Thursday, March 31, 2011


There’s nothing wrong with a detective carrying their own individual “cheat sheet”. If it helps you get your job done, why not?

I learned a method many years ago after a conversation I had with Dan Kelly, then the Commander of Queens Homicide.

Dan Kelly, a department legend who will be the subject of a more detailed review in a separate posting, was known by many as the “Dean” of Homicide investigations.

One lesson I observed was his reference to a set of index cards he carried in his jacket pocket. I soon learned the value of the Kelly Method.

Today’s investigator cannot expect to remember each and every procedure, guideline or reference point with the multitude of investigations he or she is tasked with on a daily basis. Neither can the specialist in homicide, arson, sex crimes or any other investigative specialty.

The method adopted by Dan Kelly, which I have learned to adopt to my own preferences, utilizes index cards. Maintaining a reference card on specific tasks to be performed at a scene is a good way for the investigator to keep the investigation on track.

I suggest that detectives, especially those newly assigned, take the Crime Scene Guidelines checklist and shrink it down to fit on the back pages of their notebook. So too can this be shrunk and placed on an index card.

As a squad commander, the utilization of an index card on your major incident investigations can help you keep track of tasks that need to be performed, results of tasks accomplished, and a quick reference on the status of these investigations.

An axiom I have always preached to new detectives is the idea that good detectives don’t need to have all the answers, but should know where and who to go to in order to find the answers.

You quickly date yourself when you mention the importance of a detective’s “rolodex” of contacts; todays detective is more likely to be maintaining his phone book directly in his smartphone- blackberry, iPhone, Android etc – than to be using a handwritten rolodex.

Just a point to consider, though. If your electronic phone book crashes, do you have a hard copy to replace it with?

Any method you may adopt, whether it be index cards, checklists in your notebook, or cram notes on your forearm- if it helps you stay on track with your investigation, it’s worth it.


Two years ago, on March 30, 2009, Retired Lieutenant Detective Dan Kelly passed away.

Readers can search this site for “Dan Kelly” and find several articles I wrote over the years related to Dan.

My posting today regarding Index Cards is a direct result of Dan sharing his investigative expertise with The Minister many years ago.

Last May 2010 the paddleball courts at Astoria Park were dedicated to Dan. Links to several newspaper stories that appeared regarding this event are included later in this blog.

I am reproducing here a blog I posted several years ago that I think you will find of interest. If you have been reading this site for some time, you may recall it. If you are a new reader, you will certainly appreciate it.


I recently came across a copy of a 1991 magazine article written by Robert Martin about Lt Daniel Kelly, Jr – “Dean of NYPD Homicide Investigators”.

It appears that this may have been written for a John Jay College publication; the photocopy is clear as to the time line – Fall 1991 – but does not include the periodical information. It seems that the author was a Detective Captain taking a college course at the time.

I know Dan for quite a number of years, as Dan was the C.O. of Queens Homicide when my father worked there. Dan was the C.O. during the hey-days of the late 80’s into the 90’s, and had a supervisory staff that included Sgt. Fred Cornicello, Sgt. Phil Panzarella, and Sgt. Robert Plansker, as well as Sgt. Tom Gray.

Quite a number of department notables came through this area, and speak quite favorable of Dan Kelly even to this day. Dan retired a good number of years ago, but he certainly warrants a spot in the department’s notorious past commanders. The Eddie Byrne case was just one of the more notable cases that are too few to mention.

I will reprint part of the article here, as I found it very interesting, and perhaps you will too.

“On this particular night, a new homicide had occurred. I was in the office of the Queens Homicide Task Force being briefed as to what had taken place. Numerous theories were being tossed about and the recent crime was compared to some homicides that had taken place in the recent and distant past. The source of this information was Lt. Daniel J. Kelly, Jr., Commanding Officer of the Queens Homicide Task Force. It occurred to me then, that Dan Kelly was a living link to the history of the NYPD, particularly in the area of homicide investigations in Queens. While we continued to work, I knew that I had found the subject for my paper. That solved problem number one. Problem number two would be to talk Dan into doing an interview with me. Dan Kelly is a quiet, humble individual and not one to “blow his own horn.” When I approached him with the interview idea he suggested other people who he thought would be more interesting and informative. But through a combination of pressure, pleading and cajoling, I was able to get Dan to agree to do an interview regarding his experience on “the Job.”

Dan joined the department in October of 1952, made Detective in 1956, Sergeant in 1963 and Lieutenant in 1967. Except for brief stints in uniform, when promoted to Sergeant and Lieutenant, he was involved in homicide investigations since 1956; almost thirty-five years.

When asked about his most memorable cases, Kelly replied, “Since 1973 I have investigated the killings of seventeen police officers in Queens, all have been important and all but one of these investigations was successful.” He names the Byrnes case and the killing of PO Scott Gadell in a shootout in Far Rockaway, as two of the most memorable.

When asked which one case sticks out in his mind, Kelly mentions the Scarangella / Rainey shooting in the 113 Precinct, which occurred in April 1981. In this case, two uniformed officers on routine patrol attempted to stop a van which had been seen in the vicinity of numerous burglaries. When the van stopped, two individuals jumped out and fired over thirty rounds at the two officers in their radio car. Officer Scarangella was killed and his partner, Officer Rainey, was severely wounded.

Kelly points to this case as being a “text book investigation” in that it covered the four major investigative steps that must be covered in a successful cases.

These steps are:

A. The Crime Scene
B. Interview / Interrogations
C. Surveillance
D. Record Checks

Through much hard work and the use of these techniques, the two killers were identified, tracked down, arrested and convicted. Kelly says that he and many of the Detectives that work for him, consider this case the most satisfying of their careers.

On the other side of the coin, Kelly did not hesitate when asked for his most frustrating case. “Howard Beach” he answered, “was four months of constant pressure and criticism. The news media and politicians put a lot of pressure on us and it made for a very frustrating case.”

At this point I asked Lt. Kelly to tell me step by step his response to a homicide scene.

“I usually get notified by phone, so before I leave the station house I stop at the desk and try to get a computer printout of the job. By looking at this I get some ideas, who called, what time, what unit responded, were there any other calls that may have had something to do with my job. This way I’m not pulling up to the scene completely in the dark as to what happened.

I also let the Desk Officer know that his switchboard operator might be getting calls with information about the homicide. If I have the manpower, I will leave one Detective in the office to take these calls, if not, I ask the switchboard operator to get as much information as possible from anyone calling.

In route to the scene you pray that the uniform personnel have established a criome scene, they have kept unauthorized personnel out of the scene and they have identified and detained any witnesses.

When I arrive I usually go directly to the body, and try and determine if the person was killed where the body fell or perhaps killed elsewhere and dumped, or assaulted at some other location and ran until he dropped at this spot. I then take a few steps back and enlarge my field of view. At this point, I look for areas where a witness may have seen what happened, areas to canvass.

One trick that Detectives have been using for years is to conduct a canvass after the crime at the exact location, time and day as the original crime took place. People are creatures of habit. So if you have a homicide go down on a certain corner at Friday night at 7 pm, it’s a good idea to have Detectives conduct a canvass of the same corner on the following Friday night at 7 pm. Chances are good that you will come up with someone who saw something, if not the homicide itself, some other thing out of the ordinary which did not seem important to them at the time.

The importance of the canvass is it gives you the independent witness. The witness who is not a friend of the victim or the perpetrator. It is this witness, with no ax to grind, who will give you a true, unbiased picture of what really took place.

It is crucial to get all the available witnesses interviewed as soon as possible, and if at all possible to get these interviews on audio tape. These interviews must be documented, along with such things as the assigned Detectives arrival on the scene, what time, who was there, his impression of the scene, a sketch and such factors as weather and lighting conditions.”

One thing that troubles Kelly is his belief that crime scenes are not held for long enough periods of time. “We, in New York City, give up the crime scene too soon. I know it’s a question of numbers and the volume of homicides in the city make it tough, but once you give up a crime scene, you can’t get it back. I would like to hold onto them longer.”

I asked if he believed the old adage “the first forty-eight hours after a homicide are the most important.” “That’s true”, Kelly replied. “If you get out quick with enough manpower, you will get the answers with a canvass, background checks, fin ding the independent witness and the motive. The only aspect that is not usually finalized is the scientific aspect, which again is a reason to hold the scene longer.”

We then moved onto the topic of what Dan looks for when interviewing potential members for his squad. “I look for investigative experience, knowledge of the law, attitude is very important and patience. For a Detective to be a good interviewer or interrogator, he must have patience. He must use that patience, and a good knowledge of the crime to get as much as he can from the subject, while giving up as little as possible.”

Lt. Kelly retired in August 1991, reaching the maximum age for active service in the department. I asked him, “Dan, when you walk out of the office door for the last time in August 1991, how would you like to be remembered by those still on the job?” Kelly thought for a long time, and then replied, “He knew his job, he did his job.”

For forty years, Dan Kelly knew his job and did his job like no one else has ever done it.”

Note from me: So much of what Dan Kelly said about homicide investigations in 1991 are so true to this day! Much of what he says in this piece are standard detective investigative tasks, which I myself use even to this day, when instructing at the CIC and the Homicide Course. The more things change…


Dennis Hamill, who attended the paddleball court dedication wrote this about Dan Kelly in the Daily News.

“After a week of putting away stone cold killers, Lt. Detective Dan Kelly, known as the Dean of Homicide Detectives, spent most of his weekends in sweltering summers and icy winters here on Court A of the paddleball cages of the Steinway Park Playground on 38th St., near 21st Road in Astoria, the neighborhood where he died in 2009 at 80 - about 20 blocks from where he was born.

But this neighborhood he loved and never left doesn't forget one of its favorite native sons, that everyone called "Buddy."

This was June 11, 2010 and about 250 people, most of them NYPD detectives, are gathered in this concrete oasis in the middle of working-class Astoria to honor this man who was formed on these tough streets, attended Public School 85, Junior High School 141, Bryant High and Baruch College.

Kelly joined the NYPD in 1952, after serving in the Army during the Korean War, earning his gold detective shield in four years, and making lieutenant in 1967”.

One of those interviewed by Dennis Hammill of the Daily News was Bill Clarke. Bill, a retired Detective from NYPD went onto much fame as a producer for the television series NYPD Blue.

Said Clarke about his former boss, Dan Kelly, "He was very methodical, always put all his information on 3-by-5 index cards, kept track of the names, the details, the associations. He was a real manager. And a great man. You will not find anyone on The Job who has a bad word to say about Dan Kelly."

The emcee of the event was Hon. Gregory Lasak, Supreme Court Justice in Queens.

Lasak emcees the event with a perp walk down memory lane:

"In July of 1980, Detective Abe Walton of the Street Crime Unit was in a social club in the 106 Precinct. When the place was stuck up, he tried to prevent it and wound up getting murdered."

Lasak said that when the shooter was finally tracked down, Dan Kelly was the first one through the door to take down the suspect.

"The legend of Lt. Kelly spread across the city because the SCU covered the whole city," Lasak says.

Dan Kelly would head 17 cop killing investigations in his career, including one in which a captain - Ray Kelly - who would eventually become commissioner, helped capture the suspect in the Carter Hotel in Times Square.

"Dan was a fantastic cop," Commissioner Kelly says. "He had a unique talent to analyze crime scenes, canvass a neighborhood, interview witnesses, and interrogate suspects. I got to see his outstanding work first hand."

Lasak reminds us that in the 1980s, Dan Kelly supervised the Yeshiva University shootings, spotted the license plate involved in the infamous upstate Brinks armored car robbery in South Ozone Park and personally intervened, successfully investigated the high-profile murder of Police Officer Edward Byrne by crack kingpins in 1988.

And for 35 years, until he died last March 30, Kelly unwound from the mayhem of his city by playing paddleball every weekend with his pals here on the courts that now bear his good name.

"I thought very hard about the best way to describe my dear friend Dan Kelly," says Judge Lasak. "Simply, when you were in his presence, you were in the presence of greatness."

"Dad was a simple man who inspired us to do the right thing," says his daughter Patricia Montano.

"He was a boss who made you feel like you worked with him not for him," says Bill Clarke. "Like I said, Dan Kelly was the best boss ever on The Job."

Why not take a look at some of these articles linked here?

Wall Street Journal:

NY Daily News


While not a regular course of the investigation conducted by most detectives, this is a term that you may hear the ADA refer to. It is certainly a term that your retired brethren and other friends in the private or corporate sector will be quite familiar with.

Mitigation is the term that is used to make the actions one performed in a crime handled in a manner that is less rigorous in the courts.

The best way I could put it in normal, everyday terms is that mitigation is the defense answer to “a good excuse”.

Crimes are at times committed under circumstances which are not justifiable nor excusable, yet they show that the offender has been greatly tempted; as, for example, when a starving man steals bread to satisfy his hunger, this circumstance is taken into consideration in mitigation of his sentence.

In civil cases, mitigation comes into play when the matter of judgement is explored.

Mitigation refers to the lessening of something.

For example, when an employee files a claim for wrongful discharge, he/she may seek to recover damages for lost wages. However, if he/she fails to seek other employment, the court may limit the amount of damages for lost wages to those that the court deems to be a reasonable period of unemployment, under the reasoning that the employee failed to mitigate damages by obtaining other employment. In a further example, when a person is injured in an auto accident he/she may seek damages for injuries. However, if he/she fails to get medical attention and an infection develops, the court may exclude recovery for medical bills, lost wages, and suffering related to the infection.

Mitigation is an affirmative defense. What the defense is saying, in essence, is that, yes, the defendant committed these acts, but he had a reason for doing it. And they would like these reasons to be taken into consideration by the judge, and the jury, in the determination of sentencing or damages to be awarded.

Mitigation is a required process that must be explored in all capital offenses.

It is mandated by the Supreme Court that a mitigation investigation be conducted in all capital crime cases. A capital crime is a crime punishable by death penalty.

Mitigating factors can play an important role lowering the death penalty to life in prison or a long prison term. The mitigating factors for capital crimes vary from state to state. The general mitigating factors include the age of the defendant, first time offender and extreme mental or emotional distress.

A capital offense, once a conviction has been handed down, must undergo an investigative process of mitigation that includes a psychiatric evaluation, investigation of the family background, and any other contributing factors – a “social history evaluation”, which must be taken into consideration.

The area of mitigation is a specialty of many private and/or corporate investigators.

Defense counsel in death penalty cases are required to investigate all aspects of the client’s life history and present all possible mitigating factors. The goal of a mitigation presentation is to take the jury for a walk in the defendant’s shoes.


Constantino Paul “Big Paul” Castellano (June 26, 1915 – December 16, 1985)

On December 16, 1985 at 5:30pm Gambino Godfather Big Paul Castellano and his driver Tommy Billotti were gunned down on the sidewalk, IN FRONT OF 210 East 46 Street, while John Gotti and Sammy The Bull Gravano watched from the car parked on the northwest corner of 3rd avenue and 46th street.

Both Big Paul and Billotti would be shot six times.

With the death of Castellano, John Gotti would then take over as the Dapper Don of the Gambino Crime Family.

Constantino Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, also known as “Big Paulie” (or “PC” to his family), was an American Mafia boss in New York City.

He succeeded Carlo Gambino as head of the Gambino crime family, at the time, the nation’s largest Mafia family.

In 1985, he was one of many Mafia bosses arrested on charges of racketeering, which was to result in the Mafia Commission Trial; in December of that year, while out on bail, Castellano and his bodyguard were shot to death outside Sparks Steak House in Manhattan on the orders of John Gotti.

Note From The Minister: I’ve eaten at Sparks Steak House. While it is one of New York’s Notorious crime locations because of these killings outside, and it is certainly nicely decorated inside, I would give it only Two Stars as its steak is concerned!


Regarding the noted department character THOMAS BYRNES, who is known as the First Chief of Detectives, I have the following information that was provided by Michael Bosak- true department historian and keeper of the history- regarding Byrnes.

Bosak notes that, as you know, Thomas Byrnes wasn’t really NYC’s first ‘Chief of Detectives’.

But he was the first to hold that position with the rank of ‘Inspector’ and then again as ‘Chief Inspector’.

He held the rank of ‘Inspector’ as ‘Chief of Detectives’ while he temporarily held the position of “Acting” ‘Superintendent of Police’ [Chief of Department] at the same time.

NYPD ‘Superintendent of Police’ William Murray was out extended sick. So Byrnes had the department create a new rank just for him: ‘Chief Inspector’.

Later he would actually become ‘Superintendent of Police’ and later was the first to hold the title of, “Chief of Police” on the NYPD. (Only four men got to hold that title, equivalent to today’s ‘Chief of Department’.

Teddy Roosevelt then forced him to retire.

Teddy Roosevelt, often referred to as the Police Commissioner, actually held the title President of the Board of Police Commissioners.

Teddy, in his annotations, said it was his very first priority as ‘President of the Board of Police Commissioners’, to force Thomas Byrnes out of office.

Byrnes was later shown to be a rather corrupt individual.

This was brought out later during his own sworn testimony in front of the Lexow Commission hearings in 1894, charged with investigating corruption.

He was a mega millionaire back then, in 1894, and couldn’t account for a penny of his wealth or how he obtained any of it. All on an annual salary of $3,000 a year.

The Lexow Commission unbelievably didn’t pursue it and let him retire.

Although coming under fire after his retirement, Thomas Byrnes was certainly a noted character in the early days of this department.

I have been fortunate to get my hands on a copy of a small publication that Thomas Byrnes wrote in 1898, titled A Detectives Secrets. This publication, which sold for 5 cents at the time, is written by Ex-Chief Thomas Byrnes, and is his contribution on “How To Become A Detective and How To Succeed As One”.

I thank Michael Bosak, again, for his effort on turning me on to the availability of this publication. Future postings on this site regarding this publication are most certainly to appear!


I truly believe that as real police professionals we should seek to not only further our education in our chosen field, but should be aware of current issues and practices not only around us locally, but on a global scale.

In this means I have posted issues concerning worldwide matters related to policing and investigations.

As it relates to current economic issues, we are not alone here in New York City, or even in these United States. Economic impact is striking worldwide, and issues concerning policing, and matters of salary, benefits, and working conditions of government workers worldwide is in the forefront of the news.

London is no stranger to these issues either.

I came across the following 15 minute video on You Tube, in which a reporter for the Guardian newspaper in the UK rode along with members of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Territorial Support Group, as they policed the recent large scale demonstration on the streets of London of the March For The Alternative.

This demonstration was aimed at government spending cuts.

It is certainly a well done video on what our brothers in London are going through, and worth the fifteen minutes of viewing.

Here in New York we have not yet seen the demonstrations that have erupted on some of the streets of our European counterparts.

The writer of a British police blog, Police Inspector Blog, makes mention of some of these demonstrations, where “a dozen police officers were surrounded and beaten by a masked mob in Sackville Street, off Piccadilly”. “Hardly the police state they spend almost every day writing about. Light bulbs filled with ammonia and military grade thunderflashes wrapped with coins were thrown at police lines. I suppose it makes a difference from the bottles of piss favored by the students”.

You can view this documentary video at:


April 6, 1937 Ptl Daniel Sullivan, Mcy Unit, motorcycle accident
April 6, 1953 Ptl Sam Katz, 32 Pct, Shot-investigation
April 6, 1955 Ptl John Conlon, 28 Pct, Injuries sustained on patrol
April 10, 1937 Det Michael Foley, 9 Sq, Shot-robbery arrest
April 10, 1950 Ptl Louis Balzano, line of duty incident
April 10, 1960 Ptl Vito Valenzano, 20 Pct, LOD heart attack
April 12, 1929 Ptl Andrew McLean-Wood, NFI
April 13, 1961 Ptl Robert Dugo, 6 Pct, LOD heart attack
April 13, 1988 PO Anthony McLean, PSA2, Shot- investigation
April 14, 1907 Ptl George Sechler, 16 Pct, Shot – arrest
April 14, 1929 Ptl William Schmeller, 32 Pct, Accident – auto pursuit
April 15, 1857 Ptl Stephen Hardenbrook, 9Dist MetroPDNY, Stabbed-arrest
April 15, 1932 Ptl James Morrissey, Traffic F, Auto accident on patrol
April 15, 1968 Ptl John Banks, ESU, LOD heart attack

Monday, March 21, 2011

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." Michelangelo


A key task of the detective is not only to interview and document witness statements and statements of admission by the perp, but to investigate and verify an alibi that is presented as proof of innocence.

Often dismissed as “not our job” to prove innocence, it is actually a very definite task of the investigator. And if overlooked it could result in a case being dismissed at trial, and certainly at the risk of embarrassment to the investigator.

It certainly strengthens a case when the suspect presents an alibi which you disprove!

Later on at trial, what is the defense supposed to do? Present even another version of innocence, only for the jury to be asking themselves “then why didn’t he tell the detectives this when they arrested him”?

A suspect who presents an alibi as to how he could not possibly be the person responsible for the crime needs to have this alibi either disproved- or proven – for the case you are presenting for prosecution to be strengthened.

Efforts and any attempts to verify the suspect’s alibi need to be properly documented in the case folder. These efforts will surely be important at some point down the road when the defense attorney is seeking to discredit the investigation you conducted. It is not a properly conducted investigation to merely ignore the presentation of an alibi by a suspect, and certainly not the handiwork of a professional detective.

These efforts at verification of an alibi can prove quite helpful later on at trial when the defense now wishes to present other facts to a jury, leaving the obvious question to be asked “then why didn’t he/she tell the detectives that in the beginning”? Likewise, an alibi that is left unanswered presents to a jury the potential that this person didn’t do it.

Your eyewitness identification will certainly come under harsh review by the defense, and may fall apart at trial, making you look like you never took the time to “find the truth”.

Investigate the alibi, document your findings, and make sure all information is properly recorded and turned over to the prosecution. It’s what a professional detective does.


I came across an article recently in which it was reported that the SFPD had initiated a pilot project regarding the investigation of burglaries and auto thefts.

I found it unusual that the program sought to “train civilian investigators to respond to low-level crimes not in progress”.

According to the San Francisco Police Chief, George Gascon, “letting non-police investigators do some of the legwork on these non-violent crimes will speed the process of responding to and collecting evidence at lower-priority crime scenes, will take some of the pressure off dwindling city funds for law enforcement, and will free up police officers to respond to more urgent calls and to investigate violent and other serious crimes, such as gang-related activity”.

"So at the end of the day, you end up with a better preliminary investigation with a collection of evidence," says Gascon. This frees up the officer on patrol, while also providing a response of "civilians who are just as able to be trained to have a great level of skills and handle evidence in court as well as sworn officers."

This item, reported by NPR, was due to be up and running this past year.

Unusual response to index crimes, for sure. I will try and find out how this program played out in San Francisco.


The original Hawaii Five-O television show aired for twelve seasons from 1968 to 1980, and continued in reruns for many years.

The show featured a fictional state police unit run by Detective Steve McGarrett, played by actor Jack Lord.

The theme music composed by Morton Stevens became especially popular.

Most episodes would end with McGarrett instructing his subordinate to "Book 'em, Danno" often specifying the charge such "murder one."

Hawaii Five-O was named in honor of Hawaii's status as the 5oth state, although the show's name ends with the letter "O" instead of the number zero.

The show centers on a fictional state police force led by former U.S. naval officer Steve McGarrett, was appointed by the Governor to rid the state of its organized crime problems.

In the show, McGarrett oversaw State Police officers—a young officer, Danny Williams who he referred to as “Dann-O”, along with regulars Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua.

For twelve seasons, McGarrett and his team hounded international secret agents, criminals, and assorted other organized crime syndicates plaguing the Hawaiian Islands.
McGarrett's arch-nemesis was a rogue intelligence officer of the Peoples Republic of China, named Wo Fat.

The show was the longest running crime show on American television until Law and Order surpassed it in 2003.

Its relatively unique setting also made it popular at a time when most crime dramas of the era were set in or around LA or New York City.

The Hawaiian-based television show Magnum P.I. was created after Hawaii Five-O ended its run, in order to make further use of the expensive production facilities created there for Five-O.

The first few Magnum P.I. episodes made direct references to Five-O, suggesting that it takes place in the same fictional universe.

In 2010 television introduced a “new” version of Hawaii Five-O.

Like the original version, it follows an elite state police unit set up to fight crime in the state of Hawaii. It premiered on Monday, September 20, 2010, 42 years to the date from the premiere of the original show, September 20, 1968.

The series covers the actions of a small special state police unit created by the governor of Hawaii to investigate serious crimes on the islands.

The team is headed by Steve McGarrett, the son of the original McGarrett, who himself is also a Navy SEAL officer at the time it is created.

The show initiates its debut with the assassination of the “original” McGarrett at the hands of an organized crime nemesis. It is this killing that spurs the Hawaiian Governor to resurrect the special task force, to rid the state of organized crime. Who better to head it then the son of the original McGarrett? Only in television!

The “new” McGarrett chooses as his partner Honolulu PD Detective Danny Williams. Only in TV land would the second character also be a Dann-O!

He fills out the team by selecting Chin Ho Kelly, an ex HPD officer who was trained by McGarrett's father, and Chin's cousin, a rookie cop named Kono Kalakaua.

Each episode begins with a crime or a body, followed by the assignment of the crime to the unit by either the governor herself or her representative. The task force uses the authority of the governor's office to gain access to crime scenes and investigations involving the Honolulu PD (HPD) when they cross paths.

As the series progresses, it's discovered Chin was kicked off the force after being accused of police corruption where he detailed to Danno and McGarrett that he took payoffs and denies ever doing so. This prompted McGarrett to offer him a second chance to become a full-time police officer again with Five-0; he once crossed paths with his estranged cousin who is an HPD Gang Task Force officer working undercover.

One episode had a revelation to a case he was working on involving the asset forfeiture inventory stashed in an HPD locker that no one knows about which led to Chin's resignation from HPD. Delving into these charges, his accusations lead the team to true corruption in the HPD, including a mole that nearly had Chin killed (who was later implicated in the murder of Danny Williams' best friend and later identified by Sang Min (the human trafficker who was seen in the pilot episode), and suspicious cases Steve's father was looking into - involving the Yakuza.

After the terrorist responsible for his father's murder is apprehended, a mysterious criminal interrogates him about Steve looking into his father's old cases. This figure is later revealed to be "Wo Fat", a criminal with ties to the Yakuza, and is possibly responsible for the car bomb murder of Steve's mother. When his father looked into this (as a member of the HPD Organized Crime Task Force), he began to dig too far into the corruption, forcing him to lay off the investigation. He saved everything he uncovered in a toolbox, which he left to Steve in the hopes of picking up where he left off.

If you were able to follow that lead up to the series, you’re on your way to being a Five-O aficionado!

In an effort to bring the series up to date, a female detective was introduced. Kono Kalakua, played by Grace Park, often finds the need to walk around in a bikini – for obvious reasons – is taken straight out of the Police Academy, recommended by her cousin Chin Ho.

Reminding yourself that it’s television, and fact doesn’t have to stand in the way of entertainment, you can enjoy Hawaii Five-O for what it is intended.



It’s not “Fifty”, it’s “Five-0”.

What exactly does the “Five-O” of Hawaii Five-O refer to?

As quoted on the television show of the “new” Hawaii Five-O, the reference is easily explained.

Correcting the “new Danno”, the current squad commander McGarrett explains the derivation.

“It’s what my dad (the original McGarrett of Hawaii Five-O fame) used to call our family because we’re not native Hawaiians. He nicknamed us five-o’s, after the fiftieth state in the Union. It was his way of making us feel like we belonged someplace”.

By calling themselves “Five-O”, they created a sense of belonging. How heart wrenching.

It’s even more incredible how the street term has taken on such usage. Even today on the streets of New York you often hear local people refer to plainclothes cops as “Five-O”.


Both versions end with the flashing blue light on the roof of the police car.

The newer 2010-11 version uses the same “old” blue light then morphs into a newer style blue light on a newer police car to end the sequence. A touch of artistic measure that bridges the old into the new?

The 2010 version has Grace Park, in a bikini, though.

But the original version has the hula dancers, and the “real” Danno and McGarret!
Book-em, Danno. Murder 1.

New opening sequence

ORIGINAL THEME SONG- longer version than used in 2010


870 7th Avenue

This was certainly a favorite spot of the mob, coming up in two separate killings of notoriety.

It was here on November 4, 1928 that Arnold Rothstein, mentor to both mob bosses “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky, was shot in room 349 over nonpayment of gambling debts.

About 29 years later Godfather Albert Anastasia would be shot while getting a haircut in the first floor barber shop here.

Albert Anastasia was boss of what is now called the Gambino Crime Family, one of New York City’s “Five Families” of organized crime, from 1951-1957.

He also ran a gang of contract killers called Murder Inc which enforced the decisions of the Commission, the ruling council of the American Mafia.

News photographs published after his execution, while seated in a barbers chair with a hot towel covering his face while getting a barber’s shave, received much notoriety after his death.

I can never sit in a barbers chair for a hot towel shave without thinking about this incident.

Makes you wonder, who’s sneaking up?


A reader recently passed along the following interesting web site concerning old-time New York gangster spots.


An article in the Sunday NY Times (March 20, 2011) highlighted some very old buildings that were once- and some of them remain – NYPD police precincts.

Starting around 1890, George Ingram churned out medieval-style police stations “like a ticket blitz”.

The Brooklyn newspaper, The Brooklyn Eagle, ran a story on these station houses back in the late 1890’s. “Palatial Homes for the Wielders of the Club,” said The Eagle in its review of the earliest surviving Ingram designs we know of.

The current station house of the 88 Precinct saw its start as the Fourth Precinct of the Brooklyn Police Department, at Classon and DeKalb Avenues.

The home of the Brooklyn Police Department 13th Precinct still stands, at Tompkins and Vernon Avenues. Although not currently in use as a police facility, the building remains occupied and in full use. This police precinct was utilized up through the 1960’s, when it was the home of the Brooklyn East Borough command as well as housing the Division command offices.

These buildings were noted for an arcaded tower at the front, with an extra, smaller round tower above that, capped by a conical slate roof, all “in perfect harmony of color and in keeping with the bold Norman style.”

The 75 Precinct in Brooklyn started as the Brooklyn police Department’s 17th Precinct. At the corner of Liberty and Miller Avenues stands the old station house that operated until the current house on Sutter Avenue opened. This building, although unoccupied, is still standing.

Still standing on Fourth Avenue and 43 Street is the former home of the 18th Precinct of the Brooklyn PD.

The former Brooklyn PD 19th Precinct stands at 37 Herbert Street, under the BQE. It’s not that long ago that this building was being utilized for the offices of Brooklyn North Narcotics. The Minister recalls a time when the current 94 Precinct was under renovation and the Herbert Street building was being used to house the 94 Precinct.

Brooklyn’s 22 Precinct is not only still standing, but currently in use by the NYPD, at Grand Avenue and Park Place. Now housing the offices of Brooklyn Robbery Squad and the Brooklyn Special Victims Unit, as well as some Brooklyn North Borough commands, the “77 Annex” as it is known once housed a working precinct that was later combined into the 77 Precinct. The Minister also recalls a time when this building was utilized as the temporary quarters of the Transit Police District 32, while the permanent quarters of District 32 were under renovation.

One of my earlier recollections of this building is the innovative manner that the heaters were utilized by District 32’s detectives as a heating surface to cook their meals on!

Another old station house, erected in 1895 but designed by a different architect, is the current Brooklyn North Borough Command at Wilson Avenue and Dekalb Avenue.

This particular building was the home of the 83 Precinct up through the 1980’s, until its current station house on Knickerbocker Avenue opened. And, yes, I also recall bringing prisoners into this building as the 83 Precinct.

There are countless other old station houses around, all with a history all their own.

To check out the full NY Times article, you may access the following web site.

Princely Police Precincts in Brooklyn


Please take a moment to remember PO Alain Schaberger, 84 Pct, killed in the Line of Duty on Sunday, March 13, 2011.


March 15, 1922 Ptl James McMail, 85 Pct, Assaulted during arrest
March 15, 1930 Ptl Walter DeCastillo, 84 Pct, Shot- robbery in progress
March 15, 1934 Ptl Philip Clarius, 78 Pct, Shot – robbery in progress
March 15, 1936 Ptl Dioniso Pasquarella, 75 Pct, Shot – off duty altercation
March 16, 1940 Ptl Francis Dolan, 10 Pct, Fell from auto
March 17, 1956 Ptl George Lessler, 10 Pct, LOD heart attack
March 18, 1926 Ptl William Higgins, 13 Div, LOD injury
March 18, 1948 Ptl John Casey, 20 Pct, LOD injury
March 18, 1972 Ptl Elijah Stroud, 80 Pct, Shot – robbery
March 19, 1943 Ptl James Donovan, 75 Pct, Shot – investigation, off duty
March 20, 1804 Ptl Hugh Enright, 24 Pct, Shot- burglary arrest
March 20, 1963 Ptl John Tuohy, TD2, Heart attack chasing felon
March 22, 1932 Ptl George Myers, Line of duty injury
March 23, 1986 PO James Holmes, PSA3, Shot-off duty robbery
March 26, 1949 Ptl Anthony Oetheimer, 114 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
March 26, 1992 PO Joseph Alcamo, 100 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
March 27, 1921 Ptl Joseph Connelly, 10 Div, Shot-investigation
March 27, 1944 Ptl Arthur Eggers, Traffic C, Auto accident on patrol
March 28, 1922 Ptl James Baker, 83 Pct, Motorcycle accident
March 31, 1914 Ptl Thomas Wynn, 155 Pct, Arrest-robbery
March 31, 2002 Det Jamie Betancourt, BxNarco, Stabbed- o/d dispute
April 2, 1880 Ptl James Stone, 3 Pct Brooklyn PD, Assaulted – struck by brick
April 2, 1914 Det Joseph Guarneri, DetDiv, Shot-arrest
April 2, 1930 Ptl Thomas Harnett, 13 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
April 2, 1978 PO Christie Massone and PO Norman Cerullo, 79 Pct, Shot-car stop
April 3, 1953 Ptl John Pendegrass, 32 Pct, Shot-robbery
April 3, 1972 Ptl Phillip Cardillo, 28 Pct, Shot-investigation
April 4, 1947 Ptl Jack Chason, 79 Pct, Shot-robbery
April 5, 1926 Ptl Charles Reilly, 13 Pct, Shot-Robbery arrest
April 5, 1952 Insp Thomas Boylan, Airplane struck auto

Reminder- You can access the web site:

for more information on those members killed in the line of duty.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


One of the finest buildings in all New York is also one of the least-appreciated and most forgotten.

The old Police Headquarters at No. 240 Centre Street was built in 1909 on a triangular lot in what was then solidly Little Italy.

It is today located in the ever-expanding Chinatown, with that area today often thought to be part of Soho, or what is also now increasingly known as NoLIta, ‘North of Little Italy’.

In 1973, the NYPD moved into the brand new headquarters at 1 Police Plaza, a red-brick modernist box behind the Municipal Building and next to the Church of St. Andrew.

The large building at 240 Centre Street sat empty for a number of years while a series of proposals were mulled over- hotel, cultural center, museum, et cetera.

Finally in 1983 the City accepted the proposal of developer Arthur Emil to turn the building into luxury condominiums.

The plan agreed upon called for fifty-five apartments as well as office space for non-profit organizations. Emil paid the City of New York $4,200,000 for the old Police Headquarters and then proceeded on a $20,000,000 renovation of the building. The grandiose entrance hall was preserved and restored, but most of the interiors, as police offices did not transform easily into residential use, were scrapped and redone.

The older old Police Headquarters, where reformer Teddy Roosevelt held court as Police Commissioner, was located nearby on Mulberry Street.

When the nerve center of the N.Y.P.D. shifted to 240 Centre St. between Broome and Grand, the gun shops, cop saloons, and police reporters followed suit.

One restaurant across the street was simply called ‘Headquarters’. With its oak bar and ceiling of carved wood, the ‘Headquarters’ restaurant became a particular favorite among the brass of the N.Y.P.D.


A way to keep track of arrests made in a squad was by the use of the UF5 – Arrest Disposition Card.

Whenever a detective made an arrest, or was assigned to take fingerprints for an arrest made by a patrol officer, the UF5 was prepared and filed in the detective squad.

Up until the early 70’s, arrests requiring fingerprints were printed only by detectives.

The fingerprints were only taken by the detectives; the measure was designed to ensure that prints were properly taken (when you do enough fingerprints, you can’t help but get at it – as most of us have learned!), but also provided the detectives the opportunity to see all those arrests within the precinct.

This provided opportunity for detectives’ future sources of information to be developed – standing and holding someone’s hand for the time it takes to roll several fingerprint cards is certainly a good opportunity to strike up a conversation – and most good detectives utilized this to their advantage.

The disposition of the arrest was noted on the card as well, as a way of keeping track of the “bad guys” in the neighborhood. Prior to computerization, the hand records kept in the squad was the lifeblood of a good investigation.

This provided a reference source when it was necessary to “round up the usual suspects.”


If your suspect has his DNA on file in the DNA database, why is it necessary to get a DNA exemplar from him?

One of the reasons may have to do with the way that mixed DNA samples are treated.

Often, when a crime scene is processed, DNA evidence will be extracted from a piece of evidence, but the DNA will be a “mixed” version.

Mixed DNA can be retrieved from evidence in many logical manners- a hammer that was handled by multiple people, a knife that was handled by multiple people- these may all result in “mixed” DNA profiles being retrieved.

The problem with a mixed profile is that it cannot be loaded into a DNA database to conduct a search.

Mixed samples mean the search capability of the various DNA databases cannot be utilized. You may have a suspect, and you see that your suspect has his DNA on file- you need to know if the DNA extracted from the evidence was suitable for uploading to the DNA database. If it was mixed, or if there were not enough loci to load into the database, then you will not be afforded a search.

That is where the exemplar DNA from your suspect comes in handy.

The Criminalist is able to type the exemplar from the suspect and conduct a direct comparison to the mixed DNA from the evidence, thereby providing the opportunity for a DNA match.

Remember, a mixed sample of DNA developed from evidence cannot be loaded into the DNA database for a search. That’s why the suspect exemplar is so important.


Many of our everyday nomenclature has its origin from outdated sources.

Here’s a short sample of the origin of some of the terms we regularly use yet may not know where they came from:
124 Room: This derived from the original Manual Of Procedure section that had to do with the preparation and reporting of crime complaints (Section 1.24). It was NOT the room number!

Others nomenclatures of the department have evolved over time.

Chief of Department: As we now know it, originated as the Chief Inspector.

It was Chief Inspector until the early 70’s, when, for a short time it became Chief of Operations (under P.C. Patrick Murphy), eventually being changed to the Chief of Department.

The other Chief titles at the time included the “Inspector” category: Deputy Chief was the Deputy Chief Inspector (DCI), and Assistant Chief was the Assistant Chief Inspector (ACI).

It was on April 24, 1973 that the official change from the titles patrolman and policewoman was made, designating and creating the title of Police Officer for all, regardless of gender.


Department forms, when being created, at one time were prefaced by the Bureau or the Division within the department that used the form.

The Quartermaster had forms that were numbered QM1, etc. Youth Division had the YD1, and so on. The patrol force used reports that were prepared for the uniformed force of the department, and were hence preceded by the “UF” designation.

The Detective Bureau was originally referred to as the Detective Division. Thus, the forms that were part of the Detective Division were preceded by the “DD” format.

That is why the most popularly known Detective form, which is used to document case investigations, is the DD5- the Complaint Follow-Up Report.

When the department streamlined the report process by making it a snap-out form and eliminating the detective from having to insert carbon paper between each page and make sure he/she typed hard so the print would go through, the form was then re-numbered under a new department procedure. These re-numbered forms replaced the old Division/Bureau designations, and the DD5 became the PD-313-081A!

It just sounds so much easier and more “detective-like, to call it a DD5 instead of a “PD313081A”!

So, if DD5 was report #5 of the Detective Division, what were the reports #1-4?

Here’s a little breakdown and chronological history on some of the detective forms.

The 1913 Manual of Procedure notes the following detective reports.

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.
In 1929, the manual of Procedure records the following reports.

DD1 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.

It was in the 1930’s that the detectives supplementary case report became known as the DD5.

In the 1950’s, the DD62 Chronological Record of cases was added.

Changed once again along the way, the 1965 Manual of Procedure lists the following.

DD1 Line-up sheet
DD4 Index of Unidentified persons
DD5 Supplementary Complaint report
DD6 Dealer's and Pawnbroker's Watch card.
DD8 Index of Person Wanted
DD14 Resume of Homicide Case
DD 52 Wanted Card
DD 52a Resident Known Criminal Card
DD 52b Parolee Card- State Board of Parole
DD 52c Parolee Card- Parole Commission, City of New York
DD 52d Released Prisoner Card- State Dept. of Correction
DD 52e Released Prisoner Card- City Dept. of Correction

As the detective reporting system becomes computerized, we have replaced the typed DD5 reports with the Enterprise Case Management System. Now, with all DD5’s computerized, the pink and blue DD5 forms have become obsolete.

Obsolete or not, it may be the ECMS, but Detectives will always refer to the case reports as “DD5’s”!


Did you enjoy your stay Sir?

An article in the London Mail newspaper in August 2009 detailed a procedure that was being instituted by some police agencies in Great Britain.

Prisoners were being handed hotel-style questionnaires upon their discharge from the police holding areas, and were being asked to comment on the conditions of their jail time!

The newspaper detailed the process with the story that noted:

“A night in the cells is now followed by a 'customer satisfaction' survey, with those detained in custody asked to rate the 'services' on offer behind bars.

The hotel-style questionnaire asks their views on the brightness of the cells and the quality of the food on offer”.The survey was to be given to 1,000 detainees as part of a pilot scheme by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. Detainees were invited to judge the quality of a variety of aspects of their incarceration, including the food, how 'safe' they felt, cleanliness, lighting and air temperature, and the provision of towels.

The questionnaire begins by stating: “Devon & Cornwall are committed to providing the best possible service to people who are detained in custody.”

“We would be grateful if you could complete the following survey and return it to the custody centre.”

Recipients of the questionnaire are asked a total of 41 questions, the results of which will eventually be entered into a database for analysis by senior officers.

Some of the questions:

* If you used the toilet, were the following things provided on request? Toilet paper/Sanitary wear/soap/water/towel

* How would you rate the condition of your cell for Cleanliness/ Ventilation/ Temperature/ Lighting

* Did staff explain to you the correct use of the bell/buzzer?

* Was the food/drink suitable for your dietary requirements?

* If requested were you given reading material?

Although this information is somewhat dated- it appeared in a 2009 newspaper story- I thought it was too good to not pass along.

I will try and find out what the results were of their survey!


MARCH 10, 2003

Thirty-six year old James J. Nemorin and thirty-four year old Rodney Andrews were fatally shot in the back of their heads, killed execution style during an undercover operation in Tompkinsville, Staten Island.

The two undercover detectives were the first NYPD officers to die in the line of duty since the World Trade Center attack and the first gunned down since 1998.

They were posing as gun buyers to try to arrest those who sell the guns in a dangerous effort to make us safer. For that they paid the ultimate price.

They were shot dead by the two people who were supposed to sell them the guns. We do not know if their cover was blown or what happened on that fateful winter night. Most of those details probably died with the detectives when they were shot at point blank behind the head and thrown into a deserted street in Staten Island.

We should all stop and say a prayer for these dedicated brothers and their families.


It has been brought to my attention by Lt. (Ret) Harry Scott that his great uncle is incorrectly listed in my last posting of the “Lest We Forget” section as having been killed in an auto accident.

Ptl. Scott was intentionally struck and killed by a motor vehicle. The details are as follows.
At about 0405 hours Patrolman Scott was standing at St. Nicholas Avenue between West 135th and West 134th Streets. There was a speeding car coming from down St. Nicholas Avenue which was north of Patrolman Scott. The driver of the car was driving at a reckless speed. Patrolman Scott stepped off the curb and pounded his night stick.

The vehicle deliberately turned and crashed into Patrolman Scott, dragging him for a distance before leaving his body in the gutter. The car went on the sidewalk and back into the street again. The driver then tried to take down another Patrolman on West 133rd Street. That Patrolman got out of the way then jumped on the running board of a taxi cab and fired shots at the vehicle.

The chase went south on St. Nicholas Avenue to 110th Street, east on 110th Street, then south on 5th Avenue. At East 96th Street and 5th Avenue the other Patrolman lost sight of the vehicle.Patrolman Scott was taken by a citizen from there to Harlem Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Patrolman Scott had served with the New York City Police Department for two years and was survived by a wife and a 3 year old son.

Patrolman Scott was assigned to the 32nd Precinct.


Thanks so much to a loyal reader, Robert Sassok, I am able to reprint here the posting that was “lost” when I accidentally deleted the posting.

I had just installed a new “app” on my iPad that would help me to post to this site in a mobile manner; not realizing what I was doing, though, I hit the wrong button and deleted the prior posting. I soon learned that there was no going back from this delete option; no recovery button, no trash bin to retrieve it from- it was gone! I will be sure not to push that button again!


An inquiring letter in the NY Times Metropolitan Section on Sunday, February 6, 2011 asked a simple question.

"Aside from 9/11, what year saw the most homicides against New York City police officers? Did fatal shootings of officers rise and fall with the city's overall crime rate"?

The answer was provided by Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne.

Leaving aside the terror attacks of Sept 11, 2001 when 23 Police Officers died, the worst year was 1971, when 15 officers died in the line of duty, 12 by gunfire.

It was not unusual during the balance of the 70's for six or more police officers to be killed annually.

In 1980 10 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty; in 1987 and again in 1988, six were shot and killed.

By contrast, fatal shootings of officers dropped in the 1990's and dropped even further in the past decade.

In the past three years, one police officer was shot and killed, and that fatality was a police shooting in 2009 that resulted from mistaken identity.

In the city as a whole, the number of homicides peaked in 1990, with 2,245 killings. The city's violent crime and homicide rates for the past 25 years also peaked in 1990, according to statistics reported to the FBI. They dropped sharply in the 1990's and 2000's, and city homicides have annually remained below 600 since 2002.

They reached a record low of 471 in 2009.


The French Connection was first a true crime book written by Robin Moore and later turned into the 1971 hit crime film by William Friedkin.
It tells a fictionalized version of the true story of the narcotics bust that netted 112 pounds of heroin sent over from France.

The movie version has NYPD Detectives “Popeye” Doyle and Buddy Russo cracking the case that, in real life, was accomplished by Narcotics Detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso.

Both Egan and Grosso played parts other than themselves in the movie.

Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle, was the porkpie hat wearing detective portraying Eddie Egan. Hackman won an Oscar for his role as Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Roy Scheider played Detctive Buddy Russo (Sonny Grosso) and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as well.

The film is noted as being the first R-rated movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.If you get a chance to see this film when it is run on AMC cable network with the “information subtitles”, it is well worth viewing. In that version of the film subtitles are run providing real-life information and other interesting background items as the movie is shown, and for any true crime buff it is a magnificent way to view it.

Here are some interesting notorious New York locations from this film, and the real life investigation that was conducted.

228 West 47 Street, Edison Hotel

This is the site of the hotel where the Frenchman, Jean Jehan, checked into Room 909. The Frenchman, as he is referred to in the film, is followed from the hotel throughout midtown Manhattan by the detectives, only to lose their “tail” in the infamous scene on the Times Square shuttle.

Bushwick Avenue and Maujer Street, Brooklyn (90 Precinct)

The location of the luncheonette that was run by Patsy and Barbara Fuca, and the location at the beginning of the film where the Detectives follow their drug mark to after a night out partying.

45 East End Avenue (at East 81 Street), Manhattan (19 Precinct)

The luxury Manhattan apartment building where the famous automobile, a 1960 Buick Invicta owned by the French television star Jacques Angelvin, that was loaded with heroin was hidden before its secret cargo was removed at the Police Tow Pound. The car was found to have 112 pounds of heroin secreted in secret traps located in the rocker panels.


Remember that you can contact the Minister of Investigation at:

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

“No mans knowledge can go beyond his experience”.
John Locke: philosopher


We often hear, and refer incorrectly, that the Medical Examiner “Determined the cause of death to be homicide”.

While we all understand the meaning of this phrase, it isn’t entirely correct.

Medical Examiners will determine, based on their autopsy examination and the facts of the investigation as presented by the detective, the “Cause” and the “Manner” of death.

Homicide is NOT a “Cause of Death”. It is correctly a “Manner” of death.

The Medical Examiner has one of these 5 choices in determining the “Manner of Death”:
1. Pending Further Study
2. Natural
4. Accident
5. Suicide
6. Undetermined

Homicide- death caused by another – is a Manner, and not a Cause.

A “Cause” of death would more properly be listed as “complications from stab wound to chest”, “complications from gunshot wound to head”, “blunt force trauma injuries to head”, etc. The action that resulted in the death is the cause.

Action (gunshot wound to head) is what resulted in the (manner) death.


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 a mere conclusion or expression of opinion.
Do not jump at conclusions from the information submitted at the time the complaint is received – investigate at once.
Take nothing for granted – investigate and be convinced.
A good detective is always more or less suspicious and very inquisitive.

From the 1940 NYPD Manual of Procedure; it may be over 70 years old, but just as valid today as it was then!


Did you know that for the longest time the title “Chief of Detectives” was only an honorary title, even well into the 20th Century?

The position as the “chief” of detectives was held by either a Captain or an Inspector.
The exception to this was Thomas Byrnes. But then too, there were lots of exceptions made for Byrnes.

Thomas Byrnes was the only person to hold all three of the following ranks: “Chief Inspector” (pre 20th Century); he held the title (not rank) of ‘Chief of Detectives’ while in the ranks of captain, inspector and chief inspector. He also is the only person to the hold both the rank (& title) of “Superintendent of Police,” and “Chief of Police” on the NYPD. (That was the highest uniform rank on the job at the time.)


From the 1950 Roster of the Department, here are the locations and command of the various patrol boroughs.

Boro Headquarters Manhattan: 153 East 67th Street, Commanded by an Assistant Chief
Borough Office-Manhattan East: 153 East 67th Street, Deputy Chief
Borough Office- Manhattan West: 306 West 54th Street, Deputy Chief
Boro Headquarters Bronx and Queens: Barkley and Revere Avenues, Bx - Asst Chief
Borough Office- Bronx: 1925 Bathgate Ave, Deputy Chief
Borough Office- Queens: 91-03 168 Street, Jamaica, Deputy Chief
Boro Headquarters- Brooklyn and Richmond: 485 Bergen Street, Bklyn, Asst Chief
Borough Office Brooklyn West and Richmond: 485 Bergen Street, Bklyn; Deputy Chief
Borough Office Brooklyn East: 148 Vernon Ave., Brooklyn Deputy Chief
Traffic Division: 400 Broome Street, Manhattan; Assistant Chief


Back in the late 60’s and into the early 70’s, a specialized patrol component was organized in Manhattan North known as the “PEP SQUAD”.

PEP stood for "Preventive Enforcement Patrol".

This unit gained some notoriety in this time, not all of it, though, in a positive way.

The PEP squad was assembled in 1969 by Assistant Chief Inspector Eldridge Waith, then in charge of the Manhattan North uniformed patrol force, who sought out "dedicated" young black and Hispanic patrolmen who would work hard "not because they want to be cops but because they want to make the community the kind of place they would want to live in and raise their families in." Certainly all the bearings of a positive command.

The PEP Squad was commanded by 1 Lieutenant and two sergeants, and the 20 patrolman that comprised the unit were all volunteers.

Initially made up of only black officers, this was in response to community complaints about the cultural differences and conflicts resulting from white officers patrolling black neighborhoods.

Formed in the latter part of the 1960’s, this was held out as another great policing social experiment.

The PEP Squad worked in pairs, on foot in the 28 and 32 precincts, and was expected to address all conditions they encountered. They were especially deployed to address what today would be known as quality of life issues, including street drug and vice activity.

Their original stated goal was to patrol the 5 precinct area north of 59th Street, river to river, and cut down on street crime-to cut into the sprawling activities of policy makers, narcotics peddlers, purse snatchers. In their two years of operation, the squad made 1,500 arrests.

Notching up early success stories, the squad was on its way to success before some bad times hit. The unit was disbanded just before the Knapp hearings, under a bad cloud of corruption.
Many of the officers had been arrested or were under suspension for crimes such as bribe receiving, shaking down merchants, contractors, peddlers and motorists.

A story that ran in the October 27, 1971 New York Times (page 54), by James M. Markham, noted the downfall of the unit.

“The Preventive enforcement patrol-or PEP squad-celebrated its second birthday in Harlem last Saturday. Yesterday the elite black and Puerto Rican unit was stunned by the allegation of a former member that all but two of the team’s 20 patrolmen were actively involved in "scores" on policy operators, narcotics pushers and other criminals.

"The charge was made yesterday by Waverly B. Logan (a former police officer), in testimony before the Knapp Commission, investigating police corruption”.

“The witness also specifically discussed an incident in which an unnamed lieutenant from the PEP squad allegedly joined in a shakedown of a narcotics pusher and several incidents involving at least one sergeant from the squad who also allegedly "scored." It was not clear whether Mr. Logan was referring to one or several sergeants in his testimony”.

The commander of the unit was then quoted as saying that the allegations of widespread corruption were all false, and that “we would welcome a full investigation of these allegations.

The NY Times went on to quote several members and former of the PEP Squad.

"A former Sergeant of the squad, a 15 year veteran of the force and an original member of the PEP squad who is now in the department’s personnel section, had bittersweet recollections of the team".

"I think the squad has a beautiful relationship with, shall we say, the 'silent majority' of the community," he said, recalling a PEP Squad Day at the Harriet Tubman school on West 127th Street, when the team members were given certificates by the school children.

"Mr. Logan, who now drives a taxicab in New York, testified at the Knapp Commission hearings that at the beginning PEP squad members felt a sense of elation-"It was like a new police department-but that this mood soured about a month later with the discovery that some of the patrolman were on the take”.

Editors Note 1: Reporting on the history of the department is never easy when it involves “bad cops”, corruption and the like. The cloud that surrounded the PEP Squad came at a time when this department went through a very bad time- and certainly came out of it growing much better for it. The Knapp Commission was not easy to sit and watch if you were a cop at that time; or a family member of a cop. My personal conversations with such members attest to that fact. The cloud of corruption that attached itself to every member of the department could not be easily lifted, and scarred many more good cops than it did the bad cops that were around.

While I do not normally use this forum to discuss the bad, to make believe it didn’t happen is not right either.

While the cloud of corruption attached itself to the PEP Squad, it did so also to those that worked “Plainclothes” and every cop who worked vice and gambling and even narcotics enforcement was painted with the same brush stroke, suffering from the sins of others.

As I have said before, we need to know our past in order to understand where we are now, and where we are moving to. In no way do I mean to demean or denigrate the good work that was sure to have been done by many members of the PEP Squad, as well as those working plainclothes, in this same single stroke.

Editors Note #2: My gratitude to Sgt (Ret) Michael Bosak for his interesting contributions to items in this posting. I have recognized Mike in the past as “the true historian of the department”, and I stand by that recognition. Thanks Mike!


February 26, 1988 PO Edward Byrne, 103 Pct, Shot-assassination guarding witness
February 27, 1909 Ptl Thomas Smith, NFI
February 27, 1925 Ptl Harold Ormsby, NFI
February 28, 1928 Ptl John Hubbard, Traffic A, Auto accident on patrol
February 28, 1952 Sgt Paul Brooks, GCP Pct, Motorcycle accident
February 28, 1970 Ptl Michael Melchionna, TPD1, Shot-investigation
February 29, 1980 Ptl Irving Smith, TPD-PA, Shot-off duty robbery
March 1, 1945 PO Albert Black, Traffic F, Fire rescue
March 1, 1970 PO Joseph Mariconda, Aviation and
PO Patrick Harrington, Aviation
Helicopter Accident
March 2, 1924 PO Thomas Gaffney, 26 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
March 3, 1989 PO Robert Machate, BSTF, Shot-car stop
March 4, 1927 PO Henry Farrell, 3A Pct, Fire rescue
March 5, 1973 PO Irving Wright, 20 Pct, Shot-arrest
March 5, 1975 PO Robert Rogerson, Div.Licenses, Auto accident
March 9, 1948 PO Julius Mirell, 34 Pct, Shot-burglary
March 9, 1974 PO Timothy Hurley, 103 Pct, Shot-robbery
March 10, 1917 Ptl Deforest Fredenburg & Ptl John Lober, No information available
March 10, 1994 PO Sean McDonald, 44 Pct, Shot-Robbery
March 10, 2003 Det Rodney Andrews, OCCB Firearms, Shot-UC gun buy
March 10, 2003 Det James Nemorin, OCCB-Firearms, Shot-UC gun buy
March 11, 1930 Ptl Joseph Scott, 32 Pct, auto accident on patrol
March 11, 1947 Ptl Winthrop Paris, 30 Pct, Shot-Investigation, off duty
March 11, 1959 Ptl Robert Forrest, 24 Pct, Off duty LOD heart attack
March 11, 1987 Det Louis Miller, FTU10, Shot-Burglary in progress
March 12, 1909 Lt Joseph Petrosino, Det Div; Shot – Investigation in Italy
March 12, 1931 Ptl James Flanagan, 25 Pct, Shot- off duty investigation
March 14, 1872 Det Phillip Lambreck, 19 Pct, Assaulted
March 14, 1967 Det John Pollins, Narc, Arrest- narcotics buy/bust
March 14, 1996 PO Kevin Gillespie, SCU, Shot – investigation