Post 13 Trivia – A Cop Remembers 2
John Young, Patrolman
Benjamin Ward (Jan 1984-Dec 1989) – We left off last month with Phil Caruso and the police commissioner yelling at each other at Gracie Mansion (11/19/86), while Ed Koch tried to keep order. The meeting ended abruptly because six cops were shot by Larry Davis.
Jerry Lange and I drove Caruso to Bronx Lebanon Hospital. As we pulled up, the last of the wounded cops were arriving in ambulances. Truth be known… Thanks to John Wohlberg (boro wheel) who would call the PBA beeper service and notify Lange or myself of any police shooting. We would then, in turn, call the borough and be informed of any police shooting. Sorry, John, for giving you up but I think most bosses knew!
After an extensive manhunt, Davis was later captured. Remember the picture of Chief of the Department Robert Johnston (1984-90), wearing a bullet-proof vest & ESD helmet, leading the shooter to a radio car? Defended by William Kunstler, the Bronx “folk-hero” was convicted only on the weapons charges. All six cops survived, thank God! In 2008, while in prison, Davis was stabbed to death by another inmate during a fight. No parole hearings for him!
Ward’s Administration saw the department want college educated cops as bosses. Cops needed two years of college to take the sergeant’s exam, three years for lieutenant and a sheep skin to take the captain’s exam. Thank God for Dollar College (G.I. Bill) and New York Institute of Technology. Classes were held (1972-77) in station houses around the city and we were paid $400 per month for taking 12 credits. Ward brought back Spring 3100 in July 1988, because the PBA had been publishing their “Finest” magazine. The new Spring 3100 was published bi-monthly and you had to pay $18.00 to have it delivered to your home.
Richard J. Condon (Oct 1989-Jan 1990) former M.O.S. (1957-76), retired as Deputy Inspector and came back as the “First Dep” in June 1986. Condon only lasted three months at Theodore Roosevelt’s desk. I don’t recall any negative or positive issues.
Lee P. Brown (Jan 1990-1992) worked eight years as a cop in San Jose, CA, elected as President of their Police Officer’s Association (1965), appointed Sheriff of Multriomah County, OR (1974), Public Safety Commissioner in Atlanta (1978-82) and Houston’s Chief of Police (1982-1990), before becoming David Dinkins’ top cop.
Often referred to as “Out of Town” Brown, he resigned due to his wife’s health. She had remained in Houston during his tenure. Another source stated that Brown didn’t agree with Dinkins about an all-Civilian Complaint Review Board because of alleged police brutality. Remember the “hit list” from headquarters, where active cops were being monitored because of the number of civilian complaints against them, whether substantiated or unsubstantiated?
Brown’s other disagreement with Dinkins, was the establishment of the Mollen Commission to fight police corruption within the NYPD.
TO BE CONTINUED