Post 13 Trivia

December 2017
Post 13 Trivia - A Cop Remembers 4
John Young, Patrolman


Ray Kelly (August 1993) Cont’d - Ray Kelly announced that the 9mm automatic pistol would replace the .38 caliber revolver as the sidearm for the next class of new police recruits.

November 2, 1993 (Election Day) - was a long day starting at 0400 hours in the Bronx, replacing Dinkins signs with “Vote for Rudy” signs, and manning a phone bank on Staten Island. What a way to spend an excusal day! Dinkins had defeated Giuliani four years earlier, but times had changed with Dinkins being endorsed by the New York Times and Newsday. The Daily News and New York Post endorsed Rudy. An important issue on the ballot was whether Staten Island should secede from New York City.

On the way home I stopped by PBBX (coffee & personal) and cops were watching the election returns. Two hours after the polls closed, Giuliani was losing. But wait! Cops had been assigned to polling places since time and memorial. Remember guarding the old election machines until they were picked up by the Board of Elections? Cops opened the polls and took the final numbers from each voting machine. The numbers from each ED (election district) were reported to the precinct election patrolman. He passed them to the patrol borough, who forwarded the numbers to One Police Plaza.

Luckily a phone call to the PBA office was answered by Phil Caruso. He was heading home as Giuliani watched the results on television and was getting ready to concede. The numbers shown on television are usually two hours behind. The real numbers are being telephoned to the 13th floor at Police Headquarters. By 2:00 AM, Giuliani was giving his victory speech at the New York Hilton, as the results from Richmond County came in. He won big in Staten Island, but the secession resolution was defeated. One year later, Rudy Giuliani gave cops “zeros & a $4,000 bonus.” That’s another story for another time.

Just before the holidays, I received a phone call from the 14th floor. Captain Mc Shane, a former Bronx cop and firefighter wanted a favor. Would Phil Caruso ask Giuliani to keep Kelly on, as “the Commish.” Told him I would, but totally forgot (early dementia on my part or maybe because Kelly lied about designing a new shoulder patch).

William Bratton (Jan 1, 1994 - April 15, 1996) was a Boston cop, who previously served as Chief of New York City Transit Police (1990) and Police Commissioner of Boston Police Department (1993-94). He was Giuliani’s first Police Commissioner. Bean City had only 2,144 officers, while NYPD had over 30,000 cops. Transit and Housing cops would merge with NYPD in Apri/May 1995. Bratton and Jack Maples started COMPSTAT for the bosses, where careers were made or destroyed in a single appearance.

TV show NYPD Blue starring David Caruso (Kelly) and Dennis Franz (Sipowitz) made its first appearance on ABC in September 1993. Remember shots of the 15th Pct Station House that was actually the 9th Pct on East 5th Street in Manhattan? The show ran for 12 seasons with Sergeant Sipowitz vesting out in 2005. Detective Kelly left after one season, and was replaced by Jimmy Smits (Bobby Simone) for several seasons. It should be noted that the station house when built (1912) was the 15th Pct.

During Bratton’s tenure as Commissioner, the PBA celebrated its 100th Anniversary in March, and a female police officer stepped out of her uniform and appeared nude in the August 1994 issue of Playboy Magazine. I have two souvenirs from both events - a place card signed by Mario Cuomo for breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion, and an autographed copy of the magazine, signed by Carol Shaya with name, rank, shield number and her former command.

The Trial Commissioner denied the Department’s request to fire Shaya and placed her on modified assignment (temporarily) until the media stopped following her while on patrol. Bratton overturned the Judge’s ruling and fired her. Shaya is currently selling real estate in California, and I recently saw an autographed “Playboy” card on E-bay. The Australian dealer was asking $50.00 (Australian).

Bratton ran into problems with Giuliani. First was the Time Magazine article where Bratton and his programs were credited for reducing crime. Then there was a little problem with the City’s Department of Investigation about the “Turnaround” book deal and private trips paid for by major corporations (source: Wikipeda). Neither man spoke to each other for ten years.

Recently I met a retired detective who was one of the 16 cops paraded up the back stairs of the Bronx Supreme Court (158th Street entrance) in May 1995. Fifteen 48th Pct cops (including two sergeants) from the late tour were indicted on various charges. A 40th Pct sergeant was thrown into the chain-gang and charged with a felony (Auto Insurance Fraud). The detective, one of ten cops that were found not guilty of all charges, was still upset because he remembers what Bratton did during his news conference. The Commissioner threw the detective’s shield into a garbage canÉthe shield that his father wore during his police career.

By the way, most visitors to the Mario Merola Building enter on Walton Avenue, and prison vans have had a special entrance there since its opening in 1934.

Howard Safir (April 16, 1996- August 18, 2000) - Giuliani’s second commissioner started his law enforcement career as a DEA agent (1965-77), then switched over to the Marshall Service where he became Associate Director of Operations, U.S. Marshall Service. He and his partner arrested Timothy Leary in 1972. Like Ray Kelly, he was never a beat cop or rode in a radio car.

Safir was appointed Fire Commissioner by Giuliani, at the same time Bratton became Police Commissioner. There was never any love between them. Safir had once referred to Bratton as “an airport cop from Boston,” while Bratton once described Safir as “the Rodney Dangerfield of law enforcement.”

The only thing I recall was after the final game of the 1996 World Series, Wayne Boggs took his victory lap around the old Yankee Stadium with a Mounted NYPD Lieutenant. My final work day was January 15th, 1999, as I went on vacation and then terminal leave in March.




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