Post 13 Trivia – A Cop Remembers
John Young, Patrolman
Mayor DeBlasio marched in the Puerto Rican Day Parade, while terrorist Oscar Lopez-Rivera declined the honorary title of Grand Marshall. However, Lopez-Rivera rode aboard a float to cheers and boos from parade on-lookers. Cardinal Dolan did not observe the parade from his usual observation point on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Since the parade, P.O. Miosotos Famalia was assassinated within the confines of the 46th precinct while sitting in a communications van (7/5/17), and one of Eddie Byrne’s killers (Philip Copeland) was going before the State Parole Board. On 2/26/88, PO Edward Byrne, 109th precinct, was assigned to guard the residence of a witness against Queens drug-pin Howard “Poppy” Mason. The residence had previously been fire-bombed to discourage his testimony. PO Byrnes was shot and killed as he sat alone in a marked radio car. One wonders why only one man was assigned to this post considering the previous fire-bombing and death threats. The execution of a police officer was ordered by Mason, from his jail cell. The assassins (Davis Mc Clary, Scott Cobb, Todd Scott and Copeland) shared $8,000 for the murder. They bragged to others about the crime and were arrested a few days later.
During my police career, I served under 14 police commissioners (1964-1999). Following are some memories that I can’t forget.
Michael J. Murphy (Feb 1961-June 1965) appeared at the October 1964 class graduation held at the new Police Academy. I was assigned to prevent anyone (press) from entering the Police Museum that was located on the 2nd floor. I stopped TV reporter Gabe Pressman from entering the museum. Gabe got upset because I didn’t recognize him when I said, “Sorry Mr. Lewis, this is a frozen area.” His response to me was, “I’m not from ABC.”
Vincent Broderick (June 1965-Feb 1966) lasted only eight months because he voiced opposition to any Civilian Compliant Review Board. At least that’s how I remember it!
Howard Leary (Feb 1966-Oct 1970) was a Philadelphia cop who rose to the rank of Police Commissioner and came to New York as John Lindsay’s first P.C. He established the 911 system and started recruiting more Black and Hispanic officers.
Patrick V. Murphy (Oct 1970-May 1973) was Commanding Officer of the Police Academy when I stopped Pressman, and got a “that-a-boy” from him. A week later he threatened to dismiss me for smoking a cigar inside the gym doorway. Murphy had a short memory! While a patrolman in Brooklyn (Red Hook), he got Italian recipes from housewives along his post. He was Lindsay’s choice to lead the department after the Knapp Commission.
In January 1971, Murphy was at Super Bowl V when cops participated in a job action. In 1919, Boston cops were fired for participating in a job action. We were fined 12 days pay under the Taylor Law, but won court case worth $600 in our pension today. Thanks, Pat, for staying in Miami. Johnny Unitas and Colts beat the Cowboys. Murphy failed to attend PO Philip Cardillo’s funeral. With an increased uniform allowance of $185 per annum, cops got new powder blue shirts, an NYPD patch and the leather jacket.
Donald Cawley (May 1973-Jan 1974) was first Chief of Patrol under Murphy (1972). Randy Jurgensen refers to him as Michael Cawley in his book (Circle of Six) on page 43. Cawley gave cops the Patrol Guide and a new civil service rank of Police Officer. When Mike Codd retired as the last Chief Inspector, Cawley replaced him with Hugo Masini, as the first Chief of Operations. Today’s top uniform is Chief of the Department (four stars) while all other super chiefs wear three stars.
Cawley’s term (1973) records cops making 219,751 arrests, writing 3.5 million summonses to errant motorists and pedestrians, prepared 220,039 aided cases and recorded 154,031 accident reports. #911 was dialed by the public 6.9 million times and RMP crews responded to 2.4 million radio runs. (Source: Spring 3100, Jan- Feb 1974)
Michael J. Codd (Jan 1974-Jan 1978) was the last Chief Inspector and Abe Beame’s choice to lead the Department without 5,000 new cops. Under his leadership, cops took to the streets with demonstrations around the city — Gracie Mansion, Codd’s house in Queens, laid-off cops at the Brooklyn Bridge (Cops loved bridges), Yankee Stadium (Ali-Norton Fight). Remember the chant, “Beame a shrimp, Codd a fish!”
One remembers hoisting 11th Precinct Squad Commander Theo Kojak upon the shoulders of picketing cops in mid-town Manhattan. Time Magazine published a picture of actor Telly Savalas being carried by cops outside a Manhattan precinct.
Telly played the lollypop sucking Lt. Kojak in the hit TV police drama (1973-1978). Robert McGuire (Jan 1978-Dec 1983) was Ed Koch’s first P.C. He came from outside the job. A lawyer and the son of a NYPD Chief, he left two days early so that his First Deputy P.C. William Devine would become commissioner. Devine was dying of cancer. McGuire is best remembered for getting protective vests and stopping the publication of Spring 3100.
Spring 3100 (1930-1980) was terminated because McGuire was eliminating units with cops in non-essential assignments since the department was short-handed. Staff transfers saw my ex-partner Donal Hughes going to Queens, and Doug Malin (photographer) going to TARU. Remember Spring 3100 used to be handed out in the precinct by the palace guard, if you had paid your house tax? A dollar or two got you shoe polish and Spring 3100!
Benjamin Ward (Jan 1984-Dec 1989) was Koch’s second P.C. who performed with 15 years in uniform and rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was appointed the first Executive Director of CCRB (1966) and served as Deputy Commissioner of Trials & Community Affairs. He was Traffic Commissioner (1973), Chief of Housing Authority & Corrections before going to the 14th floor at One Police Plaza.
A meeting between Phil Caruso & Commissioner Ward at Gracie Mansion was arranged By Mayor Koch. The meeting began with both yelling at each other.
TO BE CONTINUED