September 2021 – Post 13 Trivia
Police Merger, Spring 1995
John Young, Patrolman
Prior to the merger, the City used a tri-agency exam for Police Officers. However, the problem was that candidates (men and women) were assigned randomly to one of the agencies without a choice. The only recourse was to retake the test and go through the same process again, hoping that they would be called by NYPD.
January 1995: Phil Caruso retired after 15 years as PBA President and appointed Lou Matarazzo as the interim PBA President. The City (Giuliani) announced plans to merge the three police departments. Matarazzo won a four year term in June.
April 2, 1995: 4,500 uniform and civilian members of the Transit Police merged into NYPD, and two of their members became PBA Board Officers. Names slip my mind as their careers were short-lived because of Ron Reale’s run for NYC Public Advocate. Both were eventually fired by NYPD.
Note: Mubarak Abdul Jabbar became Transit Trustee (1995) and eventually retired as 2nd Vice President in 2019. The second Transit excusal went to the Bronx, as Tommy Walsh was appointed the 2nd Bronx Trustee. He would later become 2nd VP for several months. Remember, every 20 years the young cops get rid of the Old Guard!
May 1, 1995: 2,700 uniform members of the Housing Police merged into NYPD and Tim Nickles, Housing PBA President became the Housing Trustee. He would team up with Ed Mahoney, and be one of the four tickets that ran in June 1999.
Transit Police started in November 1933, when two “unarmed” special patrolmen were hired to ride the Independent Line. A much larger force got “peace officer” status in 1950, and they became an “authority” in 1953. On the other hand, Housing was established in 1952, with 47 cops. Most 48 Pct. cops remember answering jobs in the Webster Houses on late tours, and sometimes on 4×12’s
A plus on the merger for the City included that they only negotiated with one police department. Therefore, they saved money by not paying into “Workers Compensation.” Now, Transit and Housing cops get unlimited sick leave. This was a benefit earned by NYPD during the Civil War Draft Riots. Back then, the New York Press championed cop causes.
A negative for NYPD cops was that both Transit and Housing authorities promoted everyone on their promotion lists. They came in as detectives, sergeants, lieutenants and captains. Yes, Sergeant Eric Adams became Lieutenant Adams and now he is running for NYC Mayor. Now, we have a retired Police Captain that never walked a foot post, rode in a radio car and, I heard, was a house mouse who never even made a fare-beat arrest.
Sadly, I report that Phil Caruso passed away on August 8, 2021 after a six year battle with head and neck cancer. He stood his final roll call before St. Michael, with other blue-coats, as family and friends heard the Emerald Society’s Pipe Band play their final salute. A special thanks to the honor guard: Danny Tirelli (PBA) and Ed Mullins (SBA).