Friday, May 07, 2010



MEANS: What was the weapon used in the incident. “The perp was armed with a 9mm handgun”.

METHOD: How was the victim killed? “The victim was shot one time in the head causing his death”.

MOTIVE: What has the investigation led us to conclude regarding the reason the incident occurred? This may evolve as the investigation progresses – the motive may at first appear to be drug related, but the investigation that evolves may determine that the motive was a dispute over a female. Motive may change as the investigation is conducted.

MOVEMENT: What do we know about our victims actions prior to the incident? Can we track where he was, where he was going, who was he seeing? Do we have corroborative evidence of these movements – eg video, telephone records, etc?

During your initial stages of the investigation, keep the 4-M’s in mind. Answer the questions, and allow it to aid your investigation.

Especially as it pertains to MOTIVE and MOVEMENT.

It is the MOVEMENT of the victim that needs to be carefully reviewed. Very often, if you can retrace the victims movements for the prior 24 hours of the incident, you will have a better understanding of what happened – and why it happened – and, ultimately, who is responsible for what happened.

The MOTIVE can often become apparent as you review the MOVEMENT of the victim.

Regarding the Motive – don’t be afraid to change your idea of motive as the case progresses.

Often, what appears to be the initial motive of the incident may change as the investigation progresses. It is important that you let the investigation lead you to your conclusion, and that you do NOT let your conclusion lead your investigation.


There is no better recounting of the history of this Police Department than the stories that can be found in Spring 3100 – “The Magazine for Policemen”.

The October 1961 issue of Spring 311 provided some very interesting information.

It was noted in the October 1961 edition that within the past two months “two additional job benefits have accrued to the police officer”.

The first concerned sick leave. It stated that starting October 1961, the MOS would NOT have to take “a salary reduction for the first three days of sick leave”. Apparently, prior to that time, you did NOT have full-pay for your first 3 sick days!

In regards to OVERTIME, I think many will find this interesting item.

Within the recent months of October 1961, job benefits accrued that now provided “overtime pay for hours in excess of the forty hour week”. YES – prior to that, there was NO Overtime pay. You made a collar, you went to court and sat there for the weekend waiting for arraignments – you received NO OVERTIME!

It was also noted that the annual salary of a first grade patrolman had broken the $7,000 per year mark!

The sick pay practice was outlined in greater detail, as follows. Prior to September 1, 1960, the procedure was to deduct half-pay for the first three days of sick report.

With the 1961 year showing a significant reduction in time lost due to sick report by members of the department, and recognizing the hardship on the family of a member on sick report, the department was going to discontinue this practice of deducting half-pay “on an experimental basis”.

And it was effective September 5, 1961 that the forty-hour week for members of the force was established by Mayor Wagner and the Board of Estimate.

This change was reflected in the members receiving the same pay for the 40-hour week that they had been receiving for the schedules they had been working previously, which were for a 42-hour week.


In September 1961 there were 451 graduates from the Police Academy.

Among the graduates, and the Chief Inspector’s Trophy Winner for the 3rd highest general average of the graduating class was DAVID SCOTT.

Scott would advance in his career to the level of Chief of Department, the highest uniform rank, and be appointed First Deputy Commissioner before his retirement from the Department.


A study conducted by Dr. A. Abrahamsen, and published in 1960 as the PSYCHOLOGY OF CRIME”, made a valuable finding.

The doctor developed a “law of criminal behavior” – and like most academic laws, there was a formula:

Crime (C) is a function of criminal tendencies (T), plus
The total Situation (S), divided by
The persons Resistance (R)

The doctor’s formula looked something like this:

C = T + S

Now, I read this and tried to figure out how this could help us today. I was wondering how this might be used at a COMPSTAT meeting, and who would be the person to bring this formula up?

I think the following quote by Dr. Abrahamsen pretty much sums up the usefulness of his formula.

After discussing Murder Inc., and pointing out that these professional murderers brutally killed at least 63 men in the New York area alone, Dr. Abrahemsen scientifically concluded: “Very likely most or all were at least antisocial”. Well, Thank You Dr Abrahemsen for coming to that conclusion!

I just wonder if the good Doctore spent a lot of time working out his formula in order to make the conclusion about the murderers! Antisocial – you think maybe??


The Want Ads in Spring 3100 serve as a good measure of the prevailing times.

The October 1961 want ads mentioned several items that, with the benefit of hindsight, would have provided some pretty good opportunities.

A duplex of 2 apartments in Miami Beach were being offered for sale at $13,500.

You could have picked up a house in Valley Stream for $17,500, or in Copiague for $4,000.

Need a car? A pretty new 1959 Impala was being offered for $1,695. Maybe you could have used the 12 year old 1949 Studebaker sedan, for $100.


A recent article in the Financial Times (March 9, 2010 by Stefan Stern) reviewed the advancements being made in the area of data management, and how it applies to the current corporation and corporate executive.

But what does that have to do with detective work?

There was something that Stefan Stern wrote concerning a business manager and their use of analytics that I found applicable to the investigator, and pretty much goes back to the detective creed “GOYAKOD”.

We are all aware of the advancements made in the past years as it concerns databases utilized by the investigator. Both databases we have direct access to, and the trove of information available from the Real Time Crime Center – all intended to provide the investigator with the information he / she needs at the precise moment they need it.

But this is what Mr. Stern added. “Even academic experts agree that, however sophisticated your approach to data, you still need judgment to make good decisions”.

That statement pretty much sums up a lot of what I present during the Criminal Investigation Course. The human element of the investigator – how important this is.

Databases can provide you with lots of paper, but it is the human element that must look it over and make decisions. A quote that I often use is “A Detective sometimes doesn’t know what he is looking for until he sees it”. That’s why the importance of the detective working the investigation looking over the printouts that are provided is so important.

You cannot expect a person at the other end of the telephone, that accesses a database for you and prints out pages of results, to be able to look over these same results that way you can.

What else, according to the Financial Times, is advocated for today’s business manager?

“Today it is almost too easy to accumulate data. Get away from your desk, and go and see for yourself”.

Isn’t this what we advocate to detectives?

This is the reason why detectives respond to the scene, for the first hand observation.

Which leads us to GOYAKOD.

The creed of the detective, that reminds the investigator that sometimes what you need to do is “GET OFF YOUR ASS AND KNOCK ON DOORS”.

Talking to people in the street, asking questions and finding out what’s going on. Field investigative work – this is what solves cases.

The Financial Times says that sometimes managers need to “wear rubber soles” – so they can get around, visit and observe. Just like detectives, right?

After all, the affectionate term for detectives – Gumshoe – derived from the rubber soles a detective would wear as they made their way around, surreptitiously and effectively!



May 8, 2000 PO David Regan, 62 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
May 9, 1939 Ptl William Holstein, Mcy2, Motorcycle accident
May 10, 1922 Ptl Henry Pohndorf, 38 Pct, Shot- robbery arrest
May 10, 1979 PO Robert Soldo, 108 Pct, Shot- off duty incident
May 11, 1959 Ptl Harry Hafner, Hwy3, Motorcycle accident
May 12, 1925 Ptl Charles Godfrey, 16 Pct, Shot- arrest
May 12, 1932 Sgt Theodore Werdann, 87 Pct, Injured on patrol
May 12, 1944 Ptl Joseph Curtis, Mtd, Line of duty injury
May 12, 1951 Ptl Harold Randolph, 75 Pct, shot- off duty incident
May 13, 1913 Ptl Charles Teare, 12 Pct, Shot- arrest
May 15, 1934 Ptl John Morrissey, Telegrph Bur, Injured- assaulted
May 16, 1864 Ptl George Duryea, 19 Pct, Arrest-robbery
May 16, 1947 Ptl Frank Golden, 108 Pct, Shot- accidental discharge
May 17, 1927 Det Morris Borkin, DetDiv, Shot- burglary arrest
May 17, 1930 Ptl William Duncan, 18 Pct, Shot- GLA arrest
May 18, 1922 Ptl Douglas Hay, 49 Pct, Assaulted
May 18, 1962 Det Luke Fallon & Det John Finnegan, 70 Sqd – Shot-robbery
May 19, 1931 Ptl William O’Connor, Mtd, Shot
May 19, 1997 PO Anthony Sanchez, 13 Pct, Shot- robbery
May 20, 1920 Ptl John Fitzpatrick, DetDiv, Shot-GLA arrest
May 21, 1968 Det Richard Rolanz, 103 Pct, Line of duty heart attack
May 21, 1971 Ptl Joseph Piagentini & Ptl Waverly Jones, 32 Pct – Assasinated
May 21, 1996 PO Vincent Guidice, 50 Pct, Arrest- Cut by glass, assaulted
May 23, 1919 Ptl Emil Carbonell, Mcy, Auto accident on patrol
May 23, 1927 Ptl Walter Wahl, 7 Pct, Fire rescue
May 23, 1939 Ptl Nicholas Moreno, 87 Pct, Shot- investigation
May 25, 1970 PO Miguiel Sirvent, 71 Pct, Shot- robbery
May 26, 1924 Det Bernardino Grottano, DetDiv, Shot- burglary in progress
May 26, 1947 Ptl Phillip Fitzpatrick, Mtd, Shot- robbery
May 26, 1998 PO Anthony Mosomillo, 67 Pct, Shot- arrest, warrant
May 28, 1948 Ptl Charles Meyer, Hwy3, LOD injury
May 28, 1966 Ptl John Bannon, 110 Pct, Shot- off duty incident
May 28, 1970 Ptl Lawrence Stefane, 9 Pct, Stabbed by EDP
May 28, 2000 PO David Regan, 62 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
May 29, 1963 Ptl George Crane, 23 Pct, Shot- burglary in progress
May 29, 1978 PO James Washington, HPD, Struck by elevator in rescue
May 30, 1916 Ptl Henry Schwartz, 15 Pct, Shot- investigation
May 31, 1938 Ptl Melvin Williams, Mcy Unit, Motorcycle accident on patrol