the formation of the Metropolitan Police and reflects its difference from other police forces and its national and international responsibilities.

The Metropolitan Police Service performs national functions, such as those in relation to the protection of royalty and countering terrorism in Great Britain. In addition to these two, the MPS has a number of other capital city, and national responsibilities such as the protection of certain members and ex-members of the government and the diplomatic community and assisting with enquiries concerning British interests at home and abroad. These responsibilities make the Metropolitan Police Service unique among UK police forces. The Metropolitan Police Service should not be confused with the City of London Police, which is a separate force responsible for policing The Square Mile in the City of London.

Scotland Yard

In 1829, when Sir Robert Peel was Home Secretary, the first Metropolitan Police Act was passed and the Metropolitan Police Force was established in London. The task of organizing and designing the "New Police" took place at 4 Whitehall Place.

The back of this location opened on to a courtyard which, as a popular anecdote would have it, had once been the site of a residence owned by the Kings of Scotland (or, alternatively, a Scottish Embassy), and was therefore known as "Scotland Yard".

These headquarters were removed in 1890 to premises on the Victoria Embankment known as "New Scotland Yard." In 1967 further removal took place to a larger and more modern headquarters building at Broadway, S.W.1, which is also known as "New Scotland Yard".

Scotland Yard's telephone number was originally Whitehall 1212. The majority of London area police stations, as well as Scotland Yard itself, still have 1212 as their last four digits.

The Metropolitan Police's crime database is housed at New Scotland Yard. This uses a national IT system developed for major crime enquiries by all UK forces, called Home Office Large Major Enquiry System, more commonly referred to by its acronym, HOLMES. This is in large part an acronym derived with the intention of honoring the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.


After a lot of research, I was able to track a copy of this book down and ordered it from a bookseller in England.

Why such a hard book to find?

This book, written by a retired Scotland Yard officer, was published in 2008 but was short-lived on the sellers table – it was the subject of a lawsuit by none other than the world famous author, Salman Rushdie; the printing ceased, and the book was never sent for mass-market distribution.

Knowing this background, I just had to track down a copy and find out what all the hoopla was about.

I can save you the time and money of trying to find out on your own – it really wasn’t all that worth it!

The author, Ron Evans, served in the Metropolitan Police Service in London, England for 28 years. He started out as a constable walking a beat in the capital city of London, did time on a motorcycle patrol detachment and then transferred to Special Branch of the Special Operations Directorate, where he served as part of the “Close Protection Detail” – what we would call “Bodyguard”.

He served in the Specialist Protection Group (SO1) for over 15 years, and it is this time that he spent protecting royalty and the well-known that his book focuses on.

That’s all well and good, and could have probably done just fine on its own, but he apparently “told too many secrets” – or, as Mr. Salman Rushdie claimed in a lawsuit – he told “libelous” stories that were “fiction”. Mr. Rushdie eventually won his lawsuit, and the publication ceased.

What was so terrible?

According to his publicist in the pre-publication publicity for the book, he was “charged with the personal protection of some of the world’s highest-profile figures politicians, businessmen, the cultural elite – expecting to ‘take a bullet’ day after day, armed with a shoot-to-kill policy and instinctive bravery, this exceptional man walked a deadly path throughout his career. He still does, as an international protection officer”.

“He speaks in detail about very close political and operational secrets affecting the highest corridors of power – his years with Margaret Thatcher, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and various Cabinet Ministers. Ron also exposes the massive problems within the police service and the ‘old boy’ network where nepotism rules over ability and experience”.
But what got him in trouble was his depiction of Mr. Rushdie.

Mr Evans portrayed Rushdie as "mean, nasty, tight-fisted, arrogant and extremely unpleasant" which was the cause for the lawsuit on its publishers.

Ron Evans, the book's author, claims Rushdie was imprisoned by his guards who "got so fed up with his attitude that they locked him in a cupboard under the stairs and all went to the local pub for a pint or two. When they were suitably refreshed they came back and let him out."

According to Mr Evans as he writes in the book, the police nicknamed Rushdie “Scruffy” because of his unkempt appearance. Evans says that when officers asked to drink some bottles of red wine they had found, Rushdie wanted to charge them £45 each. The book also alleges that when officers stayed overnight in his home, he billed the Metropolitan police for rent of "at least forty quid a night for special branch officers to risk their lives to stop him being taken out by followers of the fatwa". Evans wrote: "We were paying or, rather, the taxpayer was paying Rushdie to protect him!"

Rushdie said: "The simple fact of the matter is that nothing of this sort happened. My relationship with my protection team was always cordial, certainly entirely professional. This kind of absurd behaviour never occurred.

"The idea of them raiding my friend's wine cellars then me asking them to pay for this is completely fictitious. It is absurd the idea that they would lock me in a cupboard and go to the pub.

"It is like a bad comedy. My relations with the protection officers were cordial and I am still friendly with a few of them. At the end of my nine years of protection they held a reception for me. I had a lot of sympathy and understanding from the police. Our relationship was the exact opposite of what has been written. I never heard myself called by the name Scruffy in nine years."

"It is extraordinary to have had to go through an experience as unpleasant as that period of sequestration to have somebody to try to cash in giving a false portrait to a publisher. A very senior member of the Scotland Yard protection service telephoned me to apologise and said the police force felt humiliated and embarrassed."

Rushdie acknowledged that rent was paid to him for the accommodation provided to police officers but said this was at the behest of the police because of the high costs of renting houses regarded as safe enough to protect him. He said: "Police officers thought if I was incurring costs it would be fair to contribute to that. That was an offer made to me by senior officers of special branch, it was never a request of mine. To say that I was trying to extort money from them for my protection is an obscene distortion of the truth."


What today would be called a precinct, in 1855 was called a ‘Police District’ .

Each district had the same geographical boundaries as the ward it took its number from.
The alderman from that ward recommended to the mayor who should be appointed to that ward’s corps. Patrolmen from that police district or ward were required to be residents of that ward and were appointed for a term of good behavior. Consequently that ward’s corps resembled the ethnic makeup of that ward.

Even though they worked out of a certain ‘Police District’ they would say they were assigned to that (the number) ‘Corps’ rather than say they worked out of a certain precinct. There were twenty two wards in the city, each had its own ‘police districts’ or ‘corps’.

Chief Matsell established the “Reserve Corps” in 1853 as an elite unit of approximately 100 of the best and most competent patrolmen and sergeants.

By 1855 it numbered approximately 150 men. They were assigned to the chief’s office and other high profile assignments such as detective duty, the courts and various other details, etc. On occasion, the reserve corps would fly to various areas of the city and were used for duties similar to those performed by today’s Borough Task Forces.


We at the Brooklyn North Homicide Task Force are still recovering from the loss of a close friend and dedicated detective, Det. TIMOTHY DUFFY.

Timmy died on September 19 in a car accident. His passing was much too soon, and certainly shook up all. There are no words that can adequately express the feelings of his family, friends and those who worked with him.

Timmy left behind a wife and 2 children, beautiful girls aged 10 and 7 years.

A fund has been established to help the children through their education.

Anyone wishing to help out the family can do so at the following:

The Duffy Children Endowment Fund
C/O Kimberly Duffy
The Detectives Endowment Association
26 Thomas Street
New York, NY 10007


It has been 25 years since Irma Lozada (known to all as “Fran”) was killed in the line of duty.

September 21, 1984 – 25 years ago – this fine police officer, former partner and friend, became the first female police officer killed in the line of duty in New York City.

Members of her command, District 33, held a memorial service on September 21 at the gravesite to mark this occasion. Many thanks need to be extended to PO EDDIE CARR of District 33, who organized the event with the help of the Commanding Officer of District 33, DI KENNETH LEHR. Help was also provided by MIKE MORGILLO of the PBA.

At the service, Insp. JAMES CAPALDO made a memorial presentation to all who were gathered. It was nice to see some of our fellow Academy graduates come out for the occasion, a fitting tribute to a fine officer.

It may be 25 years already, but, Fran, we do not forget.

Editor’s Note: The following was written 5 years ago when the 20 year Memorial was organized. I am publishing it again on this site, in memory of Fran and the passing of 25 years.


“Shield 4721, come in to Operations… Operations to Shield 4721”

I remember that radio transmission as if it was coming over the air this very minute.

I was working in the plainclothes Citywide Task Force, Transit Police Department. It was September 21, 1984. I was working with my steady partner, Jimmy, who came to the Task Force from District 33 the same time I did. We were two white-shield plainclothes cops working a “Train Patrol” post in the Bronx. We were looking to make arrests and write summonses. The Task Force was the department’s career path into the Detective Division. Anyone from Transit will recall the Task Force and “Dunlap’s Pie” – the measuring stick created by Capt. John Dunlap to evaluate the Police Officers, and ultimately rank them for entrance into the Detective Division – and the gold shield.

Jimmy and I had just stepped off a southbound #4 train at 161 Street. With Yankee Stadium as the backdrop, we were writing two summonses for people smoking on the train. The Task Force of the Transit Police was doing quality-of-life enforcement as a means to repressing crime long before it was chic to do so.

“Shield 4721, come in… Operations to Shield 4721”.

I recognized the identifier immediately; Shield 4721 was PO Irma “Fran” Lozada. I recognized the shield because I worked with Fran in District 33, where we went after we graduated the Police Academy in the spring of 1982. Fran was still working in District 33, in the Anti-Crime assignment that I left behind to take the Task Force spot I was in. If you wanted to be a detective, you had to go to Task Force. I was there, Fran stayed in District 33. She went for the interview, and was approved for the Task Force the same time I was. We would have gone to Task Force and partnered up, having worked together in District 33, but she was talked out of the move by a current boyfriend from District 1. The work in Task Force was ridiculed by him, and she listened. Fran stayed in District 33, I left for the Task Force.

When you understand the radio system of the Transit Police at that time, you understand how it was that I was monitoring this radio transmission. I was in the Bronx, Fran worked Brooklyn. Why was this coming over the air?

The Transit Police radio system was a simplistic one; there were only two radio frequencies. One frequency for the above-ground RMP’s, a second for all the other portable units on patrol. One frequency, with many different repeaters and antennas throughout the transit system. The dispatcher would activate the closest antenna for the unit he was broadcasting to. The dispatcher in Brooklyn would activate the Brooklyn antennas; in the Bronx, the Bronx antennas. All radio broadcasts over the same frequency, but only those radios closest to the underground antenna would receive the broadcast (in theory). Much has been written about the transit police radios; their operability was always an unknown, at best. Anyway, if you were above ground – as I was in the Bronx at the time – you could pick up all sorts of radio transmissions from the outdoor antennas. Hence, I was receiving the Brooklyn broadcast in the Bronx.

“Shield 4721, come in to Operations”.

They would never receive a reply to that call. Shield 4721 could not answer her radio because she lay dead in a vacant, weeded lot in Bushwick. She was shot with her own gun, after pleading for her life, by a low life whose only other claim may be that he shares a similar name to a Yankee great.

Fran Lozada was the first female police officer to be killed in the line of duty in New York City. She chased a chain snatcher from the train at the Wilson Avenue station of the “L” line, as we had done times before. She was alone at the time; in plainclothes, working in Anti-Crime, she was separated from her partner. Had they split up for their meal period, with plans to reunite at the end of meal? Had they been separated when they entered the train en-route back to the command for meal? Does it really matter? What remains undisputed is that Fran chased the culprit from the station onto Cooper Avenue, through a lot next to the train tracks, into a weeded area. She chased him because she was a cop. That’s what she did, alone or not. The Transit PD Communications Unit received no radio broadcast from Fran; maybe she was in a radio dead spot, maybe she never got to her radio. The fact remains that after a chase, then using a ruse that she was looking for a lost dog, she confronted the thief at gunpoint in an empty lot. When she tried to cuff him – alone – she was overpowered by the creep. Court records indicate that she pleaded with him. He shot her to death with her own gun and fled.

She lay in the garbage strewn lot behind a cemetery building for several hours.

I was seated in the District 11 Office inside the 161 Street Station, with my partner, completing our paperwork, when we learned that a female cop in Brooklyn was found dead. The report said she had been missing, and after several hours of searching, she was found in an empty lot, the victim of gunshot wounds. We learned it was Fran, and hitched a ride with two PBA Board Members who were heading to District 33. Their plans to make a PBA election speech before the roll call had quickly changed. We drove there in a Board Member’s VW bug; a somber and silent ride.

I was at the lot, and saw Teddy, the District 33 cop I shared an RMP with times before. Teddy was the low keyed, experienced cop that let nothing bother him. Teddy was a practical joker who opened himself up to the rookies. He was assigned to an RMP that night, his regular post, and when I saw him I instantly knew he was the cop who found Fran in the lot. Years later, when I ran into him at a Home Depot, we chatted for a good fifteen minutes. Neither of us could bring up that night.

A Lieutenant who later became Chief of the Transit Bureau grabbed me by the arm, and walked me away from the scene. “You don’t want to go in there, John”. When he was a Sergeant in District 33, it was he who teamed Fran and myself up in plainclothes, when the District Captain was worried about two people still on probation (we were the first class with an 18-month probation period) working in plainclothes. We showed him he made the right choice by coming back having written a book of summonses the first night, and with two collars the next night. He walked me away from the scene.

I was standing in the street when I learned the scant details of what happened. She was working with her regular partner, who now had become the target of blame by some of his peers. I can’t even think about that.

I spoke with the Desk Officer when I called from the Bronx. The Desk Lieutenant was a solid professional; a great cop, and the one who talked me into making the move to Task Force. He convinced me the chance of a gold shield was there at Task Force; he couldn’t convince Fran of the same. He was still there on the Desk when I got to District 33. A lot of finger pointing was to be done soon: why was there a delay in commencing an all-out search, who notified whom, things to that effect. After that night it’s safe to say that he would never be the same again.

I was there when the Sergeant cleaned out Fran’s locker. Your personal belongings placed in a plastic garbage bag. No one ever wants that task.

I was there when her partner walked back into the District from that horrific night. I watched him walk into the command, around the desk, and commence filling out his overtime slip. He filled out his overtime slip. I wished I had the nerve to do what another cop did on the street with him.

Fran’s killer was caught quickly. Some great detective work went into a canvass that produced a witness; some greater detective work went into convincing the witness to tell what she saw. These same detectives picked up the creep, and conducted a great interview that included an admission that would help send him to jail for the rest of his life. A senseless killing. What a waste.

“Shield 4721, come in… Operations to Shield 4721”….


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 10, 2004 Det Robert Parker, 67Sqd, Shot-arrest
October 10, 2004 Det Patrick Rafferty, 67Sqd, Shot-arrest
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

It seems we’re spending a lot of time memorializing officers in this “return to print” issue. We cannot forget that 5 years ago Det. ROBERT PARKER and Det PATRICK RAFFERTY of the 67 Squad gave their lives in the line of duty while effecting an arrest for DV. Time goes by swiftly, do not let their memories fade.