Friday, April 29, 2011


This 1970’s crime drama highlighted a pair of plainclothes homicide detectives, Lt. Mike Stone and Inspector Steve Keller, cruise the streets of San Francisco solving a variety of crimes, usually involving murder. Stone, played by Karl Malden, is the street-smart 20-year veteran cop, and Keller, who was played by a very young Michael Douglas, is the college-educated rookie detective. Much of the series' success was due to the friendly by-play and relationship between the two leads.

In San Francisco, the detectives go by the title “Inspector”.

The show ran for five seasons, between September 16, 1972, and June 9, 1977, on ABC, amassing a total of 120 60-minute episodes. The series started with a pilot of the same title, and was based on the detective novel Poor, Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston.

The show revolved around two police officers who investigated homicides in San Francisco. The centre of the series was a veteran cop and widower, Lt Mike Stone (Karl Malden) who had more than twenty years of police experience and was now assigned to the Homicide Detail of SFPD’s Bureau of Inspectors (the San Francisco Detective Bureau). He was partnered with a young detective and energetic partner, Assistant Inspector Steve Keller (Michael Douglas) a college graduate, age twenty-eight, who had no experience in the police force. Stone would become a second father to Keller as he learned the rigors and procedures of detective work. Eventually, Keller was promoted to full inspector. As the series went on, Douglas became a star in his own right.

After the second episode of the fifth and final season, Douglas left the show after successfully producing the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, which won the Academy Award for Best Film for 1975. He in turn would also establish a film career. His character's absence was explained by having him take a teaching position at a local college, while Lt. Stone was partnered with another detective, Insp. Dan Robbins, played by Richard Hatch. The change was not popular with audiences, and the show ended in 1977, due to low ratings.

Michael Douglas would go on to continued fame, later starring in the hit movie “Wall Street”, and go on to marry Catherine Zeta-Jones.


The following is taken from the booklet “A Detectives Secret”, printed February 1898, authored by Ex-Chief Thomas Byrnes.

Byrnes, as regular readers to this site may recall, was a Chief of Police and former “Chief of Detectives”- attributed as the “First” Chief of Detectives of the department; for more info on Byrnes take a look at recent prior postings to this site.

Here is the opening to Byrnes’ dictum on “How To Become A Detective and How To Succeed As One”.

“To become a successful detective a young man must have, first of all, natural aptitude; then, plenty of brains, and last, but far from least, an almost inexhaustible fund of perseverance. Without all of these qualifications he may grow to be a satisfactory, or even an excellent policeman, but he can never hope to be a successful detector of crime.”

Byrnes is attributed to being the lawman who headed the Broadway Squad and drew an imaginary line in the street on Broadway and John Street- a “dead line”- and made the statement to the criminals of America: “Beyond this corner you shall not pass”.


In keeping with the general media theme this past week concerning events in London, what with some sort of wedding going on there on the other side of the pond that has many people’s attention, I am including some details of a project that has been ongoing by the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) in London known as Operation Trident.

What is Trident?

Trident is an anti-gun crime operation that was set up in 1998 to help bring an end to a spate of shootings and murders among young, black Londoners.

Over 350 police officers and 86 support staff work just on Trident. They are advised and informed by a group of black community leaders called the Trident Independent Advisory Group.

75% of London's gun crime involves the victim and suspect both coming from the capital's black communities. Trident was set up in response to black community members wanting the police to do something that specifically targeted the criminals affecting them. “Trident only works because it is a partnership with community leaders combined with robust, intelligence based policing”, according to official Scotland Yard statements.

What's the problem?

For a small number of people either carrying a gun, or living in fear of gun crime, is an everyday reality.

Operation Trident or Trident, is a Metropolitan Police Service unit set up to investigate and inform communities of gun related crime occurring within London’s black community, with special attention being placed on shootings relating to the illegal sale of drugs.

The importance of Trident is such that it was established as a dedicated Operational Command. called the Trident Operational Command Unit within the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime Directorate. This is the equivalent of the Detective Bureau establishing a separate Division to address gun related crimes in the black communities of the city. In 2004 it expanded with the formation of Operation Trafalgar, which investigates all other non-fatal shootings in London.

As part of the Specialist Crime Directorate, Trident is also known as SCD8 and more recently officers within the command have referred to themselves as "the Ocho".

According to Metropolitan Police publications, the key responsibilities of Trident include the prevention and investigation of shootings in London’s communities and all gun related murders within London’s black communities.

Trident is composed of several key units. These include three Shooting Investigation Units, four Murder Investigation Teams (MITs) and five Proactive Units. These are supported by an Intelligence Unit incorporating airport liaison and immigration units, the Community Engagement Team and the Financial Payback Unit.

Trident was initially set up as an intelligence based initiative in April 1995 after the brutal murders in and around areas of Lambeth and Brent. Of particular attention was the murder of Marcia Lawes in Brixton by Delroy Denton. These incidents “were made much harder to investigate due to unwillingness on the part of witnesses to come forward through fear of reprisals from the perpetrators of such criminal behavior”.

Following a continuation of the shootings and murders Trident was implemented on a London wide scale. In May 2004 Trident was expanded and currently has over 460 police officers and police staff engaged in the investigation and prevention of firearm murders and other gun crime affecting London’s communities.

The work of these combined units is coordinated in the following areas.

In terms of the investigations of MURDER, Trident investigates all murders by shooting involving a gun, where both the victim and suspects are from black communities.

In terms of Non fatal Shootings, Trident investigates all non-fatal shootings, as well as any threat to police officers where a firearm is produced but not discharged.

Their Pro-Active Operations are aimed at targeting those who possess, supply, convert, reactivate and manufacture illegal firearms and those who seek to use illegal firearms to prevent shootings occurring.

A 2009 article in the Baltimore Sun addressed Trident, with a reporter for the Sun accompanying the Trident officers on a ride-along. The following is excerpted from the November 27, 2009 Baltimore Sun article on this topic.

“The Trident program was set up about 10 years ago to address the growing problem of black-on-black gun crime in Britain's Afro-Caribbean and black communities. The impetus was a wave of killings, along with the black community's simmering distrust of police.

“With 300 officers and a budget of $44 million, Trident investigates homicides and spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on slick public-relations campaigns aimed at diverting young men from gun violence.

“The Trident squad gave The Baltimore Sun an inside look at a murder investigation, though because of government-imposed restrictions in Great Britain on reporting about active cases, police insisted that certain facts and names be withheld to preserve the prosecution.

“Detective Chief Inspector John Crossley's squad typically handles cases in the northern part of town but has had to pick up a few cases from South London recently to balance workloads. The workload in London, of course, pales in comparison to that of Baltimore police. London, a city of 7.5 million, has seen 110 homicides this year, only 17 of which involved guns. There is no unit that is equivalent to Trident in Baltimore, where the homicide division, by default, specializes in black-on-black gun crime, with nine out of every 10 of the homicides fitting that pattern.

“In the early stages of an investigation, a killing in Baltimore gets assigned to a squad of six, and police can free up additional resources as needed.

“The cases being investigated by Trident squads are scrawled in blue marker on white dry-erase boards at opposite ends of an upstairs office. Each case is assigned an obscure operational name, such as "Operation Tilton," "Operation Conch Key," and "Operation Tavernier." On the board, there are slots for each officer assigned to the case, such as the primary case officer, the officer who will act as a liaison to the family and the officer assigned to inspect closed-circuit television footage. Each board lists about 20 cases - dating to the late 1990s.

“Overall, officials say, gun crime is on the decline. Police are seeing more shootings apparently intended only to maim, a trend that police and city leaders believe might be due to criminals' awareness of the stiff penalties they face if charged with murder. Though total shootings have nearly doubled this year, from 123 to 236, gun crime is still at one of its lowest points in the past five years. Fatal shootings investigated by Trident have dropped from six in the past fiscal year to four this (2009) year”.

Not immune to the budget and economic crisis that is affecting everyone throughout the world, London’s Metropolitan Police appear likely to be closing down Operation Trident by the end of 2011.


The following was written by Elbert Hubbard, best known for his writing “A Message To Garcia” in 1898.

While this more famous work, “Message To Garcia”, deserves much longer inclusion on this site at a later time, I chose to reprint this following writing on “Horse Sense”, which I think many will enjoy.

“If you work for a man, in Heaven’s name work for him. If he pays wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, and stand by him, and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man, I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of his time, but all of his time.

“I would give an undivided service or none. If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you must vilify, condemn, and eternally disparage, why, resign your position, and when you are outside, damn to your heart’s content. But, I pray you, so long as you are a part of an institution, do not condemn it.

“Not that you will injure the institution – not that – but when you disparage the concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself. And don’t forget – “I forgot” won’t do in business”.

Certainly applicable to any work situation, least of which being this life we have chosen.


Somewhere along the way, probably in a measure of political correctness, investigators have adapted and interchanged these two terms. More often than not, without understanding the basis of the terms to begin with.

Talking to people is the basis of detective work.

A good detective understands this as the foundation of an investigator. Detectives need information from others, and talking to people is how we get much of that information.

Two of the major terms to describe the forms we take in talking to people are Interview, and Interrogation. The third term is Debriefing.

As defined for the investigator, these terms distinguished as follows.

Interrogation- in speaking with another person, a confrontational tone for the purpose of obtaining a confession or admission of guilt, culpability, or other involvement.

Interview- in speaking with another person, a conversational tone for the purpose of obtaining information.

The Interrogation is the confrontational discussion with another who is a suspect in a crime. The Interview is the informational questioning with someone in an effort to get information.

In an effort to sound “less confrontational”, or to make an effort to seem less accusatory, we use the term “interview” when, in reality, we know what we are conducting is an “interrogation”.

The third term, Debriefing, is even less accusatory, but slightly different in definition than the interview.

While the “debriefing” is in reality an “interview”, is has grown into main stream investigative usage in the past decade or so, adapted from the militaristic intelligence gathering interview.

When a military source returned from a battle field, from the “front lines”, or when an intelligence source came back from “contact with the enemy”, the intelligence “debriefing” was conducted.

The debriefing was intended to gather as much information from the source as could be obtained, with this intelligence to be examined by analysts as to its appropriate value.

Investigators have coined this “debriefing” as a general question and answer session with someone, usually one who has been arrested, in an effort to gain intelligence on other criminal activity.

Thus, while all are very similar in scope, the three terms- Interview, Interrogation, and Debriefing – have distinct differences in scope.


With all the attention given in these past several weeks over the ceremonial undertakings in London involving the wedding of Will and Kate (yes, The Minister is on a first name basis!), I thought this following information on a current crime trend in London was worth taking a look at.

It seems that New York City is not alone in the recent push towards bicycle usage- in fact, we are somewhat way behind our European cousins in the use of this mode of transportation.

In London, Mayor Boris Johnson wants more people to get on their bikes, and an active push is underway to encourage bicycle usage- and to stop bicycle thefts. The City is also aware that if a bicycle gets stolen, the owner is not as likely to replace and continue the use as had been before the theft.

Last year, approximately 24,000 bikes were stolen in the capital city of London, which is why the Cycle Task Force was created, and the London Police is making it a priority to catch cycle thieves all over London, and to educate cyclists about keeping their bikes safe.

The unit is made up of three sergeants, 12 Police Constables and 12 Police Civilian Community Officers, who work all over London in tandem with the Traffic’s Cycle Team.

“Having a cycle squad helped us have a better understanding of the type of cycle theft happening out there,” says Commander Mark Gore, who heads STC.

Sergeant Titus Halliwell of the squad says: “There’s no typical cycle thief. You might think that they’re entry-level criminals who are just cutting their teeth. But what we’ve found is that there are people out there making hundreds of pounds (dollars) a day from stealing bikes and selling them on websites such as Gumtree and eBay.”

One recent tactic being used by thieves is to steal a bike and simply chain it up elsewhere until they find a buyer. This way they hope to avoid being caught with it.

The Cycle Task Force encourages riders to get their bikes registered on private sites, such as or, which upload the frame number to a central database. A sticker is then affixed to ward thieves off. Police officers can access their databases by requesting a login. They’re also encouraging retailers to security-mark the bikes at the point of sale.

Investigators in the Cycle Task Force catch criminals by looking for clues, such as repeat phone numbers on sites such as Gumtree or eBay. They also carry out sting operations, putting out decoy bikes to see if a thief will bite.

Cyclists reunited with their property by the task force often tell other cyclists on riding forums, which leads to more people reporting stolen bikes, thus improving intelligence.

“By making it safe to own a bike in London we are reducing the fear of crime, lessening pressure on the transport system and encouraging people to live healthier lives,”says Steve Burton, a spokesman for the Transport For London.


Some basic information for the cigar smoker.

Lighting the Cigar: Holding the cigar, rotate the foot just above the flame. Warming or pre-heating the foot primes the cigar to light faster. Then without letting the flame touch the cigar, draw gently while rotating the cigar to ensure an even burn.

What about the ash? The ash on a premium cigar should be even and tight. Remember a premium cigar has a long leaf filler and the ash will be long, therefore you want the ash length to show, noting your selection of a fine cigar. When the ash is about to drop, you may let it drop naturally into the ashtray or with your index finger lightly tap the cigar over the ashtray. If the ash falls on your clothing, don�t panic, the fire is on the cigar not in the ash. You can stand up and let the ash fall to the floor, or gently brush the ash away.

What about the band? To remove the band or not is a personal preference. It�s completely up to you. (The Minister leaves the band on).


Some history of the department that every member should be aware of concerns these officers who have received multiple awards of the Medal of Honor.

Department history reflects only three members who have received multiple awards of the Medal of Honor. Only one of these lived to receive his second medal.

Detective Timothy J. Connell was awarded his first Medal of Honor in 1922, after he was wounded foiling a hold up at a cigar store which resulted in a shoot-out with two armed perpetrators of which he mortally wounded one and the second showed up the next day at a local hospital with a bullet wound. Detective Connell was awarded his second Medal of Honor posthumously in 1926 after he was killed in another shootout with four armed adversaries in 1924.

Detective John Cordes was awarded his first Medal of Honor in 1924 after a shootout in which he was wounded five times, and again in 1928 for another shoot out. He lived to be awarded his second Medal of Honor, and completed his career as a Lieutenant – Commander of Detectives, commanding first the Broadway Squad and then the Riverfront Squad, from where he retired.

Police Officer Robert Bilodeau, Street Crime Unit, was awarded his first Medal of Honor for an incident that took place on April 5, 1979, when while making an arrest during a decoy operation his throat was slashed, an injury that required 63 stitches. His second award was posthumously in 1981 for an incident that took place on February 12, 1980, when Officer Bilodeau chased a gunman into an alleyway. The gunman turned and shot Officer Bilodeau three times, but before he died he was able to wound his assailant.


May 1, 1892 Ptl Robert Nichol, 20 Pct, Off duty fire rescue
May 1, 1964 Ptl Edmond Schrempf, TPF, assaulted
May 1, 1981 PO John Scarangella, 113 Pct, Shot- car stop
May 2, 1974 PO William O’Brien, 10 Pct, auto accident on patrol
May 3, 1913 Ptl William Heaney, 12 Pct, Shot- arrest
May 3, 1921 Ptl John Conk, 97 Pct, Struck by horse
May 3, 1931 Ptl Bernard Sherry, 15 Pct, Shot- burglary in progress
May 3, 1964 Det Joseph Greene, DetDiv, Auto accident on patrol
May 4, 1863 Ptl Francis Mallon, 4 Pct, Shot by EDP
May 4, 1914 Ptl Michael Kiley, 156 Pct, Shot- arrest
May 4, 1931 Ptl John Hoey, 40 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
May 4, 1938 Ptl Thomas Hackett, 4 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
May 4, 1968 Ptl Gerard Apuzzi, 107 Pct, Asphyxiated
May 4, 1981 Lt Jan Brinkers, PSA8, Shot- off duty robbery arrest
May 5, 1934 Ptl Arthur Rasmussen, 3 Pct, Shot- robbery in progress
May 5, 1971 Det Ivan Lorenzo, Narco Div, Shot- off duty incident
May 6, 1934 Ptl Lawrence Ward, 23 Pct, Shot-investigation
May 6, 1964 Ptl Stanley Schall, 70 Pct, Line of duty heart attack
May 7, 1931 Ptl John Ringhauser, 102 Pct, auto accident on patrol
May 8, 2000 PO David Regan, 62 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
May 9, 1939 Ptl William Holstein, Mcy2, Motorcycle accident
May 10, 1922 Ptl Henry Pohndorf, 38 Pct, Shot- robbery arrest
May 10, 1979 PO Robert Soldo, 108 Pct, Shot- off duty incident
May 11, 1959 Ptl Harry Hafner, Hwy3, Motorcycle accident
May 12, 1925 Ptl Charles Godfrey, 16 Pct, Shot- arrest
May 12, 1932 Sgt Theodore Werdann, 87 Pct, Injured on patrol
May 12, 1944 Ptl Joseph Curtis, Mtd, Line of duty injury
May 12, 1951 Ptl Harold Randolph, 75 Pct, shot- off duty incident
May 13, 1913 Ptl Charles Teare, 12 Pct, Shot- arrest
May 15, 1934 Ptl John Morrissey, Telegrph Bur, Injured- assaulted

Friday, April 15, 2011


Fifty years ago, running for two seasons from 1961 to 1963, the television sitcom Car 54 burst onto the television screens to critical acclaim.

The series follows the adventures of NYPD officers Gunther Toody, who was played by Joe E. Ross, and Francis Muldoon, played by Fred Gwynne, in the fictional 53rd precinct in the Bronx, assigned to Patrol Car 54.

Toody, played by the Seward Park HS dropout Joe E. Ross, was short, stocky, nosy, not very bright, and lived with his loud, domineering wife Lucille.

Muldoon, played by the Harvard educated Fred Gwynne, was the tall, quiet, and more intelligent partner. He was a shy bachelor who lived with his mother and two younger sisters.

Fred Gwynn – Muldoon – would later go on to stardom playing the part of Hermn Munster in The Munsters, and the judge in the movie My Cousin Vinnie.

Car 54 was one of the first sitcoms that regularly featured characters from multiple ethnicities. Another of the recurring characters, playing Officer Schnauzer, was Al Lewis, who you may know as Grandpa in The Munsters. (While this show may have folded, it seems The Munsters did pretty well from the cast!)

Filmed in a studio in The Bronx, it was one of the first television shows to make use of on location shooting on the streets of New York.

At that time television shows were in black and white- color TV was not yet in practice.

So as to avoid confusion, the producers had a special police car provided for the show that was painted a red color.

The TV show's police cars on location shots were actually bright red and white, but appeared as the proper shade of gray for an NYPD car on black-and-white film. NYPD cars of that era were black and green with a white roof and trunk. Thus, the filmmakers achieved a realistic appearance without alarming or confusing bystanders during production.

This series had a brief revival in past years on televisions Nick at Night, but because of the relatively short time frame and limited number of episodes it has remained out of rerun viewing. To commemorate the fifty year anniversary a boxed set of season 1 episodes is being released.

If you were a fan of the show, or recall seeing some episodes on Nick at Night and caught yourself laughing out loud, you will be happy to know you’re not without good company.

The show also counted among its loyal viewers author William Faulkner, who, according to several biographers, never missed a Sunday-night airing of the program during the final year of his life.

William Faulkner, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, hated television,” said actor Hank Garrett, who played Officer Ed Nicholson on the program. “But he would go every week to a friend’s house to watch the show.”

In more recent years a movie version of this show was produced, titled- you guessed it – Car 54. If you happened to see this movie at some point, I can assure you the TV shows were much funnier. If you never saw the movie version- don’t bother!

The television series started off with a very catchy theme song, as most television shows of that time period did.

Does anyone remember the lyrics?


There’s a holdup in the Bronx, Brooklyn’s broken out in fights

There’s a traffic jam in Harlem that’s backed up to Jackson Heights

There’s a scout troop short a child,

Khrushchev’s due in Idlewild,


You can identify the dated material in the theme song- Khruschev was the Russian Premier (actually, it was the USSR), and Kennedy Airport was still known as Idlewild Airport.


A recent takedown of alleged mobsters in the metropolitan New York area highlighted one of the nation's most powerful and sweeping laws: the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Now in its 41st year, RICO was passed in 1970 to pursue the Mafia as a whole, tying the big bosses to the crimes of their underlings by claiming they were all part of a "criminal enterprise." Prosecutors have used RICO to pursue some of the highest-profile organized-crime families, including the Gambino’s and Genovese’s.

The law allows federal prosecutors to stitch together crimes going back many years, from extortion and loan sharking to murder, in a single case. It is easier for them to convict mob defendants when they wrap in evidence of the "broader context in which the crime was committed, along with the pattern of conduct that led up to the crime," said Samuel Buell, a professor at Duke University School of Law.

RICO's reach has expanded well beyond the mob in recent years. Businesses can be considered enterprises subject to the law, said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University, in Michigan. Victims of an alleged fraud can use RICO to file civil suits and recover triple the amount of damages they suffered. The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster has prompted civil racketeering suits. Some alleged conspirators of Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff have been charged under RICO, as have tobacco companies and prominent political figures.

Over time, Mr. Henning noted, the law has become controversial. "RICO is often criticized because of its use in civil cases to deal with business disputes that have nothing to do with mob activity," he said.

RICO's first big test came in 1979, when the law was used to prosecute the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang in California. The bikers were acquitted. With their long hair and tattoos, they didn't look like an organized-crime enterprise to the jury.

After Frank "Funzi" Tieri was found guilty on racketeering charges and convicted as head of the Genovese crime family in November 1980, prosecutors had their road map. By 1986, they had major cases pending against 17 of the country's 24 families.

In New York in 1985, prosecutors for Rudolph Giuliani, then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, won indictments of the heads of the city's five Mafia families. The case was different from other RICO actions being brought against specific crime families at the time in that Mr. Giuliani's office sought to connect all five families in one coordinated enterprise.

Before the case went to trial, Philip Rastelli, head of the Bonanno family, was granted a separate trial, in which he was later convicted, and Paul "Big Paulie" Castellano, head of the Gambino family, was assassinated that December in front of Spark's Steak House in midtown Manhattan in a hit set up by John Gotti. Mr. Giuliani handed the prosecution—which at that point included the three other bosses and a handful of their top soldiers—off to a young assistant, Michael Chertoff, who two decades later became the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

The trial was colorful if grim. Carmine "The Snake" Persico, the boss of the Colombo family, acted as his own attorney, telling the judge, "I've had quite a bit of experience with the federal government." He was convicted along with two other mob bosses, "Fat Tony" Salerno of the Genovese family and "Tony Ducks" Corallo of the Lucchese organization. They were each sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Mr. Gotti was acquitted in a racketeering trial in Brooklyn and eventually would be dubbed the "Teflon don" after winning acquittals in other cases. In 1992, he was convicted in another racketeering trial and sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2002.

The law's author, Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey, was said to have named RICO after Edward G. Robinson's gangster in the 1930s film "Little Caesar." Over the years, Mr. Blakey has demurred from confirming or denying the story.


The names of the Five Families are attributed to Mafia informant Joe Valachi.

After his arrest in 1959, Valachi gave the police the names of the current bosses of the Five Families.

It was Valachi who was the first notorious mob informant, at such a high level, to break the code of silence. His story about organized crime (when it was still OK to call them the Mafia) were made into a best seller book, The Valachi Papers.

The names of four of those bosses, Gaetano Lucchese, Vito Genovese, Carlo Gambino, and Joe Bonanno, were used to name their respective families. The fifth family was headed by Joe Profaci in 1959, but it is named after its 1960s era boss, Joseph Colombo.

Lucchese, Genovese, Gambino, Bonanno, and Columbo- the Five Families of New York Organized Crime.


I must thank Michael Bosak for forwarding me a copy of the 1846 Rules and Regulations of the New York Police Department- a time before the department was known as the NYPD.

Some of the interesting items taken from the rules follows.

There was no such thing as a part time police officer, or of police officers having “a second job”. According to the regulations:

“All members of the department shall devote their whole time and attention to the business of the department, and not follow any other calling; and although certain hours are allotted to each man's duty, on ordinary occasions, yet all the members must be prepared to act at a moment's notice whenever the public service may require their attendance”.

Even then being on time for work was a requirement. “Punctual attendance shall be required of every officer and patrol man connected with the department, on all occasions; sickness and disability only shall be an excuse for absence from duty”.

Not happy about keeping a memo book? In 1846, members of the department were following a similar edict.

“Each- member shall, at all times, have with him a small book, in which he shall enter the names of persons taken in charge by him, and such particulars in each case as will be important on the trial of the cause, if tried”.

Members of the department had certain distinct items to wear to denote their authority. Not everyone had a standardized uniform they were equipped with, and a requirement to distinguish oneself from others was written into the regulations.

“Sergeants and Policemen performing Patrol duty in any of the following streets, shall  conspicuously display the emblem of office from the time of commencing duty in the morning until 11 o'clock, P.M.: -- in Broadway, Bowery, Grand, Chatham, Fulton, Wall, Division, Nassau, Pearl, Courtlandt, Church, Laurens, Walnut, Water, Cherry, West, South, Front, Maiden Lane, Canal, West Broadway, Washington, Walker, Catharine, Hudson, Houston. Anthony, Bleecker, Sixth Avenue, Duane, Third Avenue, Clinton, Centre, John, and in the Twelfth Ward”.

Apparently, on these streets- the busy streets of metropolitan New York City- downtown Manhattan- it was necessary to make sure the officers were distinctly noticeable to the public at large.

Interested in taking a little vacation out of town for the day?

“No member of the Police department shall leave the city without permission from the Mayor or Chief of Police”.

I can just see that play out. “Excuse me, Mister Mayor, I’d like to take the family up to Poughkeepsie to have a picnic tomorrow. Is that OK with you”?

Having the Sergeant come by and check up on you, and scratch your memo book, was not foreign back then either. The term many have heard that the Sergeant would have to “give you a see” on patrol originated here.

“The Sergeants will, if possible, see each man on his beat without calling, but should they not be able to find him, the call rap will be given in the centre and on each extremity of the beat, and if unable then to find the man in search of, the Sergeant will extend the adjoining beats, until the beat of the man absent is the fully covered ; he will report to the officer in command, the name of the man and cause of absence, if ascertained”.

No radios. No telephones or call boxes yet to make it easy to find someone. No, if you couldn’t find the cop by seeing him on foot walking the beat, you’d have to rap your stick on the ground until he came to answer this call. Technology at its finest.

Shield# 22524 113 Pct.
Date of Incident: April 16, 1981
Date of Death: May 1, 1981

Officer Scarangella succumbed to gunshot wounds received two weeks earlier when he and his partner were shot by heavily armed gunmen during a traffic stop.

Officer Scarangella and his partner stopped a van that fit the description of a van wanted in connection with several burglaries in the area. It was believed that Jo Anne Chesimard, a career criminal, was in the van at the time of the stop. Chesimard was wanted in the connection of the killing of a N.J. trooper Phillip La Monico.

Before Officer Scarangella and his partner could exit their vehicle, the two occupants of the van exited and opened fire with 9 millimeter semi-automatic handguns, firing a total of 30 shots. Officer Scarangella was struck twice in the head and his partner was struck 14 times in the legs and back.

Officer Scarangella was removed to the hospital where he died two weeks later. Officer Scarangella's partner, Richard Rainey, was forced to retire in 1982 due to the wounds.

The two suspects in the murder fled the state. One suspect was apprehended in North Carolina by detectives from the New York City Police Department and the Sumter County Sheriff's Department. The second suspect was apprehended in Pennsylvania by two Police Officers from the Philadelphia Police Department when they observed him walking down a street in Philadelphia wearing a bullet resistant vest. When those officers approached the suspect, he dropped a gun and fled on foot. He was apprehended after a fierce struggle in which several officers were injured. At that time, he was found to be in possession of the gun that was used to kill officer Scarangella and wound his partner.

James Dixon-York and Anthony Laborde (the occupants of the van) were both member s of the B.L.A. (Black Liberation Army - a spin off of the old Black Panther Party). Both suspects were convicted of attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Officer Scarangella's partner, but in two different trials the juries were hung on the charge of murder in connection with the killing of Officer Scarangella. In July of 1986 both suspects were convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Officer Scarangella had been a member of the New York City Police Department for 12 years. Officer Scarangella was working the day shift that day with his partner Richard Rainey. Scarangella had switched his shift so that he could take his wife to a doctor's appointment.

John Scarangella was known to everyone as “Jerry”.


The Brady doctrine requires that prosecutors turn over material exculpatory to the defendant.

Prosecutors have an affirmative duty under the Fifth Amendment to disclose evidence favorable to an accused upon request, when such evidence is material to guilt or punishment. This duty arises from Brady v. Maryland, and the evidence required to be produced is commonly called Brady material.

In Brady, the Supreme Court overturned a defendant’s murder conviction because the prosecution suppressed the statement of a codefendant in which he admitted to the actual homicide.

After Brady, several decisions expanded the scope of the doctrine. For instance, the government’s duty to produce exculpatory evidence under Brady arises even if the defendant has not specifically requested that evidence. The Supreme Court also held that information relevant to impeach the credibility of a government witness is Brady material.


100 East 50th Street

This building was the former home of both Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano, notorious figures in organized crime not only here in New York City, but in the United States.

Charles “Lucky” Luciano was born Salvatore Lucania on November 24, 1897, and lived until January 26, 1962.

Luciano using the name Charles Ross lived here on East 50 Street, in 39C, a three room suite that he paid $7,600 a year for.

Lucky Luciano was an Italian gangster born in Sicily, Italy. He is considered the father of modern organized crime in America for splitting New York City into five different Mafia crime families, and establishing the first crime “commission”.

He was the first official boss of the modern Genovese crime family. He was, along with his associate Meyer Lansky, instrumental in the development of the “National Crime Syndicate” in the United States.


In April 1964 the City Council passed a bill that formally established the Detective Division in the Police Department.

This measure now allowed the Police Commissioner statutory authority to designate Lieutenant’s as Commander of Detective Squad (CDS) and Sergeants as Supervisor of Detective Squad (SDS). It also allowed the formal establishment of both 2nd and 3rd Grade Detectives – prior to this statute, the only recognized rank as a Detective was Detective First Grade. That doesn’t mean they weren’t using the titles before this, only that the city charter did not formally establish this until 1964.


April 16, 1907 Ptl Alfred Selleck, 16 Pct, Shot – arrest
April 16, 1955 Ptl Andrew Reynolds, 107 Pct, Motorcycle accident on patrol
April 17, 1925 Ptl Thomas Kelly, 12 Div, Shot – arrest, GLA
April 17, 1938 Ptl Humbert Morruzzi, 9 Pct, Shot- robbery in progress
April 18, 1936 Ptl Leroy Sheares, 32 Pct, stabbed, arrest
April 19, 1963 Ptl Kenneth Cozier, ESU, LOD heart attack
April 21, 1934 Det James Garvey, 20Sqd, Shot- investigation
April 23, 1977 PO Robert Mandel, 77 Pct, shot-arrest
April 24, 1897 Rndsmn Oscar Rheinhardt, 31 Pct, Thrown from horse
April 24, 1969 Det John Roth, DD, auto accident on patrol
April 24, 1980 PO Robert Sorrentino, 101 Pct, shot-robbery
April 25, 1874 Ptl John Gibney, 1 Pct, shot
April 25, 1955 Sgt Donald Wiseman, 107 Pct, auto accident on patrol
April 27, 1892 Ptl Adam Kane, Bwy Sqd (1Pct), Beaten by EDP
April 27, 1988 Sgt John McCormick, BxNarco, shot-arrest
April 27, 1994 PO Jose Perez, BSTF, auto accident on patrol
April 29, 1945 Ptl Jacob Szwedowski, 24 Pct, Shot – arrest
April 30, 1979 PO Robert Betsch, 76 Pct, LOD heart attack