Friday, January 28, 2011

"Three people can keep a secret, if two are dead".


I don’t know about anyone else but I have absolutely had it with snow and all forms of this winter menace.

I don’t like snow. I don’t ski. I don’t like to sleigh ride, bobsled, or perform any other acts of entertainment in snow. If you enjoy those things, then that’s just fine. Have fun with it. You should have as much fun in the snow as you like- as long as you have to drive upstate or, better still, out of state to partake in these activities.

Not sure how you feel about city snow? Try driving up Bushwick Avenue in the morning, after it’s snowed, and see how long it takes you to get from Eastern Parkway to Flushing Avenue. Take my word for it- when it hits thirty-five minutes on Bushwick Avenue you better at least have satellite radio in the car.

As for me, I’m looking forward to sunshine, sand and surf. Enough snow already!


Ever sit in a meeting and ask yourself: “What am I doing here”? “What a waste of time?”

Well, apparently Mayor Bloomberg has, and he’s found a way to curtail those from happening.

A recent story in the Wall Street Journal (January 26, 2011) details how the Mayor has installed “COUNT UP CLOCKS” inside City Hall.

The idea is very simple- at the start of a meeting a button is pushed and the clock begins counting. Ticking off how much time has been spent sitting at the meeting, in clear view for all to see, the intention is to help move the meeting along to the important points and get everyone back to doing what they should be doing.

Another version of these count-up clocks is one that does so in dollars. You input how many people are present and an average salary figure, and as the meeting goes on the dollar figures keep going up as it computes how much money is being spent sitting at the meeting!

The “Time-Is-Money” clock has begun being utilized at corporate meetings throughout the country by those who believe that managers should be managing and not meeting. The same concept which Mayor Bloomberg shares, prompting the installation of the count-up clocks in City Hall.

While many commanders would probably wish to see it so installed, I don’t think the installation of any form of count-up clock is scheduled to be installed on the 8th Floor of 1PP.
Perhaps the count up clock app on my iPad could get some good use?


Thanks to one of the readers on this site, Bobby Sassok a retired JTTF Detective, the following information is being passed along.

Included in the Departments Rules and Regulations of 1929 are some very interesting items.

It is noted that the Police Commissioner at the time, whose name appears on the leather bound book, was Grover A. Whalen. His photo appears in the book as well.

Whalen was a prominent politician, businessman and public relations guru during the 1930’s and 40’s. His first major political assignment was as the police commissioner, serving so from 1928-1930, where he was known to be a ruthless enforcer of prohibition laws.

He is known to have declared at this time, "There is plenty of law at the end of a nightstick.” Another fine example of how times have certainly changed.

Regarding the duties of a patrolman, the following is quoted:
"A patrolman shall ordinarily patrol to the left. He shall not patrol on cars or other conveyances, except when so assigned. Immediately after the sergeant commands, "Take your posts," a patrolman shall proceed to his designated relieving point along the prescribed route and shall as soon as possible inspect his post and note any conditions thereon requiring police attention. Charges will be preferred against any patrolman who shall, through neglect of duty, fail to discover, report, and take appropriate action in the case of a homicide, burglary, accident, fire, serious breach of the peace, or other act or condition on his post requiring police attention, during his tour of duty, or who shall neglect to take proper measures to arrest any person guilty of such offenses. Failure to discover, report, and take appropriate action in any of such cases within a reasonable time after arriving on post shall be regarded as neglect of duty."

Look for more interesting items from this text in future postings.


The January 7, 2011 issue of the Financial Times had an interesting story on a recently published book concerning a recent NYPD terrorist-response incident.

“Seven Shots: An NYPD Raid On A Terrorist Cell and Its Aftermath”, by Jennifer Hunt, tells the story of the 1997 raid on an Islamist terrorist cell in Brooklyn that was just hours away from detonating bombs on the subway during rush hour. Two of the suspects were shot and injured by ESU members as the raid took place.

In an interview with the Financial Times the author tells the story on how she became involved in writing this book. Jennifer Hunt had been working for the NYPD as a civilian assistant in the Training Division when she came upon the story.

“Later, when I was working on a training issue called Domestic Preparedness, I interviewed two cops who took part in a raid in 1997 on an Islamist terrorist cell in Brooklyn. The cell was just hours away from detonating bombs on the subway during rush hour. The officers shot and injured two of the suspects in self-defense and bomb squad officers defused the live bomb. It was an example of police work at its best. The officers were heroes”, she states, but then goes on to tell a story on how politics was introduced and, what she states, turned the story on a tailspin.
I have not yet read the book, but the buildup to the story- and the story behind the story- has left me wanting to do so.

You may want to read the full article at:


On January 19, 1973, there was a violent hostage situation in the 90th Precinct in which Patrolman Stephen Gilroy, ESS8 was killed.

On January 19, 1973, at approximately 1730 hours, four males entered John & Al's Sporting Good's Store, 927 Broadway, Brooklyn in the confines of the 90th Precinct, and attempted to rob the premises.

During the course of this robbery, a holdup alarm was tripped resulting in Patrol Units from the 79th, 83rd and the 90th Precincts responding to the scene to prevent the escape of the perpetrators. A hostage situation ensued and shots were fired at the Officers on the scene.

Emergency Service was requested and Patrolman Stephen Gilroy was one of the first arriving members on the scene. They were apprised of the serious nature of the incident, and that the subjects had access to refles and shotguns as well as an unlimited amount of ammunition.

Emergency Service officers, wearing vests and armed with special weapons, took up containment positions around the store. At approximately 1810 hours, shots were fired from the store and Patrolman Gilroy, positioned directly across from the store was shot and fatally wounded.

In attempting to remove Patrolman Gilroy from the scene, Patrolman Frank Carpentier, Shield 13597, 79th Precinct was wounded in the right knee. At great risk to themselves, other officers were finally able to remove Patrolman Gilroy from the street and transport him to Kings County Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Forty-seven hours after the initial alarm was sounded, and the hostages escaped, the four gunmen meekly surrendered and were taken into custody.

Patrolman Gilroy was laid to rest at what is described as the City's largest turnout for the funeral of a slain policeman. An estimated 10, 000 persons attended the funeral. Mass was held at St. Cecilia's RC Church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The following link provides a full story of the incident and some photographs from the tragic scene.


A few days after the death of Ptl. Gilroy, there was another machine-gun attack on a radio car team in the 73rd Precinct that has not received the notoriety that it deserves.

Thursday, January 25, 1973, just five days after the hostage situation that resulted in Ptl. Gilroy’s death in the 90 Precinct, two brothers working together as radio car partners in the 73 Precinct had an encounter that they will never forget.

The Imperato Brothers- Patrolman Carlo Imperato and Patrolman Vincent Imperato, 73rd Precinct, were assigned to radio motor patrol. At about 7:45 PM, as they approached a red light, they observed a double parked vehicle occupied by what appeared to be a male and a female.

As the radio car slowed, Carlo, who was the operator of the RMP, glanced to his left and saw a man with a long gun pointed at him. The perp fired multiple shots shattering the window of the radio car and wounded Carlo in the shoulder. Vincent got off two shots with his revolver as Carlo gunned the engine to get out of the line of fire.

The perp continued to fire shots into the back of the police car.

Vincent was struck with shards of glass. Unknown to the officers, more shots hit the trunk of the RMP and destroyed the radio transmitter. They were unable to transmit a radio report of the incident due to the damaged transmitter in the trunk.

They had not been issued portable radios in those years.

As a result of this, none of the other sector cars in the 73rd Precinct or surrounding commands were aware of the attack.

When the brothers sped to Brookdale Hospital, they then notified Central and the 73rd Precinct by landline of the attack!

Both officers were admitted to Brookdale Hospital. There were never any arrests made in the attack on these officers. Subsequent interviews with the officers revealed their feeling that the female in the double parked car was none other than Joanne Chesimard, the radical BLA terrorist who fled this country and was never brought to justice.

The time lapse between the attack and when the officers could call for assistance proved to be critical to any search for the suspects.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Keeping in mind that the big secret of being a detective is “to get someone to tell you what happened”, then the investigative canvass is understood for the importance that it should hold.

Not merely an item on a checklist that needs to be checked off, the investigative canvass provides a real opportunity to obtain actionable intelligence, point an investigation in a direction of potential motive as well as assist in the ultimate goal of identifying the culprit.

When done properly, the canvass puts the detective in the position of talking to people to obtain information, as well as alerting people who/ how to call with information they may have. Every door of a potential witness that is not met with a person-to-person interview, with the canvass being one of these opportunities, is potentially a serious missed opportunity to reach success.

If there are twenty apartments that overlook a crime scene and you only had success on fifteen doors, you need to go back to the other five. Re-canvasses are critical tasks for the investigator. How often is our investigation stymied by the lack of a witness- yet we leave opportunities missed by an improper re-canvass effort?

Knocking on doors and talking to people- these are potential opportunities at discovering the needed witness.

Utilization of the canvass flyer is an advantageous manner of getting your message out. When time permits, a suitable flyer that identifies what you are looking for, and where someone can go to provide the information, is a critical part of the investigative process as well. While the immediate use of the "TIPS" cards at a scene is beneficial in that it provides the anonymous telephone tip line to a witness, the investigative flyer that adds the information regarding the incident concerned, a local contact and the brief message that "We need your help in solving this crime" has many advantages.

How many times have witnesses mistakenly believed that the Police had all the info they needed? That there was no reason for them to get involved or to call with info they may have because they believed that the Police already knew that. "If they're not asking, they must already know" may be a feeling the public has that is hampering your progress with potential witnesses.

Getting out and talking to people is what a detective does. Look at the investigative canvass as a real potential for success in your investigation, and not merely as a chores that needs to be "checked off".

Quality investigations include quality canvasses.


A returning television cop- drama that has received very favorable reviews is the TNT show "Southland".

This year airing on the cable TNT channel, it premiered last season on network television before moving to its new home.

After all the favorable reviews I read I watched the seasons premiere show. All I can say is it was alright- not as god as Detroit 187 or Blue Bloods, but certainly better than The Cape, or even the new Hawaii Five-O. (More on that at a later time).

According to Bloomberg Media, “Southland” remains the most gripping police drama since the heyday of “Law & Order”, and may it live as long".

The show is a mix of Adam-12 and NYPD Blue, if Blue was based in Los Angeles and was named “LAPD Blue”.

We follow the patrol force as they answer radio runs in the Southland of LA, and we also encounter the detective squad as they go about the drama of their duties. What seems to bring it above the fray to the notoriety it is getting is "its effortless use of a traditional cop-show format to explore issues of race, gender and class in a powerful way". In other words, there is a good storyline at the root of the show and it’s not all gunfights and car chases and women in bikinis (not that there isn’t a place for that i.e Hawaii).

Or perhaps it's just the "straightforward, solidly crafted" stirrings that make it, according to Bloomberg Media, "one of the best shows on television".

Based on what else is airing on television these days, it's probably worth at least a DVR viewing to see if it catches your fancy.


In the January 17 edition of CRAINS NY, the "New York New York" column led off with a crime story.

"Rapes, murders and robberies went up last year in the Big Apple. But citizens can rest easier knowing that crime-stopper extraordinaire Curtis Sliwa is on the case".

You can be sure that lead caught my attention!

So are we to believe that the citizens of NYC are comforted in knowing that Curtis Sliwa has doubled the number of his red-beret wearing volunteers, now to over 154 such volunteers, despite any rise in crime? Apparently Crains NY wants it's readers to feel that the increase to 24 Angels in Corona and Elmhurst, from the original 16 that were there, means more to those residents than the NYPD Impact and local patrol force?

The Guardian Angels founder, Curtis Sliwa, is referred in the article as a "media personality". Apparently his media efforts are pretty good based on the tone of this article in a respectable tabloid like Crains.

I guess the workplace restructuring of the Guardian Angels has a positive outlook?

While I don't in any way wish to mar the work that these volunteers do, I just have to question this outlook at good fortune. I've never encountered a bad contact with the Angels during my time on patrol. When I began patrolling the Subways in the early 80's, the Angels were at their most popular on the rails. I pretty much felt if they weren't against me then they were good for me; I treated them, when encountered, with respect that was returned by them and we all just got along. A volunteer citizen force to be eyes and ears can't be a bad thing in theory, as long as the practice doesn't get out of control.

But to attribute local resident’s fears now in check by the red berets, now that they are at a recent high of 154 such members, is a little much for me to follow.

If you are a viewer of TVs "The Office", you may be looking forward to Dwight Schrute bringing his Scranton "Knights of the Night" to New York next!


I've noted in this space previously how certain corporate catch-phrases take on a life into public service functions.

The phrase we've been hearing so often that it seems like we’re beating a dead horse has been "Doing more with less".

We all have to do more with less. Pretty much the corporate catch-phrase of the decade.

What we may soon begin hearing is the new phrase that's catching on in corporate boardrooms:

"We are /we have to undertake workplace restructuring".

A nice way of saying: "out with the old, in with the new"?


Ptl. Robert Bolden, Sh# 20025, 75 Precinct

On January 22, 1971 while off duty and inside a neighborhood bar-grill in the 84 Precinct, Ptl. Bolden was confronted by a gunman who was using a pay telephone. Ptl Bolden had, at the request of the owner, just told the culprit that the grill would be closing soon and that he had to end his phone call. The gunman exited the phone booth shortly after and wantonly fired three shots from a handgun, killing Ptl Bolden before he had to react.

Ptl. Bolden was appointed to the department on July 1, 1955. He had 16 years on the job at the time he was killed; he was 45 years old.


Ptl Gregory Foster, Sh# 13737 9 Precinct
Ptl Rocco Laurie, Sh# 11019 9 Precinct

On January 27, 1972 Patrolmen Foster and Laurie were walking a foot post in the 9 Precinct.

Patrolman Rocco Laurie and Patrolman Gregory Foster were assassinated by members of the Black Liberation Army while walking their patrol beat on Avenue B and East 11th Street in the 9th Precinct. As they walked down the street, four suspects came out of a dark doorway behind them and opened fire, shooting them in the back. After the officers fell, the suspects took their handguns and shot them several more times.


January 22, 1971 Ptl Robert Bolden, 75 Pct, Shot-off duty altercation
January 23, 1934 Ptl Joseph Misichia, 114 Pct, Shot-arrest
January 23, 1943 Ptl Pasquale Venturelli, 45 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
January 23, 1987 PO Michael Reidy, 41 Pct, Shot-off duty robbery
January 24, 1967 Ptl John Barry, PA, Line of duty heart attack
January 24, 1975 Ptl John Scala, ApplicInv, Shot-off duty robbery
January 25, 1994 PO Nicholas DeMatiis, 106 Pct, Auto pursuit
January 27, 1908 Ptl John Loughman, 15 Pct, Shot-off duty incident
January 27, 1938 Ptl Edward Roos, 8 Sqd, Auto accident on patrol
January 27, 1943 Ptl Angelo Dimuro, 1 Pct, Line of duty incident
January 27, 1972 Ptl Gregory Foster, 9 Pct, Shot-assassination
January 27, 1972 Ptl Rocco Laurie, 9 Pct, Shot-assassination
January 28, 1938 Sgt David Kilpatrick, 40 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
January 28, 1980 PO Cecil Sledge, 69 Pct, Shot-car stop
January 30, 1930 Ptl Maurice O’Brien, 28 Pct, Shot-arrest
January 30, 1956 Ptl Benny Bruno, GCP Pct, Auto pursuit
January 31, 1901 Ptl Thomas Fitzpatrick, 29 Pct, Explosion-rescue
January 31, 1901 Ptl Edward Mullin, 29 Pct, Explosion-rescue
January 31, 1927 Ptl James Masterson, 18 Div, Shot-robbery in progress
January 31, 1928 Ptl Patrick Fahey, Traffic C, Fall from horse
January 31, 1928 Ptl William Kelly, 37 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
January 31, 1931 Ptl Harold Conway, 27 Pct, Drowned
January 31, 1959 Ptl Michael Talkowsky, 23 Pct, Shot-robbery
January 31, 1968 Ptl Stephen DellAquila, Safety B, Scooter accident on patrol
January 31, 1984 PO Angelo Brown, 84 Pct, Shot-robbery, off duty
January 31, 1992 PO Hilario Serrano, 43 Pct, Shot-robbery, off duty
January 31, 2004 Sgt Keith Ferguson, ESS7, LOD Heart attack

It is noted that the eleven line of duty deaths recorded on January 31 represent the date with the most line of duty deaths for members of this department with the exception of 9/11/01.

Friday, January 14, 2011


In case you didn’t see the story in the recent Daily News, our own JOE HERBERT has been appointed to work on the US Congressional Committee on Homeland Security!

Joe is the first NYPD officer appointed to work on a congressional committee!

Inspector Joe Herbert most recently was assigned to the Intelligence Division’s Intelligence Operations and Analysis Section, and was before that part of the Joint Terrorist Task Force since 9-11. Many of us know Joe as a Brooklyn North Squad Commander, Supervisor and Detective- he was the Squad C.O. of the 75 Squad just prior to 9-11 and had been on special assignment to the First Deputy Commissioner’s Office for a special investigation when 9-11 hit. He attained the ranks of Captain and Deputy Inspector while at JTTF.

Joe’s career as a detective and detective supervisor is often highlighted in the media regarding his role in the arrest of the New York City copycat Zodiac killer when he recognized writing on a note written by an arrestee, Heriberto Seda, in 1996 as matching that of the Zodiac writings from the 1990-1993 shootings.

“The sharp-eyed Herbert matched the notes mailed by the serial killer to the handwriting in a confession penned by Seda in a previous case”, according to the Daily News.

While this act was no short of tremendous, it is only one small part of what Joe has already accomplished as a detective for this department.

Joe will now be working on the Congressional Homeland Security Committee that is chaired by Rep. Peter King of L.I. “He brings the expertise of the No. 1 counterterrorism police unit in the country. It gives us a tremendous source of knowledge”, King said.

Commissioner Kelly also noted that “he’s so uniquely skilled and qualified for the job,” and that “he’s very experienced and will be of great value to the committee.”

I will always think of Joe as the ultimate squad commander- the person who brings a little of everything to the table. Joe’s advice and guidance to fellow supervisors and detectives alike will always be missed here in Brooklyn North, as we know thankfully that Joe’s expertise is being put to great use- for everyone’s benefit!

Joe always says he values his past as a Brooklyn North detective- and I want to make sure knows we value him as well. Joe will always, in his heart and in ours, be a Brooklyn Detective! This has always been a true case of our loss in the Detective Bureau being for the greater gain of the department- and the City.

We wish you all the best, Joe, on your mission of keeping us safe. I know for myself that I sleep better knowing that Porkchop is looking out for us!

Best wishes, Joe!


“Where does Joe work?” “He works in Plainclothes.”

Before there were police officers in precincts working in “Anti-Crime”, the department had police officers assigned to “Plainclothes”.

The Plainclothes officers were white shield police officers assigned to enforce public morals complaints. Gambling, vice enforcement and alcoholic beverage control violations were the area of enforcement that those assigned to “Plainclothes” enforced.

Up through the 1960’s, this was a specialized unit within the Precinct, the Division and the Borough. You would here members described as “being in plainclothes”, and you instantly understood what they were doing – enforcing the public morals complaints.

Historical reference: Frank Serpico worked in “Plainclothes”. (Ed Note: At the time of his shooting, he was assigned to Narcotics Unit 7).

Before there was an Organized Crime Control Bureau these violations came under those in Plainclothes. These Plainclothes officers and their case investigations were part of the Patrol Borough, and NOT the Detective Bureau (or the Detective Division, as it was known at that time). Narcotics investigations came under the Narcotics Division which was part of the Detective Bureau.

Local numbers operations were subjected to arrests and summonses by the precinct plainclothes people, as was enforcement of prostitution and alcohol sales complaints.

The October 1961 SPRING 3100 includes what were recent amendments to the Rules & Procedure of the department (what most of us now know to be the Patrol Guide) pertaining to these plainclothes assignments.

Communications of complaints related to public morals, gambling or alcoholic beverage control would be forwarded through the Chief Inspector (Chief of Department) Office direct to the commanding officer of the division, except in the borough of Brooklyn North where it would be forwarded to the Borough Command.

“The division commander or, in Brooklyn North the borough commander, will see that the necessary investigation is conducted and appropriate action taken on each such communication.” It further outlined that in “Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, the division commander may forward the communication to the precinct concerned” for investigation.

Remember that at this time the patrol precincts did not regularly deploy MOS in any other plainclothes assignment- there was no “Anti-Crime” deployment at the precinct level until the early 1970’s.


The 1961 SPRING 3100 magazine also noted some amendments to department forms, specifically the:

DD52F – Known Gambler Card (a record filed at pct, division and borough level)
UF44 - Arresting Officers Report of Gambling Case
UF82 - Assignment of Patrolman to Raided Premises


It was also in 1961 that department boroughs were reorganized.

Prior to February 15, 1961 Brooklyn had been separated into Brooklyn East and Brooklyn West, and Manhattan was separated into Manhattan East and Manhattan West.

After February 15, 1961 the boroughs went to a North and South separation in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Queens was still, at that time, one borough command and was not yet separated into North or South.


Ed Note: The following is reprinted from an earlier posting on this blogsite; originally posted in 2001. History of the department never gets old! If you never read it, you’re sure to enjoy it; if you read it then, you’re sure to enjoy revisiting the story.

A Dec. 31, 2001 obituary in NEWSDAY noted an NYPD legend, Det. Frank Malerba, had died.

Malerba is noted as “the legendary police detective whose exploits in gunning down an infamous killer during a wild 1955 shootout in East Harlem was turned into a Hollywood movie. Malerba fatally shot murder suspect August Robles inside an East Harlem apartment, ending an hours-long confrontation that later inspired the film “Madigan” with Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda.

Malerba was 88 years old at the time of his death. He retired from the force in 1963, and jumped back into the headlines in 1989 when, at age 76, he shot a teenage mugger in the leg after the youth had just robbed a woman. He was a detective out of an old James Cagney movie!

He regaled detectives a third his age after the 1989 incident, telling stories about police work back in the 1940’s and 1950’s and marveling lightheartedly at how the Police Department had changed. “They don’t make detectives like they used to”, noted Malerba.

His status in Police Department lore began in 1955 when he fatally shot murder suspect August Robles inside an East Harlem apartment, ending an hours-long confrontation. Hundreds of officers were involved in the showdown with Robles, who was wanted in a Brooklyn murder. After his long time partner in the 23 Squad, Det. Vincent Heffernan, and the squad commander, Lt. Charles Dauner, were wounded trying to capture Robles, it came down to Malerba as more than a thousand area residents gathered in the streets.

“I remained hugging the ground” Malerba recounted in an interview after the incident. “I kept firing into the apartment and he fired back. I yelled to him, “Come out with your hands up and you’ll come out alive”. He yelled back “let me think it over.” Robles stuck to an earlier promise not to be taken alive and wouldn’t give in, which prompted ESU officers to bombard the apartment with tear gas. When the smoke cleared Malerba went in and found Robles lying on his back, with four guns - three of them taken from police officers - by his side. “I took no chances”, Malerba said. “He’s a tricky guy, so I pegged one more shot at him,” he recalled.

Malerba never let the fame go to his head. According to his partner Heffernen, he reveled in the everyday satisfaction of “going after guys who had taken advantage of others.” Malerba always talked fondly of the job, and was truly one of the department’s legends. “He was into the job,” said his partner Heffernen. He truly was!


As noted above, the movie MADIGAN, with Richard Widmark playing the lead character, is based on this story of the shootout in East Harlem and the exploits of Frank Malerba.

MADIGAN is one of those movies that cop buffs probably have on DVD in their right bottom desk drawer (at least that’s where my copy is kept). Chief Materasso has a picture of the movie promo of MADIGAN in his office, and I am proud to say I have my own copy that was gifted to me from the Chief hanging prominently hanging in mine as well.

This 1968 film starred Richard Widmark as Madigan, and also starred Henry Fonda as the Police Commissioner.

Detective’s Rocco Bonaro, played by Harry Guardino, and Det Daniel Madigan (Richard Widmark) lose their guns to fugitive Barney Benesch when they go to arrest him in his hideout apartment. As one of the movies taglines tells it, "If Detective Madigan kept his eyes on the killer instead of the broad..."

On a quiet Spring morning in New York City Police Detectives Daniel Madigan (Richard Widmark) and Rocco Bonaro (Harry Guardino) attempt to bring in small-time hood Barney Benesch (Steve Ihnat) for questioning for the Brooklyn detectives division when the crook gets the drop on them stealing their guns and putting them in lots of trouble with the Police Commissioner Anthony X. Russell (Henry Fonda), who already holds the opinion that Detective Madigan is something of a loose cannon.

Madigan and Rocco are given 72 hours to track down their man and with the help of small-time bookie, "Midget" Castiglione (Michael Dunn), they corner the crook in a hotel and Madigan moves in to take him.

The secondary storyline follows a police academy graduation and some revealing issues brought to the attention of the PC regarding problems within the department. Combined with their own personal issues, we see Madigan and Bonaro performing as true dedicated detectives, and makes for one of the classic New York City Detective films.

If you get a chance to see the movie "Madigan", watch it. You won’t be disappointed.

Monday, January 10, 2011


As I prepare writings for this site, and due to the time lapse between posting, I feel it a good time to review the objective of what is it that you can expect here on this site.

Our place as investigators is often thought of as a special calling.

Our Squad Room – wherever that may be – is a special place.

It’s where we spend a large part of our life. It’s a place where we feel comfortable enough to joke around with others, and then to have a serious discussion on an investigative objective. It’s the place where we learn to be a detective – we learn from others around us, we learn from those we deal with outside our commands, and we learn from ourselves. We grow in our role as a Detective – a professional investigator – ion our Squad Rooms.

Work should be fun, as a wise commander once said. This is no different today.

Heck, we probably spend more time in a given week in our Squad Room’s then we do in our own living rooms at home!

The Squad Room – this particular blog – is intended to be a place to share ideas on what detectives do, information on items of current interest, and a place to “learn how to be a Jedi”.

It’s important to understand your history- what went on “here”, in these Squad Rooms, years before. To understand where you are now and look at where you are going you have to know where you came from. History is often entertaining; as we look back at history as we know it, those who are just coming out of the Academy today and who will occupy our seats in these Squad Rooms ten, fifteen and twenty years from now will find what we are doing today to be “historical” interest. We live in history.

Entertain, pass along some ideas on what we do and how we may be able to do it better, to learn about our past with an insight on where we are going, that’s what I will try to continue to put together here, on this blog, in The Squad Room. Your Squad Room.

Travel anywhere in the world- guaranteed if you sit and talk with the local police detective you will find shared issues, shared interests, shared frustrations; perhaps in a different language, but I am sure you will find A Detective is a Detective no matter what country’s flag they fly.

Welcome to The Squad Room. Have a cup of coffee.


In life there are few positives and/or negatives. The investigator deals with the human element and should expect any type of behavior, rational or irrational, logical or illogical. If the investigator keeps this in mind, she/he will have the versatility of mind and spirit to break cases.

Many times in your investigative career you will ask yourself, “why did he do that?” “Whatever possessed him to go that way?” “Why didn’t he do it that way?” You may never get the answer but be prepared for the most unusual as well as the most common behavior.

There are thousands of instances to support the irrational acts of human beings.

Why would two middle-aged brothers keep the mummified corpse of their mother for years in their apartment and then finally decide to get rid of her? They took her body in a shopping cart to a vacant lot where they left her. Why did they pass several vacant lots on their mission? Wouldn’t it have been easier to dispose of her at the nearest lot?

Why do killers keep their weapons only to later find them to become evidence against them?


You hear the statement, “This one’s a ground ball”, and you should immediately cringe!

Every case demands a thorough investigation to insure a conviction. Do not take a case lightly or assume that it will stand on its own merit. You must see to it that the case offers an excellent package to present before a Grand Jury and at trial.

Uniformed officers arrive at a scene of a dispute in the street and observe a man rendering first aid and performing CPR on another. Witnesses tell the PO’s that the man applying CPR just stabbed the victim; this person makes a statement that he “just killed his brother”.

Apprehension is quickly effected and there are no outstanding perps.

Ground ball?

Well, if you think there is little work involved for the detectives you are very wrong.

Put the case together, collect statements from witnesses, corroborate statements. Provide the best possible case to the prosecutor for Grand Jury and trial. Be prepared for th presentation to the jury that will look to discredit your work: “You mean to tell me this person you call the killer was performing CPR on his brother when you got there?”

Detectives work to put a case together which includes corroborating statements, and discrediting alibis. When the perp provides an alibi it is your duty as the detective to either prove or disprove it!


As any detective who has ever tried to take notes at a winter crime scene realizes, an essential tool for the detective in this cold weather is THE PENCIL.

A good mechanical pencil in the pocket next to a fine writing instrument- the essential tools of the working detective!

While some try to rely on “memory”, the good detective understands the value of proper note-taking- and is prepared for the freezing weather with a good pencil!


A piece of advise for response at a major incident scene is to have the information pertaining to the following five items readily available to the command staff in separate folders.

Video: Are there any video recordings of the incident? Where did we canvass for video, and what were the results? Are there any locations we need to go back to retrieve video from?

Statements: What statements were made by the perp? By the complainant? By any witnesses? Who received these statements, and how are they recorded?

Identification: You have a perp in handcuffs? How was he/she identified? Who has made an identification? How are we going to proceed with this suspect as a perp? Don’t forget basic identification issues- if the perp was apprehended at the scene by responding police officers, then what is the identification process that took place?

Physical Evidence: What physical evidence is being recovered? How does this evidence play into our scene? What are the identifiers of the evidence, and what are we looking to have done with this evidence? Where is it, and who is caring for it?

Time Line: Develop a time line that walks you through the incident- when was the first call received, when did officers arrive, what time was any movement from the scene made? Go back as far as necessary in your time line as is appropriate.


Remember to bookmark this site- it is a wonderful tribute to all our brothers and sisters who have given themselves in the line of duty. It is a superbly managed site, and surely shows the respect these officers deserve.


Police Officer Francis Hennessy, a 35-year-old Brooklyn cop collapsed while responding to an unfounded report of a man with a gun died of a brain aneurysm.

Francis Hennessy, an Irish national and an NYPD cop for eight years, died at Downstate Medical Center, less than 15 hours after he was hospitalized the previous night when responding to a call of an armed man in the Flatbush section.

A spokesman for the city's medical examiner said the cause of death was a "ruptured brain aneurysm," a genetic condition in which a bulge in a vessel creates intra-cranial pressure upon bursting. Hennessy, a scooter cop assigned to the 70th Precinct, had 75 arrests in his career. He became ill after responding with two other cops to a report at of a man with a gun, collapsing after emerging from a radio patrol car. Other officers tried to save his life, performing CPR upon him and he was taken to Kings County Hospital before being transferred to Downstate.

He was initially believed to have suffered two separate heart attacks. An eight-year veteran of the force, Hennessy received three departmental commendations for excellence on duty during his career, police said. He was married with two children. He joined the police force in 1997.


January 10, 1987 PO Francis LaSalla, ESS1, Fire rescue
January 10, 1998 PO Edward Ahrens, 28 Pct, Shot (5/5/75) narco invest
January 10, 2006 PO Francis Hennessy, 70 Pct, brain aneurysm
January 11, 1908 Ptl Robert Fitzgerald, Bridge Pct, Drowned-Rescue
January 11, 1916 Ptl Joseph Gaffney, 26 Pct, Shot-arrest
January 11, 1929 Ptl Albert Bruden, Mcy Unit, Auto pursuit
January 11, 1941 Ptl Edward Maher, Traffic P, Shot-robbery
January 12, 1974 PO Timothy Murphy, 120 Pct, Shot-off duty incident
January 12, 1981 PO Robert Walsh, 7 Pct, Shot-off duty robbery
January 13, 1924 Ptl John Schneider, 3Div, Robbery investigation
January 13, 1950 Ptl Edward Carraher, 14 Pct, Injured on patrol
January 13, 1997 Det Kenny Fung, 72 Sqd, Heart attack during investigation
January 15, 1938 Ptl Frank Zaccor, 14 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
January 16, 1953 Ptl Thomas Sheehan, 10 Pct, Line of duty heart attack
January 17, 1947 Ptl Harry Schriffies, McyDist, Shot-investigation
January 17, 2000 PO Benny Marciante, SITF, LOD Heart attack
January 18, 1935 Ptl James Killion, 17 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
January 18, 1960 Sgt Edward Johnson, 5 Pct, Stabbed by EDP
January 18, 1967 Det Harold Jacob, Safe Loft & Burg Sqd, Line of duty heart attack
January 18, 1979 PO Robert Manzione, 7 Pct, Line of duty heart attack
January 21, 1932 Ptl John Walsh, 17 Div, Shot-off duty robbery
January 21, 1941 Ptl Daniel Piselli, 88 Pct, Killed-line of duty incident
January 21, 1948 Ptl William Von Weisenstein, 101 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
January 21, 1958 Det Francis O’Rourke, 32 Sqd, Line of duty heart attack
January 21, 1986 Det Anthony Venditti, OCCB, Shot-investigation
January 21, 1995 Det Alfred Boesch, Housing SNEU, Line of duty incident

Friday, January 07, 2011


Just to let any readers of The Squad Room who are still checking this site know, there will be NEW postings coming real, real soon!

A little sabatical was needed, but I am back with renewed interest and some good ideas for postings.

Armed with an iPad to help me easily make posts to the site, I expect to be back publishing real soon.

Thank you for checking back, and look for new stuff real soon.

The Minister of Investigation

Note: As always, I encourage input from the readers of this site. Maybe you have a tale you'd like to share, or information on some historic item that you think is interesting, please pass it along to me. I could use all the help I can get!