Tuesday, July 05, 2011


One of the drawbacks of watching 96 hours of a James Bond movie marathon is a somewhat distorted outlook on reality.

As I have discovered first hand.

Channel surfing the other day for something to entertain me I discovered I had a cable channel known as Sleuth TV. What an amazing channel for a buff! They just happened to be showing a James Bond movie at the time. I felt like I hit the lottery.

A channel called Sleuth, and a Bond movie to boot. Well, that wasn't the all of it. It seems that Sleuth was about to start showing more than 96 hours of Bond movies! I was just the right candidate for this.

They were not just showing any Bond movies, but they had a pattern. A movie with each of the different Bonds!

Sean Connery, Robin Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig- all the Bond's were represented. They even included the two most people forget- George Lazenby in the 1969 "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and Timothy Dalton in the 1987 "The Living Daylights".

There was Dr No, with the unforgettable Ursula Andress coming out of the water in a bikini and a dagger- surely one of the top Bond girl candidates. There wax Halle Berry, my top choice for Bond Girl, playing the CIA counterpart to Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day. Daniel Craig running around with Eva Green in Casino Royale, coupled with some really great 007 gadgets.

Did you know that in addition to providing the opening theme to "Die Another Day", Madonna also had a cameo appearance as a fencing instructor?

In "You Only Live Twice", Connery comes back to life- as an Asian! This movie has Bond fighting the evil forces of Ernst Blofeld, who later became the inspiration for Mike Meyers smash hits Austin Powers series. All while he squints the part of an asian male!

Let's just say I realized I overdosed on Bond after four days of 007 films.

The look I got from the Starbucks barista when I ordered my morning coffee "shaken, not stirred" was only matched by the look I got when I referred to Nancy, at the Boro, as "Miss Moneypenny". I found myself looking for a baccarat game- and I'm not even sure what baccarat is!

I called Marty, at Resource Allocation, "Q", and wondered why Bond gets these fancy Aston Martin cars with rockets and all sorts of unbelievable features and I can't even get a simple light package for my department four-cylinder Dodge?

Oh well, I have to go now. Sleuth is playing another Bond film.

Where's my Bond girl?


The 1875 Police Department of the City of New York had a somewhat different rank structure than todays department.

The Patrolman was appointed after a recommendation "by a number of reputable citizens".

Next in line was the Roundsmen. They were attached to each precinct, "to traverse the precinct from point to point, in order to see that the Patrolmen were discharging their duty faithfully".

Above them in grade were the Sergeants. There were four attached to each precinct, and were appointed by the Board of Police "at pleasure", after an examination was passed. The Sergeants "presided at the desk in the station house, and kept the "blotter", so-called, a book in which, with great minuteness of detail, all the transactions of Police life are entered".

Above the Sergeants rank are the Captains. "Those in command of the precincts were absolutely supreme".


I'd like to ask you all to say a prayer for me friend, Fermin "Sonny" Archer.

Sonny is a detective with the Fugitive Division's Regional Task Force, who is currently on life support at North Shore Hospital. Sonny suffered a series of strokes along with a torn aorta, and complications from all of these.

If you've ever had a bad guy tracked by the Regional TF, Sonny was surely involved.

Sonny would be the first to go through a door to catch a crook, even though he is larger than any door he went through.

A real cop's-cop, who practices actions over words, results and not just talk.

Please take a moment and say a prayer for Sonny. He needs it. It's the least we can do right now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, July 01, 2011

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”

T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”)


So is the title of the 1885 book that chronicles the HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK POLICE: FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE PRESENT TIME. The present time, in this case, being 1885.

What a great historical text for any police buff to find!

Over 600 pages of New York police history, including photos and drawings. I could spend years documenting findings of interest in this book alone.

Let’s take a look at some of the issues in the Police Act of 1844.


The police of the city consisted at that time of three separate bodies. There was “the police proper, the Municipal Police, and The Watch”. Those appointed to each agency received their appointments from different sources. Realizing that this was a complicated and inefficient system, the Board of Aldermen repealed the police ordinance on May 16, 1845, and adopted a new police act on May 23, 1845.

Under this new act, the Watch was abolished. The duties that were previously entrusted to the Watch were placed under the Police force as separate subdivisions. What were these duties that now came under the newly re-organized Police Department?

Street Inspectors, Health Wardens, Fire Wardens, Dock Masters, Lamp-lighters, Bell ringers, Inspectors of Pawnbrokers and Junk shops, were all duties that came under the Day and Night Police. The new force consisted of a group “not to exceed 800 men”, including Captains, Assistant Captains and Policemen.

The Chief of Police was appointed by the Mayor.

Each city Ward had the power to appoint a Captain, which came to the power of the Aldermen and Assistant Aldermen of these Wards. The appointments of the Policemen for each Ward also came under the prevue of the Aldermen, with a one year appointment for each position.

The Chief of Police received an annual salary of $1,500. A Captain was paid $700 a year, with Policemen paid $500.

Mayor Havemeyer appointed George W. Matsell his Chief of Police.

It is interesting that of the Policemen that were appointed, it is recognized that they were appointed in the following categories.

There were 9 Day Police Officers, 50 Sunday Officers, and another 16 Bell-ringers. 5 were appointed as Keepers of the Parks, and 1 was an Inspector of Pawnbrokers. An assorted other appointments under titles as Hack Inspectors, Inspector of Carts and Hydrant Inspectors rounded out some of the specific appointment’s to the Police department.

This force “wore no uniform, a star shaped badge, worn on the left breast of the outer coat being their only insignia of office”. Hence they came to be known as “The Star” Police.

All this would last approximately one year, when the new force hardly had the time to become familiar with the changes that had taken place, that the legislature passed another Act for the Establishment and regulation of the Police of the City of New York in May 1846.

“To the Police are committed the enforcement of law, maintenance of order, and the preservation of the public peace. The protection of life and the security of property largely depend on the zeal and fidelity with which they discharge their duties. It is essential, therefore, that they should possess discretion, integrity, activity, sobriety, fearlessness and decision. That these conditions are combined in our New York Police Protectors, few, if any, will be found so ill-informed as to deny”.


Ever wonder why there are green lights in front of a NYC Police stationhouse?

It is believed that the Rattle Watchmen, who patrolled New Amsterdam in the 1650's, carried lanterns at night with green glass sides in them as a means of identification.

When the Watchmen returned to the watch house after patrol, they hung their lantern on a hook by the front door to show people seeking the watchman that he was in the watch house.

Today, green lights are hung outside the entrances of Police Precincts as a symbol that the "Watch" is present and vigilant.


An article found recently on the Law.com site makes mention of how social networking sites have been utilized to put crooks behind bars.

As a writer on the web site noted recently, alleged bank robbers are already tripping themselves up and being arrested after posting things such as "I'm rich, b*tch" and "WIPE MY TEETH WITH HUNDEREDS" on Facebook. But that is just "after-the-fact" stuff. What about the people in the news who actually incorporated Facebook into their alleged crimes?

Take 20-year-old mother London Eley, for example. Philadelphia police allege that Eley went on to Facebook and offered $1,000 to anyone who would be willing to kill her ex-boyfriend, the Daily Mail reported. "I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father," she allegedly wrote. The word 'stack' is reportedly slang for $1,000. Police say a man responded to the posting and arranged to meet Eley, but this master scheme was undone when the ex-boyfriend/potential victim's aunt saw the messages on Facebook and alerted authorities.

That was quickly followed by reports Tuesday of a bizarre incident in which an "armed man held a woman hostage at a motel in a tense 16-hour, overnight standoff with SWAT teams, all while finding time to keep his family and friends updated on Facebook." The Associated Press reports that during the hostage standoff(!!), Jason Valdez made six posts to Facebook and added a dozen new friends. Giving new meaning to the phrase "status update," Valdez's first post during the crisis was:

"I'm currently in a standoff ... kinda ugly, but ready for whatever. I love u guyz and if I don't make it out of here alive that I'm in a better place and u were all great friends."

In another twist, some of Valdez's Facebook friends allegedly aided him during the standoff. One friend alerted Valdez that a SWAT officer was hiding in the bushes, prompting Valdez to reply, "Thank you homie. Good looking out." Other friends pleaded for Valdez to "do the right thing." Police stated that they are reviewing whether any of Valdez's friends should be arrested for obstructing justice.


Always remember to let your conclusion develop as a result of your investigation. Don’t fall into the trap that you develop your investigation to suit your conclusion.

Remindful of the fact that we are sometimes pulled in different directions from the outset of an investigation, as good detectives we have to be mindful of how we develop our case.

Reminding ourselves that we are foolish to make assumptions without basis of facts, we are constantly telling ourselves “not to assume anything”.

It’s one thing for a good detective to bring with him an intimate knowledge of the command and its inherent crime conditions, and to be aware of those criminals known to act in and around the location. But to reach a conclusion without fact, and to then to tailor your investigation around this conclusion, is a sure formula for failure.

“Let your investigation lead you to your conclusion. Don’t investigate your conclusion”.


As I noted above regarding assumptions and investigative conclusions, there is actually some scientific basis to my instructions.

It’s known as “Cognitive Dissonance”.

Cognitive dissonance is defined as “anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits”.

In clearer terms in what we generally deal with, cognitive dissonance turns up when facts are discovered that do not support the investigators theory. “Once a detective had made up his mind about a guilty man, contrary evidence is highly discomfiting and will often be rejected out of hand”.

This is the theory a defense attorney will present to a jury in an effort to free his client. “The detective didn’t follow up on these facts because it didn’t support his theory, which is why he arrested my client who is an innocent man”. You get the picture!


The newly elected mayor of Naples blamed local mafia for the trash crisis that is provoking fresh protests, threatening health and choking the normal flow of city life.

"Obviously I don't exclude organized crime," said Mayor Luigi De Magistris, referring to his unkept campaign promise to clean up the disaster in five days if he were elected.

His June victory was largely seen as a call to end the relentless crisis.

The local mafia, or Camorra, has long been accused of infiltrating waste management in Naples and dumping toxic waste on sites near residential areas, leading to perennial flareups. The previous public outcry occurred last November when weeks of clashes and rising trash piles brought Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi to the city.

De Magistris went on to reaffirm his intention to rid the city of its waste problem amid rampant protests spanning the city, spilling into surrounding areas of the Campania province.

Early Wednesday, protesters waived Italian flags and sang the Italian national anthem as they marched through the center of town along the rubbish-lined road leading to the Spanish district.

One restaurant owner closed up shop, writing on a sign outside, "I'm ashamed to stay open in this havoc."

Besieged by mounds of trash that have choked the flow of daily life for months, protesters resorted to turning over dumpsters, blocking traffic, and burning trash in the open as government incinerators have failed to resolve the problem.

Firefighters struggled into the early morning to extinguish 30 separate rubbish fires.

To diminish the stench, some resorted to pouring lime on countless trash heaps lining streets, passageways, and even in the middle of the road.

Approximately 1,500 tons of trash remain scattered all over the city.


I believe it was John Russo who passed along the following article to me. But I might be mistaken!

I’d like to give proper credit where due. John, along with Craig Gardella, have passed along quite a few interesting articles from various sources that I always enjoy getting. At the same time I don’t want to put someone’s name to a piece, crediting it from them, only to have them say “I never sent you that”. So, in all fairness, I’m really not sure who passed this along to me. (I accept total blame for not keeping better track.)

So, let’s just say, someone passed this along to me and thought I’d like it. I did. And now I’m passing it along to you.

Written by Dave Krajicek, it appeared under the title “The Crime Beat: Perp Walks”.

"Perp walks" have been used for decades, although more frequently in some cities than others.

In New York, the police press information office frequently has placed a courtesy call to reporters when a high-interest suspect was to be "moved" from a precinct stationhouse to a central booking facility.

Photographers and videographers would gather outside the stationhouse to record the "walk."

The courtesy calls set the NYPD apart from most police departments. In other big cities, including Los Angeles and Washington, no such photo appointments are set. Photographers who want a perp walk shot often must wait and hope.

Many police departments have made perp walks obsolete by freely passing out copies of mug shots to the media.

But old-school reporters argue that perp walks can be great theater.

For example, legendary robber Willie Sutton, who knocked over 100 banks from 1925 to 1952, uttered an immortal quote during a perp walk in New York.

A reporter shouted, "Hey, Willie, why do you rob banks?"

Sutton responded, "Because that's where the money is."

Federal authorities have been fond of perp walks since the early years of the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover, who understood the priceless public relations value of an image that showed a cuffed bad guy in the grasp of a federal agent.

In conspiracy and racketeering cases, the feds frequently have offered the media – and the news-consuming public – a graphic of criminal collusion by tethering the alleged conspirators to a single heavy chain before the photo-op.

In 1997, Timothy McVeigh, later convicted and executed in the Oklahoma City bombing case, was subjected to a perp walk nearly three hours before he was officially arrested. McVeigh's attorneys protested that the FBI timed the walk for maximum network TV exposure. McVeigh was surrounded by a dozen FBI agents. They were selected as a reward for collaring McVeigh, a tangential but important aspect of perp walks.

Defense attorneys and minority advocates have long complained about perp walks – lawyers because the photos make their clients look guilty, and blacks because an inordinate number of perp-walk shots show young black men in handcuffs with sweatshirt hoods pulled over their heads, like Grim Reapers.

Some compare perp walks to other forms of public humiliation, such as confinement to stocks or the practice of parading defeated opponents in war, an ancient custom that has regained popularity in the Mideast.

In 2002, federal authorities used perp walks in several white-collar crime cases, including the arrests of John Rigas, former chairman of Adelphia Communications, and two of his sons.

An attorney for the men said, "The Rigases had repeatedly offered to surrender, but were instead roused from their Manhattan apartments at 6 a.m. by federal agents. Later in the morning, they were escorted in handcuffs past news cameras."

Another New York case may sound a death knell for contrived perp walks.

In 1995, a New York City doorman was arrested after a surveillance camera caught him rifling through the underwear drawer and cabinets of a vacationing tenant. The tenant sold the surveillance tape to the local Fox affiliate.

The news director wanted video of the suspect. He called the police press information office, which ordered detectives to walk the perp. The doorman, who was being questioned at a precinct stationhouse, was handcuffed, walked outside, placed in an unmarked police car, driven around the block and returned to the stationhouse.

Fox shot footage of the walk and broadcast it that night.

Charges against the doorman were soon dropped because nothing was missing from the apartment. He sued the city and police for violation of his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable arrest.

A trial court and the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed the police had acted unreasonably and invaded the doorman's privacy by staging a perp walk that was "an inherently fictional dramatization" with "no legitimate law enforcement justification."

However, the court added, "Despite its adverse effects on (the doorman's) dignity and privacy, the perp walk might nevertheless have been reasonable under the Fourth Amendment had it been sufficiently closely related to a legitimate governmental objective."

New York police have been moving to the concept of "legitimate justification" for perp walks. The department says its policy was and is to neither impede nor promote photographs of suspects as they are being moved.

Most journalists oppose any official curtailing of perp walks. The Society of Professional Journalist's Code of Ethics makes these points:

Journalists should "minimize harm" by balancing a criminal suspect's fair trial rights with the public's right to be informed.

"Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity."

"Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy."


All of us in Brooklyn North Detectives were sad to learn of the passing of Retired Detective First Grade Francis Berberich on June 20, 2011.

Frank Berberich was a retired member of Brooklyn North Homicide, having retired in 1995. He served 34 years in the department, appointed in 1961.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.


Many people knew Frank Berberich, a detective assigned to Brooklyn North Homicide, as noted above in his obituary announcement.

But did you know that Frank had a grandfather who was also a Patrolman on NYPD who was killed in the line of duty in 1908?

Ptl. Charles Berberich had served on the NYPD for 11 years when, on November 15, 1908 he was electrocuted.

Patrolman Berberich was killed after coming into contact with a live wire he was guarding.

Patrolman Berberich was assigned to guard a downed wire in front of 360 East Seventh Street, Brooklyn. He was waiting for the electric company to come repair the wire when a woman and two children approached. As Patrolman Berberich helped them around the wire, he came in contact with it and was electrocuted.

Patrolman Berberich had served with the New York City Police Department for 11 years, and was survived by his wife and child. He was assigned to the Parkville Station.


“It is not how they died that makes them a hero, but how they lived their lives”.

June 28, 1927 Ptl Andrew Grennan, 46 Pct, Drowned during rescue
June 28, 1931 Det William DeGive, MODD, Shot during GLA Arrest
June 28, 1963 Ptl. William Baumfield, 4 Div, Shot-Robbery
June 28, 1972 PO John Skagen, TD2, Shot chasing felon
June 28, 1986 PO Scott Gadell, 101 Pct, Shot during investigation
July 1, 1911 Ptl Michael Lynch, 22 Pct, Shot by perp
July 2, 1922 Det John Moriarty, Det Div, Shot:Robbery in progress
July 2, 1970 Ptl Paul Donadio, 75 Pct, Patrolwagon accident on patrol
July 3, 1857 Ptl Thomas Sparks, No info available
July 3, 1917 Ptl John Flood, 31 Pct, Assaulted
July 3, 1966 Ptl Willie Stephenson, HAPD, Drowned during rescue
July 4, 1940 Det Joseph Lynch, Bomb Squad, Explosion during investigation
July 4, 1940 Det Ferdinand Socha, Bomb Squad, Explosion during investigation
July 4, 1993 PO Rudolph Thomas, PSA3, Shot:Off duty
July 5, 1946 Sgt Isaac Price, 28 Pct, Heart attack during robbery arrest
July 6, 1979 PO Ignatius Gentile, 77 Pct, Fell under train
July 7, 1872 Ptl John Donohue, 5 Pct, Ambushed, assaulted
July 9, 1938 Ptl Arthur Howarth, 85 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
July 10, 1851 Ptl George Gillespie, NFI
July 10, 1968 Ptl Nicolo Danisi, PA, Shot:Off duty mistaken ID
July 11, 1938 Ptl Angelo Favata, 85 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
July 12, 1924 Det Timothy Connell, DetDiv, Shot:Robbery
July 13, 1868 Ptl Henry Corlett, 32 Pct, Drowned during rescue
July 14, 1922 Ptl Frank Mundo, TrafficDiv, Auto accident in pursuit
July 14, 1936 Det Lawrence Gallagher, 47 Pct, Shot
July 14, 1941 Ptl Norman Dixon, 120 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
July 14, 1980 Det Abraham Walton, SCU, Shot: Robbery, off duty

WISHING ALL A VERY HAPPY JULY 4TH WEEKEND! Sunshine, maybe some beach and sand, a little barbecue action- shared with family and friends. Enjoy the holiday!


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