Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I’ve just finished reading a book that should be part of every police officers library.

Michael Armstrong’s book THEY WISHED THEY WERE HONEST details the workings of the 1970 Knapp Commission in New York City.

The fact that most new police officers today have never heard of the Knapp Commission could either be a testament to its success, or just a bad indication of the lack of historical background we provide our new officers with. 

In 1970, following a New York Times series of articles about the whistle-blower Frank Serpico, a New York City Police Officer who described the widespread culture of police corruption within the NYPD.

It was the Knapp Commission that brought out the phrases “meat-eater” and “grass-eater”.

The “meat-eaters” were the corrupt cops who stole everything they could get their hands on; taking payoffs to allow gambling to go unchecked, stealing from warehouses in response to burglar alarms- big time corruption.

The “grass-eaters” were the small time takers of graft. Those who took a $5 bill from a tow truck driver at the scene of a traffic accident, or the $2 handed over by a driver to keep him from getting a speeding ticket, the free lunches or packs of cigarettes taken while on patrol, etc. These were the “grass-eaters”.

The Knapp Commission sought to discover if the abuses that Serpico spoke about were committed by an incorrigible few, or part of an everyday widespread culture.

The books title was inspired by a memorable observation of Serpico’s.  “Ten percent of the cops in New York City are absolutely corrupt, 10 percent are absolutely honest, and the other 80 percent- they wish they were honest”.

The book’s author, Michael Armstrong, was a criminal lawyer that was appointed as the counsel to the Knapp Commission.  It was Armstrong who conducted the public hearings of the Commission, that were broadcast on live television in New York on the local PBS channel- Channel 13.

What is particularly nice to note is the author’s conclusion upon looking back at the 1970’s NYPD, and the current day’s force.

“I believe that all evidence indicates that the 80 percent of police officers who Frank Serpico said wished to be honest took the opportunity afforded by the Knapp Commission exposures, and the departmental reforms that followed, to become that way.”

As a result of Knapp, and the subsequent Mollen Commission which recommended a more muscular Internal Affairs Division, Armstrong concludes “the attitude throughout the department seems fundamentally hostile to the kind of systemized graft that had been a way of life almost 40 years ago.”


A short article I came across in a recent edition of the NY Times I found to be interesting. 

The 1931 mob hit of Joe Masseria, a mob leader known as “The Boss”, took place in a local seafood restaurant on West 15 Street.

The restaurant, Nuova Villa Tammaro, was owned by Gerardo Scarpato and was named for the owner’s mother-in-law.

On his way to lunch The Boss parked his steel-armored sedan, that was equipped with plate glass an inch thick, in a nearby garage.

The police found The Boss lying on his back, dead from multiple gunshots.

Playing cards were strewn around the room, and the Ace of Spades was in his right hand.  It was widely believed the card was placed there; much like the cigar found in the mouth many years later at the Carmine Galante assassination in Bushwick.

The owner of the restaurant was “out for a walk” at the time.

At the time of his killing, Joe Masseria was considered as the top Mafia leader in New York, “bigger than Al Capone” one anonymous detective was quoted as saying.

The killing of The Boss ended a year-long string of violence and blood-letting known as the Castellammarese War in New York, and paved the way for the rise of the notorious five mob families, with Lucky Luciano replacing Joe Masseria as the family head.

Four months later, in the same restaurant, a banquet at the restaurant was hosted by The Boss’ rival, Salvatore Maranzano, and the person most believed was behing the killing of The Boss.  A month later, Mr. Maranzano was found dead, another mob killing in Brooklyn South.

It was after the death of Maranzano that Lucky Luciano emerged as the powerful mob boss in New York.

With all this violence going on around his restaurant, Mr. Scarpato asked the police to take his fingerprints so that his body could be identified if he were ever found dead.

Good thikng they did.

In September 1932, a year after The Boss was killed in his restaurant, Gerardo Scarpato was killed.  A modern warehouse for a smoked-fish company was built on the site of his restaurant at 2715 West 15th Street.

Coney Island- it ain’t just roller coasters and seafood.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Continuing in the tradition of providing info for the investigator, I have begun the following new blog.

NY Private Eye Squad Room

Follow it at:

In my spare time I will try to continue to post new items of interest to the NY Polce detective on this current site, The Squad Room.

The Squad Room will find stories pertaining to the history of the department, and the detective. But as I have moved from the department to the private sector, so too should my writing.

 After all, who wants to read some "old-timer" talking about detective work?

Heck, even the department I served for 30 years took no time in removing me from the teaching faculty at the Criminal Investigations Course once I retired! Out with old, in with the new.

Check out the new site when you get a chance. I will try my best to keep writing in the same form as I've done on this site for over 12 years!!

And of course you can continue to contact me at:

 And if you have material to help me in putting together a column, please, by all men's, send it along! Stay safe and stay in touch!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

There are places I remember all my life
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments...
The Beatles 
I’ve just wound down from some heck of a week!
It’s been a heck of a time and with very little regrets and a touch of sadness I concluded my over 30 years of policing in the City of New York on Thursday, March 15, 2012!  My accrued time will carry me through until the end of August, but I am departing and turning a page to start a new chapter in my book of life.
I am changing roles- going from the role of Kojak to the role of Mannix - I will be taking a position as the director of investigations for Squad Security and Investigations; a small company with some big name clients thats been in business for over 21 years.  I will be working with my ex-detective partner, Michael Sapraicone, who is the President of Squad Security.
Based on Wall Street, with offices in LA and London, this provides a great opportunity for me - one that was too good to pass up.  I will have much to do to keep me from spending too much leisure time in this “retirement”!
It was 30 years ago on March 15, 1982 that I graduated from the Police Academy.
My how time has flown. Could it really be?
I entered the department, getting sworn in on October 20, 1981 as a member of the largest class the Transit Police Department had seen in many years! We were bringing a lifeline to a depleted department and a crime-prone transit system. As they say, the rest is history.
Uniform patrol working 8pm-4am lasted a few months, until the next class came out of the Academy, and I was able to move into District 33. Plainclothes in the conditions team and then anti-crime was a springboard to the Citywide Task Force, where I was teamed up with Jim Capaldo- a great cop who would eventually soar to Inspector in OCCB, where he remains, as 1 of only 5 remaining members of my Academy Class that are still on the job.  I was chosen to be part of the brand new Decoy Unit, continuing to work with Jim and a group of some of the best cops there were, before being selected as a white shield into the Detective Division. 
Promotion to Detective, and working in the Detective Division with some fine people has led to some life-long friendships (one of which I am now going to work for!).  Fine tuning detective skills seemed easy with such a group that I was fortunate to work with.  Some fine investigative cases including the arrest of the pair of crooks that tried robbing the Intervale Avenue train station and burned the station down in an inferno along the way, and a Combat Cross during the apprehension of a group of pattern token-booth robbers in East New York were a few of the more memorable times. A start of a long investigative career, for sure.
Promotion to Sergeant saw me work 4 tours in uniform before being injured in a collar during a car chase and shots-fired by and at, but my stay on the sick list lasted no more than 4 days when I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in starting up a “new” Decoy Unit, working under Lt John Maple and that was to become one of the major crime fighting strategies of the newly appointed Transit Chief, Bill Bratton.  I couldn’t get myself off the sick list and back to work fast enough! 
Decoy operations took off again with a tremendous impact on crime on the subway, and provided me with an opportunity to work with some very fine police officers along the way. It also has provided me with more than enough stories to keep me busy at anytime someone will listen!
Moving into the Robbery Squad as a Sergeant saw me working with some of the same detectives I shared an office with before, and was a nice change to get back to the investigative process. 
My promotion to Lieutenant saw me move back to patrol, in District 4 at Union Square, for a short time before taking over as the Special Operations Lieutenant. The year spent the included involvement in the crazed subway bomber whose package exploded on the #4 train, and an off-duty NYPD PO shooting and injuring an on-duty plainclothes Transit PO in midtown. 
The merge of the police departments in 1995 had me answering a phone call asking if I could put together a training program for NYPD Detective Supervisors on what they would need to know about “Investigative Crime on the Transit System”. When that mission was completed I became the C.O. of the Kings Warrant Squad, and when Brooklyn Warrants was split into North and South commands when the pilot project SATCOM Brooklyn North was created, I became the Commander of the Brooklyn North Warrant Squad. (SATCOM was the acronym for Strategic And Tactical Command; a pilot  project that combined all resources- detectives, patrol, narcotics, etc. under the direct command of the Borough Commander; a project that worked well during its time but was destined to be nothing more than a “project” from the beginning). 
The 77 Detective Squad and then the 75 Detective Squad honed my skills before taking over the command of Brooklyn North Homicide Squad, ten years ago in May 2002.
A career that through its thirty years has been based on the investigative process, but had enough variety to keep it interesting along the way.  
I spent ten years as the C.O. of the Homicide Squad, a length of time that I had never spent in any one command before.  I was a Lieutenant for 13 years - 13! - a pretty long time in any one rank, for sure.  I figured sooner or later I would get things right!!
Memories are grand, and I have so many fond ones that I could never finish writing them on this forum. People ask me if there is a book in the works; I ask them in reply, “Would you read it? Who would read a book that I wrote?” Perhaps memories fade over time, but I doubt the ones have have any expiration.
What won’t I miss?
As I have said before on this site, I will not miss driving up and down Bushwick Avenue!!  I’m not a traffic engineer, but I cannot understand how no one in the employ of the City Of New York Traffic Department has not figured out that you could increase traffic flow 75% during morning and evening rush hours by preventing all left turns except at a few major intersections! If anyone reading this has the power to put this idea into someones hands that can do something about this, then all the power to you. No, I won’t miss Bushwick Avenue.
I have had a great career here in policing. I truly enjoyed every minute of it. I hope along the way I have been able to pass on some good advice to others, and make an offer to be there to answer your questions in the future.
This job is as good as you want it to be. Hearing rookies- young cops - complain about the job just turns my stomach. I have always believed that if you don’t like it here, find something else to do. Don’t stay here and be miserable; there’s no reason for that. I am happy and confident that I am leaving while I still feel the same; I am taking an offer that was too good to pass up, but my heart will always remain in Brooklyn, with the men and women of the NYPD that I have had the pleasure of working with.
Stay safe. Share your knowledge with others; you never know the good you may be doing.

I have used this phrase in explaining my career change to others.
While it makes perfect sense to many, I also realize it’s dated.  
Kojak has pretty much withstood the test of time, although that is also fading as those who have recollection of seeing this TV show dwindle.  But Mannix? Well, the base of those who recall Mannix on TV is dwindling even more as you get outside a certain age group (which I neither wish to identify or even acknowledge!).
That being said, who exactly is Mannix?
Mannix was the name of the television series that ran from 1967 through 1975 on CBS, starring Mike Connors in the lead role as private investigator Joe Mannix.
The show evolved after the first season, which saw Mannix working for a Los Angeles PI firm known as Intertect, into the next and succeeding seasons where he ran his own PI agency in LA.
It was somewhat breaking ground as the use of computers to solve crimes played a large part in the show. Mannix also had a telephone in his car.
As opposed to the other employees who must wear dark suits and sit in rows of desks with only one piece of paper allowed to be on their desk at one time, Mannix belongs to the classic American detective archetype and thus usually ignores the computers' solutions, disobeys his boss's orders and sets out to do things his own way. He wears plaid sport coats and has his own office that he keeps sloppy between his assignments. 
From the second season on, Mannix worked on his own with the assistance of his loyal secretary Peggy Fair, a police officer's widow who was one of the first African-American  actresses to have a regular series role. In the series she was the widow of a police partner that Mannix worked with, and she played a starring role as his administrative assistant and friend.
A Korean war veteran, Mannix always seemed to be fending off attacks in one form or another.  If it wasn’t from his Army buddies with homicidal impulses it was from the street crooks he was hired to find.

Many TV detectives are identified with one particular car. Columbo had his Peugeot, Magnum had his Ferrari, and Rockford had his Firebird. However, Mannix drove several different cars throughout the series run: an Olds Toronado, Dodge Dart, Plymouth Cuda, Dodge Challenger, and a Chevrolet Camaro.
Recently I found a Mannix television marathon on an obscure cable channel, Antenna TV, that airs television shows from the 60’s and 70’s (when your tv reception relied on the antenna you had).  I think every episode of Mannix had him either being hit over the head when he walked into a room or from behind by a protagonist, or had him involved in a gunfight. Is this what PI life is really like?
Joe Mannix is notable for taking a lot of physical punishment. During the course of the series he is shot and wounded over a dozen separate times, or is knocked unconscious around 55 times. Mannix frequently took brutal beatings to the abdomen; some of these went on quite a long time, particularly by the television standards of the era. 
Whenever Mannix gets into one of his convertibles he can expect to be shot at from another car, run off the road by another car, or find his vehicle sabotaged. Nevertheless he keeps his cool and perseveres until his antagonists are brought down. 
Other Mannix trivia?  He lived at 7 Paseo Verde, in West Los Angeles.  Following military service in the Korean War, Mannix attended Western Pacific University on the GI Bill, graduated in 1955 and obtained his private investigator's license in 1956. In the first season he used a Walther PPK (a la James Bond) and subsequently a Colt snubnosed 38 calibre revolver.  

Tell me this won't make a great ringtone! 

Watch for an updated web site in the next few weeks!

I’d like to share a reflection that Frank Bolz shared with me.
He explained how the department is like a bucket of water, and your time here is a hand in the bucket. When you take your hand out of the water, the bucket fills in the space with the water around it.
Interesting analogy, for sure.

I’d like to take a moment to thank Frank for his friendship, for all that he has shared with me about this job, this department, and policing in general. Like a good uncle he has provided advice and anecdotes that were always helpful and accurate, and I thank him for sharing a friendship.  A friendship that started at the old Police Camp in Tannersville NY, me as a young teen running around and putting Steuben stickers everywhere (Frank was the Steuben President at the time, and although he did not encourage or urge us on, the publicity was surely nice!), and Frank as one of the friends of my father who had worked for a time in the “7-9”, where for a long time in my life I thought everyone in the PD worked at one time or another! 
I’d like to take a moment, as I reflect on a fine career, to remember some friends who are unable to share in this moment with me.
Irma “Fran Lozada, Glenn Davidson, Billy Barger, Gerry Howard, Mike Marinelli, Clem Olfano, John Cassidy, Jack Maple, John Barba, Timmy Duffy, Eddie Zigo, Sonny Archer...
These are jusy some of the people who I would have liked to have been able to share a toast with me this past Thursday.
Of all the money that ere I had, I spent it in good company.
And of all the harm that ere I’ve done, alas was done to none but me.
And all I’ve done for want of wit, to memory now I cannot recall.
So fill me to the parting glass. Goodnight and joy be with you all.
Of all the comrades that ere I had, they’re sorry for my going away,
And of all the sweethearts that ere I had, they wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot that I should leave while you should not,
I will gently rise and I’ll softly call, “Goodnight and joy be with you all?”
Emails can be sent to:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


“One riot, one ranger,” is a phrase made famous by Texas Ranger Captain W.J. McDonald in the very early 1900’s.

McDonald was called upon by a Dallas mayor to stop a forbidden prize fight and ease an angry mob. When stepping off the train by himself, the puzzled mayor asked, “Where are the others?”

To that McDonald replied, “Hell, ain’t I enough? There’s only one riot, isn’t there?”
One of the most enduring phrases associated with the Texas Rangers today is One Riot, One Ranger.
It is somewhat apocryphal in that there was never actually a riot; rather, the phrase was coined by Ranger Captain William “Bill” McDonald, who was sent to Dallas in 1896 to prevent the illegal heavyweight prize fight between Pete Maher and Bob Fitzsimmons that had been organized by Dan Stuart, and patronized by the eccentric "Hanging Judge" Roy Bean. 
According to the story, McDonald's train was met by the mayor, who asked the single Ranger where the other lawmen were. McDonald is said to have replied: "Hell! Ain't I enough? There's only one prize-fight!” This phrase over time has been adapted to become “only one riot”.  
Although some measure of truth lies within the tale, it is largely an idealized account written by author Bigelow Paine and loosely based on McDonald's statements, published in Paine's classic book Captain Bill McDonald: Texas Ranger in 1909.
In truth, the fight had been so heavily publicized that nearly every Ranger was at hand, including all the captains and their superior, Adjutant General Woodford H Mabry. Many of them were not really sure whether to stop the fight or to attend it; and in fact, other famous lawmen, such as Bat Masterson, were also present for the occasion. The orders from the governor were clear, however, and the bout was stopped.
Stuart then tried to reorganize it in El Paso and later in Langtry, but the Rangers followed and thwarted his attempts. Finally, the fight took place on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande near Langtry.
The motto appears on the pedestal of the large bronze statue of a Texas Ranger in the Love Field airport in Dallas. 


The Texas Ranger Division is a major division within the Texas Department of Public Safety with lead criminal investigative responsibility for the following: major incident crime investigations, unsolved crime/serial crime investigations, public corruption investigations, officer involved shooting investigations, and border security operations.
The Texas Rangers are the main investigative organization for the State of Texas.
Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption, acted as riot police and as detectives, protected the Governor of Texas, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force at the service of both the Republic of Texas (1836-1845) and the state of Texas.
The Texas Ranger Division is comprised of 216 full time employees; including 150 commissioned Rangers and 66 support personnel; including administrative staff, Border Security Operations Center, Joint Operations and Intelligence Centers, and the Special Weapons and Tactics team.
The Texas Ranger Division created a Special Operations Group to be tasked with the oversight of the Special Weapons and Tactics team, Regional Special Response Teams (SRT’s), Ranger Reconnaissance Team, Crisis Negotiations Unit, and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal.  The Texas Rangers currently coordinate border security operations through six (6) Ranger Staff Lieutenants assigned to six (6) Joint Operations and Intelligence Centers (JOICs) along the Texas-Mexico border and Coastal Bend area of the state.  In response to legislation, the Texas Rangers created a Public Corruption Unit and an Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program.
A look at the latest figures available from the Texas Rangers shows that in 2010, a total of 3,717 investigations resulted in 1,735 felony arrests, 193 misdemeanor arrests.  The Texas Rangers executed 404 search warrants and secured 4,544 statements, including 732 confessions to various crimes.  Rangers recovered stolen property valued at $559,429 and seized contraband valued at $537,087. There were 1,927 convictions for various crimes investigated that resulted in 2 death sentences, 79 life sentences and a total of 10,718 years in penitentiary time being assessed. Rangers served 277 subpoenas and 479 warrants. Rangers conducted 12 hypnosis sessions on criminal investigations.

Ed. Note: I find the 12 hypnosis sessions on criminal investigations to be quite interesting. I have made it a plan to look into this aspect myself, and will report back as I get more information. Hypnotists! Who would imagine?
Essentially, the Rangers are the statewide investigative arm for Texas. Answering the call that the Governor sees fit, they are called on to investigate and act on a wide variety of criminal issues. Matters involving organized crime, public corruption, major violent felony offenses- as an assisting unit in most cases, taking the lead in others when necessary, the Texas Rangers are called on to perform a multitude of tasks. 
A lot like the television show, Walker- Texas Ranger.
I found it very interesting to note that there are 150 Rangers, spread out over 254 counties in Texas.  That’s less than 1 Ranger per county!

Since 1935, the organization has been a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, fulfilling the role of Texas’ State Bureau of Investigation. 

The Texas Rangers' internal organization still maintains the basic outlines that were set in 1935. The agency is divided into seven companies: six District Companies lettered from "A" to "F", and Headquarters Company "H".

The number of personnel is set by the Texas Legislature; as of[update] 2010, the Texas Rangers number 144 commissioned officers, one forensic artist, one fiscal analyst and 24 civilian support personnel.
The District Companies' headquarters are distributed in six geographical locations throughout the 254 counties of Texas. 

Modern-day Rangers (as well as their predecessors) do not have a prescribed uniform, per se, although the State of Texas does provide guidelines as to appropriate Ranger attire, including a requirement that Rangers wear clothing that is western in nature.

The wearing of badges became more common in the late 1800s. Historians have put forth several reasons for the lack of the regular use of a badge; among them, some Rangers felt a shiny badge was a tempting target. Other historians have speculated there was no real need to show a badge to a hostile outlaw. Additionally, from a historical viewpoint, a Ranger's pay was so scanty that the money required for such fancy accoutrements was rarely available. Nevertheless, some Rangers did wear badges, and the first of these appeared around 1875. They were locally made and varied considerably from one to another, but they invariably represented a star cut from a Mexican silver coin (usually a five-peso coin). The design is reminiscent of Texas's Lone Star flag.

Although present-day Rangers wear the familiar "star in a wheel" badge, it was adopted officially only recently. The current design of the Rangers' badge was incorporated in 1962, when Ranger Hardy L. Purvis and his mother donated enough Mexican five-peso coins to the DPS to provide badges for all 62 Rangers who were working at that time as commissioned officers.

A Texas Ranger is equivalent in rank to a Sergeant in the Texas Department of Public Safety. In fact all Rangers have been “promoted” from the DPS to the Ranger position.  Rangers and the next rank, Lieutenant, have silver badges. Captains and above (Major) have gold.


For more information about the Texas Rangers, visit the Texas Ranger museum web site at:


Doing some research on the Texas Rangers, as noted above, I came across and interesting statistic.  I had believed I knew the information, but was looking to verify it (trust but verify!).

A complement of 150 Rangers spread out over 254 counties means each Ranger is responsible for roughly one and a half counties.  Most times they are not the lead investigators but assist the local agency by providing knowledge, technique and experience. Sometimes, based on the investigation, they do in fact take over the lead.

That seemed a little familiar to me.

I have used this as a positive point. Detectives being the competitive nature that they are never like to hear that someone or some unit is better than them. 

Here’s the spin I’ve taken from this.

The detectives in New York City are the Greatest Detectives In The World. Right? We have it emblazoned throughout our agency.

Certainly the Texas Rangers are not any better. We’re the Greatest.

If I field a team of two detectives to cover half of a borough (county), and the Texas Rangers field one detective to cover one and a half counties, then do the math.

I figure we have 200% more manpower than the Texas Rangers.  So as a team of two, you are ahead of the game. Quit bellyaching and solve some crimes.

Go figure.


London’s police are famous the world over for not carrying guns, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve never been armed.

For more than half the Metropolitan Police of London’s (the Met) history, officers carried cutlasses and swords.

Back in 1829, the Met swords had a 33-inch sweeping blade. By design they were an extremely effective slashing saber, as used by the British Light Dragoons and Hussars in the Battle of Waterloo. These were first distributed to the Bow Street Horse Patrol and later adopted across the burgeoning police service. They were used until 1868 when a new sword was designed; it was the same weapon that was carried by the Light Cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo.

There is very little record of officers inflicting injuries with their weapons, not least because they would probably be sacked if they did.

Unbeknown to most criminals, it was also normal for the blades to be kept blunt.

The Met swords were for use in public order situations, but also in “solitary and exposed
situations where (constables) were at such a distance from each other to preclude a ready
mutual support by springing the rattle” (rattles were used before whistles were introduced in 1865).

According to police orders from 12 January 1832: “The police constable will be given to
understand distinctly that the sword is put into his hand merely as a defensive weapon in case his life should be in danger and if he shall use or even draw it for any less weighty cause, he shall be called to strict account and probably dismissed.”

But it wasn’t just because there was a calmer attitude to blades in those days.  London was a dangerous place 170 years ago.

According to a report about “H” Division in 1840: “There were plague spots where herded together the vilest and lowest of the criminal fraternity, men, women and children could be found. The police did their best, but there were places where, if an officer dared to walk alone, he carried his life in his hands and where double patrols were the merest precaution. Far into the night pandemonium reigned. Street fights in which belts, knives and bludgeons were used were no uncommon occurrence. Time and time again police were assaulted.”

In 1885 the Met started to cut back on the number of cutlasses used – 4,713 were scrapped and 728 were left on Division. Swords were last used operationally in 1910 and were officially withdrawn from use for most ranks in 1928. Some senior officers can still get them for ceremonial purposes.

(Reprinted with thanks to Neil Paterson, manager of the Met Historical Collection, and found in the November-December 2011 issue of The Met publication.)


My, how the streets of New York City have changed!

A look through the 1846 Rules & Procedures for the New York City Police Department finds a passage on the regulation of “dirt carts”.  These were not the motorized go-karts you used to find teens using in the trails inside parks; these refer to the actual wagons that cart dirt.

It is noted in the procedures that a police officer “must arrest any person they may see driving, for hire or wages, any cart for the transportation of earth, sand, gravel or clay, unless said person shall have been specially licensed a Dirt Cartman, or unless the owner of the cart shall have a license, from the Mayor, to have the same driven; and must also arrest every person who shall drive or lead or have charge of any horse before a Dirt Cart, which shall be going or standing in any street, lane, avenue or public place, without having a tight box fitted thereto” allowing the dirt or gravel to be kept inside the cart.

A “Dirt Cartman” license.  Who would have thought?


Chief Inspector (Chief of Department)  $20,124
Chief of Detectives $13,664
C.O. Det Bureau (Inspector) $10,806
Lt- CDS – 47 of them – $8106-$8395
Sgt – SDS- 107 of them- $7505-$7794
Det First Grade – 269 – $7505-$7794
Det Second Grade- 450 – $6692-$6981
Det Third Grade – 1762- $6324

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

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

It is noted that the eleven line of duty deaths recorded on January 31 represented the date with the most line of duty deaths for members of this department prior to the 9-11 attack.