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Behind The Badge

A sounding board for law enforcement professionals worldwide. Hosted by a 25+ year police veteran. All opinions, ideas, and thoughts are welcome. Reserved for active and retired law enforcement only.

Last Build Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:50:36 +0000


Sat, 28 Nov 2015 15:07:00 +0000

It’s been awhile since I sat down and put thought to words. In that light I have stumbled upon a subject that is near and dear to my heart, Stupid Criminals. The subject has endless possibilities, as the criminal element is exactly that. Some as we know, more or less than others. To kick off the topic, we are leaving the good old U.S. of A., for as we know our country does not hold the individual claim to fame.ILLITERATE BRIT ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER AFTER SPELLING ERRORJaqueline Patrick not only failed to proofread the note she forged after serving her husband Douglas a cocktail spiked with antifreeze, but she didn't manage to achieve her murderous mission either.The fumbling 55-year old felon aroused the suspicion of medics and police after she produced a "good-bye cruel world" suicide note allegedly written by her sickened victim in which the word "dignity" was misspelled "dignerty". In a subsequent interview a sharp detective asked Mrs. Patrick to spell the word for them, at which point it became obvious she was the author of her husband’s last testament.That telltale error saw her ultimately jailed for up to 15 years and also put away her 21-year old daughter for her supporting role in the stupid crime.The two criminal masterminds further implicated themselves when they neglected to delete several incriminating text messages discussing the plot to kill Douglas Patrick with a poisoned Christmas drink.[...]

Mon, 09 Sep 2013 17:26:00 +0000


Wed, 07 Aug 2013 15:14:00 +0000

New York's Other Deadly September 11th

The hijacking happened on the evening of September 10, 1976.
After a TWA flight took off from LaGuardia for Chicago, a group of Croatian nationals masquerading as passengers handed a note to a flight attendant and announced a takeover.

Led by a 28-year-old resident of West 76th Street named Zvonko Busic, the group claimed to have five bombs on board, plus a sixth stashed in a locker in the subway station at Grand Central Terminal.
Busic forced pilots to fly first to Montreal, then to Newfoundland. The 727 next headed to London and finally to Paris, where the hijackers surrendered after 30 hours in the air.

But air piracy wouldn't be their only crime. Though the bombs Busic claimed to have on the plane turned out to be fake, the one in the locker at Grand Central was real.

Police removed it from the locker, and when they tried to deactivate it the next day, it went off, killing NYPD Officer Brian Murray(below) and wounding three others. For more on P.O. Brian Murray and the story go to 

Sun, 16 Jun 2013 14:03:00 +0000

DB Cooper Parachute Packer ID’d as homicide victim

The man who packed the parachutes used by infamous skyjacker DB Cooper has been identified as the victim of a homicide in Washington State.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office said that 71 year old Earl Cossey died April 23rd 2013 of blunt force trauma to the head. The sheriff’s office said his body was found by his daughter when she went to check on him.

Cossey played a small part in one of the Northwest’s most enduring mysteries.

Cooper, whose real identity isn't known, hijacked a passenger jet in 1971. He released the passengers at Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport in exchange for $200,000.00 and four parachutes.
He jumped out of the plane somewhere near the Oregon state line. No one knows what happened to him from that point forward.

Cossey was a skydiving instructor and he packed the parachutes provided to the skyjacker.

Sun, 12 May 2013 14:02:00 +0000

The Miranda Warning: Common MisunderstandingsThe Miranda warning comes from one of the biggest legal cases of the 1960's and thanks to countless arrest scenes in TV and movies, it’s one of the best-known applications of the Fifth Amendment. But what you don’t know about Miranda could be more significant than you think.Currently, there is a big debate about the Miranda warning and Boston terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Federal investigators said after Tsarnaev’s detention that he would not be read his Miranda rights under something called the “public safety exemption.”Under the exemption, police can interrogate a suspect without advising him or her of Miranda rights if they believe the suspect could have information about an imminent threat to public safety.That exemption allowed investigators to interrogate Tsarnaev while in custody, without informing Tsarnaev of his rights to a lawyer and his right to stay silent.According to an AP report, after 16 hours of questioning, a representative of the United States Attorney’s office read Tsarnaev his Miranda warning, and the suspect stopped talking to investigators.The “Miranda” in the Miranda warning was Ernesto Miranda. He was arrested in March 1963 in Phoenix and confessed while in police custody to kidnapping and rape charges. His lawyers sought to overturn his conviction after they learned during a cross-examination that Miranda was never told he had the right to a lawyer and had the right to remain silent. (Miranda had signed a confession that acknowledged that he understood his legal rights.)The Supreme Court overturned Miranda’s conviction in 1966 in its ruling for Miranda v. Arizona, which established guidelines for how detained suspects are informed of their constitutional rights.The Miranda warning actually includes elements of the Fifth Amendment (protection against self-incrimination), the Sixth Amendment (a right to counsel) and the 14th Amendment (application of the ruling to all 50 states).However, there are common misunderstandings about what Miranda rights are, and how they can protect someone under criminal investigation.First, there is not one official Miranda warning that is read to a suspect by a police officer. Each state determines how their law enforcement officers issue the warning. The Supreme Court requires that a person is told about their right to silence, their right to a lawyer (including a public defender), their ability to waive their Miranda rights, and that what they tell investigators under questioning, after their detention, can be used in court.The Miranda warning is only used (or "should only be used") by law enforcement when a person is in police custody and usually under arrest or is not free to leave a custodial situation and is about to be questioned. Anything you say to an investigator or police officer before you’re taken into custody—and read your Miranda rights—can be used in a court of law, which includes interviews where a person is free to leave the premises and conversations at the scene of an alleged crime.In fact, Ernesto Miranda came into a Phoenix police station voluntarily to answer questions in 1963 and also participated in a police lineup.The police can ask you questions about identification, including your name and address, without a Miranda warning. And they can use any spontaneous expressions made by you as evidence—for example, if you say something without the prompting of police before you’re taken into custody.Of course, you’re still protected by your Miranda rights after you’re detained even if you waive them after an arrest. At any time, during an interrogation, you can stop answering questions and ask for a lawyer.In the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, investigators probably felt they had enough evidence to charge him and win a case in court without any of the information Tsarnaev volunteered before he was read his rights.As for Ernesto Miranda, though his original convictio[...]

Sat, 04 May 2013 12:18:00 +0000

Police in Cartoons

Police have always been included in various forms of entertainment throughout history, whether it was on the big screen in movies or the television screen. Even cartoons jumped on the bandwagon and realized police are fun to watch!

I can remember many examples of police in cartoons growing up. They interacted with characters of all sorts to include cats, bears, and of course bad guys. Below are just a few examples that come to mind. I'm sure I am forgetting many. How many can you recall from your early years?

Top Cat was popular in the early 1960's. A gang of alley cats in NYC that were constantly being watched over by Officer Charlie Dibble. The cats were always looking for ways to feed themselves or get ahead making a quick score (cartoons imitating life...?)

Deputy Dog was also a product of the same era. A Sheriff  in the state of Tennessee. Many of the story lines were built around the jailhouse that was DD's station. He was always trying to protect his produce from a local gang of characters; Vincent "Vince" van Gopher and Muskie Muskrat. He hung around with these two and didn't take many of their crimes very seriously as they also regularly fished together.

 Dudley Do-right of the Canadian Mounties. Again, from the same approximate time frame of the 1960's. Dudley was always trying to catch his arch nemesis Snidely Whiplash.  He romantically pursued Nell Fenwick, the daughter of Inspector Fenwick his boss.

I'm sure I could go on with the assistance of various search engines delving into history and coming up with all sorts of memories on this subject. Point being, we are and always have been (and always will be) a source for the media in one form or another.

Sun, 14 Apr 2013 12:34:00 +0000

The Subway Vigilante

In 1984, mid afternoon on a subway car on the number 2 Train in New York City, Bernard Goetz was approached by four youths who demanded money from him. Goetz arose from his seat and produced an unlicensed handgun and summarily shot all four. After the shooting he spoke to two female passengers on the train and asked them if they were injured, as the two women had been knocked down by other passengers when they fled to the opposite end of the subway car when the shooting began. Goetz was approached by the conductor and Goetz told him "they tried to rob me". The conductor asked Goetz if he was a Police Officer and Goetz told him he was not. He refused to turn over the weapon and got off the train, jumped onto the tracks and escaped by running through the tunnel at Chambers St., downtown Manhattan. He turned himself in nine days later. The newspapers dubbed him "The Subway Vigilante".

Charles Bronson had nothing on this guy when he portrayed Paul Kersey in the long running sequel of movies "Death Wish" which began its reign in the 70's. According to police reports Goetz made several statements that indicated he had a plan when he arose from his seat and began firing his revolver at the youths. "Speed is everything" Goetz told police in a video taped statement. He told police that while still seated he planned a "pattern of fire". The public responded calling Goetz a hero and claimed he acted in self defense. He received enormous support as the public was tired of living in fear due to the rising violent crime rate in NYC. Goetz was eventually convicted for CPW-criminal possession of a weapon. He served eight  months in jail.

The four youths he shot all survived, although Darrell Cabey was paralyzed having his spinal chord severed by one the bullets fired by Goetz. The other three; Barry Allen, Troy Canty and and James Ramseur, all nineteen years old went on to commit other crimes.

As of 2005 Goetz was living in New York City and even ran for Mayor in 2001. He sells and services electronic test equipment through his company Vigilante Electronics.

Sun, 14 Apr 2013 11:41:00 +0000

Police Respect

Readers from all generations will certainly recall the term "Hippie", but do you remember the slogan that became synonymous with police respect?
 This saying wound up on bumper stickers, posters and lapel buttons all over the U.S and possibly around the world as the movement grew into popularity. How many variations of this have we see over the years?
The Hippies themselves took the rap here for being the bad guys but as some of our dinosaurs here may remember they were mostly  a peace loving group that had an affinity for music, free love and a green leafy substance...

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:32:00 +0000

School Shootings....Not A New TrendMost can remember the latest and recent of these horrific acts, but unfortunately it is not a new form of violence we are experiencing...and not just in the U.S.In 1975 there was an eerily familiar act of cowardice and violence in Brampton Canada that few if any living in the U.S. might have even heard about:Brampton Centennial HS 1975May 28, 1975 Brampton, Ontario...It was a "beautiful spring day" according to Lorna Matthews, a 10th grade student at the time. She walked into the hallway and heard what she thought was firecrackers. Another girl then yelled "There's someone shooting people out there!" She and others retreated to a nearby classroom and remained hidden until Police gave the all clear. Michael Slobodian, a 16 year old walked on to the campus just before noon with two high powered hunting rifles and at least two ammunition belts. He killed a 17 year old student and an English teacher along with wounding 13 others before taking his own life. A note that Police found in his home indicated he had planned to kill Mrs. Margaret Wright, the English teacher and a Science teacher to include any others that got in his way. It was never made clear as to what triggered such anger against the teachers.May 28, 1975 Brampton[...]

Sun, 31 Mar 2013 15:47:00 +0000

The Daring Con Man Who Sold The Brooklyn BridgeGeorge C. Parker was one audacious con man.This New Yorker is supposedly the first guy who came up with ballsy idea of “selling” the Brooklyn Bridge to unsuspecting rubes after it opened in 1886.Shockingly, the scam worked. Parker is said to have sold the bridge twice a week for years.His typical marks: gullible tourists and immigrants. And it wasn’t just the bridge he sold but Grant’s Tomb, the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and other monuments.“He preyed on unsuspecting foreigners who believed that America was the land of opportunity, assuring them they could buy as an investment the right to charge tolls or fees for access to the landmarks,” writes Tamar Frankel in The Ponzi Scheme Puzzle.Parker’s success convinced other swindlers to try their hand at selling the bridge. But they may not have gone as far as Parker did, who set up a fake real estate office and forged documents proving he was the owner.He was arrested for fraud a few times and finally sent to Sing Sing for life in 1928. His one legacy: the phrase “I’ve got a bridge to sell you” was inspired by his ruse.[Images: NYPL Digital Gallery][...]

Sun, 31 Mar 2013 13:13:00 +0000

Interviewing The Elderly

As investigators we find victims' in every walk of life, and in every stage of life as well. Many times a case will come in involving an elderly victim. Whether it's a robbery, fraud or even family related victimization, getting the answers is what we're all about right? As most of us know, sometimes communicating with another generation, be it before or after our own can be difficult. There are gaps in our philosophies, thought processes and styles of communicating to name only a few. There are however some basic "go by's" that I believe make it easier to get what you need from an elderly person, be they victim or witness. Again, these are basic and every person is different unto themselves as they move through an event:

First thing is to remember that as in other generations, there are all different levels of a persons ability to communicate. There are 75, 80 and 85 year old people who span the spectrum in their ability to recall what has happened and/or what they have seen. Don't assume that because you are interviewing an elder  they cannot hear you well. Speak in a normal tone and judge from there if you have to raise your voice a little for them to hear you. It's a mistake to begin speaking in a loud voice or try to over simplify your words. The person may feel like they are being spoken down to and you will begin to shut them down before you even get started.

Make sure you show respect. If you are speaking with an elderly person, don't forget they come from a different time where elders were given respect. First of all they deserve that... and usually expect it too!

Allow time for the interview. This is a mistake that is made with all types of victims,witnesses and offenders alike, not just the elderly. When we all began our careers in pretty much the same way; running from one problem  to the next, we were focused on getting there, getting the basics; "Just the facts Ma'am"...and moving on to the next one. Well, now we are tasked with getting beyond the basics and that takes time. Don't be in a rush (even if you are) and do not allow the person your are interviewing to feel your desire to get the info and take off. You may have to spend some time and allow the story to unfold. You can and should guide them in the direction you need to go and help them stay on track if they "wander".

"You" may have to answer questions! Some elders fee like they have lived long enough to say whatever they want to. That may come in the form of asking you anything from how much you are being paid to how did you get their name or any other number of questions that might seem inappropriate. Be prepared to answer as tactfully and diplomatically as you can.

Always leave the "door open" for additional information. This may be as simple as leaving your business card to going back another day and asking the same questions in a different manner or  sequence.

In summary, an interview with an elder may be as routine as any other you have conducted or may leave you emotionally drained based on the individuals abilities and willingness to patient, respectful and know when it's OK to joke around a little bit. You'll know that by some of the responses you get and your subjects overall demeanor. These encounters can be extremely rewarding if handled properly.

Sun, 31 Mar 2013 12:14:00 +0000

Hank Asher; The Father of Data Fusion

In January of this year Hank Asher passed away. He was affectionately known as the father of data fusion.
If you ever searched for information gleaned from a public record or any other source, chances are Hank's hand was involved in your ability to do it. I cannot adequately explain in this Blog what Hank has meant to the law enforcement community around the world. Hank was a special person who lived to fight terrorism around the world with his ability to think outside the box with computer algorithms. He also loved helping children and our fight to protect them from the hands of online predators and pedophiles. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Hank on several occasions. "Unique" falls well short of one word to try and describe Hank, but it leads in the direction one would need to go. To say he will be missed leaves volumes to be spoken. Literally....the world lost something special when Hank left it... in attending his memorial in March I learned much more about Hank than I knew. If I was impressed with the man before, I was left in awe after hearing people speak about some of the things he had done that I was unaware of. I hope his family, friends and the company and technology he helped create can continue on...God's speed Hank...

Fri, 14 Sep 2012 22:00:00 +0000

P.O. Bruce St. Laurent
EOW 9/9/12

20 year Jupiter Police Department veteran Bruce St. Laurent was killed in an accident on 9/9/12 while riding in the Presidential Motorcade that was going through Palm Beach County Fla. on Sunday. President Obama was in S. Fla. to speak at a campaign event. Bruce was a good cop and a better man. He will be greatly missed by friends and family alike. 

Sun, 09 Sep 2012 13:53:00 +0000

As that infamous date approaches us, let's keep all MOS, family members and all those touched by the attack in our prayers...NEVER FORGET!

Fri, 18 Nov 2011 13:53:00 +0000

Solving a murder at Harlem’s Green Parrot Grill

It may be the only time a tropical bird helped crack a New York cold case.

On July 12, 1942, Max Geller, owner of the Green Parrot Bar and Grill on Third Avenue and 100th Street, was shot to death in his small restaurant by a lone gunman.

None of the restaurant’s patrons could (or would) identify the killer, and the police had no clues.

Months passed, and finally, a breakthrough. Geller had kept a real parrot in his restaurant, and a detective learned that the bird was trained to call regular customers by name.

Witnesses had said that the bird screeched “robber robber robber” as his owner was shot. The detective, however, “had a hunch that the parrot had actually repeated “Robert Robert Robert.”

“Suspicion focused on a man named Robert Butler, 28, who had left Manhattan shortly after the shooting.”

Cops located Butler, a former taxi driver, in Maryland, where he confessed to shooting Geller in a drunken rage because Geller refused to serve him.

Brought back to New York in November 1943, Butler was sentenced to 15 years.

Sun, 08 May 2011 12:30:00 +0000

Common term Coined in New York (again)

Some readers' may have noticed my predisposition to writing about issues in and around the New York area as it relates to subject matter here. Let's just say having been born and raised there, I am and will always be a New Yorker. Moving on...

One term most people are familiar with is the well known label "Hooker", mostly associated with the long standing profession of prostitution.

Corlears Hook was named in the 17th century for the Van Corlears Family, early Dutch settlers who had a farm near the East River. In the 18th century the British renamed it Crown Point, and in the 19th century it reverted back to its' New Amsterdam name.
But it was no longer farmland. In the 1830's it became the City's most notorious red-light district attracting sailors and the women who serviced them...
The women of Corlears Hook..."were the most debased and lowest of their class. They were untidy, flashy and covered with brass jewelry and tinsel," states Seafaring Women, by David Cordingly. "Their dresses are short, arms and necks bare, and their appearance is as disgusting as can be conceived". A rather scathing description for women during any period in history.

The area known as Corlears Hook is generally credited in giving rise to the term "Hooker".
The area now is a park offering views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges-with no hint of its importance in creating the popular term for ladies of the evening.

Sun, 08 May 2011 12:15:00 +0000

New York City's First Drug Dealer

A dubious distinction at best, the famous Astor family usually known for real estate development in and around New York (Astor Place, Astor Row, Astoria Queens)apparently got started in another lucrative trade: Drug smuggling.

John Jacob Astor, a german immigrant made his first fortune trading furs with the natives in the late 1700's and eventually shipping pelts worldwide.

Having been associated with China from his fur trading, the needed connections were already in place.
He began purchasing thousand of pounds of Turkish Opium and shipped it to China, illegally as Opium was banned there in 1799. After a few years of successful smuggling, he quit the business evidently unscathed and began a new career in another prosperous trade: New York Real Estate.

Tue, 04 May 2010 18:50:00 +0000

Don't Overlook The Obvious allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 21:07:00 +0000

New York City’s founding families

The city’s oldest cemeteries are home to the tombstones of early bigwig early New Yorkers.

The first Riker (of Rikers Island fame, of course) arrived in New Amsterdam from Holland in 1638.(For all you non-New Yorker's that's the jail on it's own island).

His descendent, John Lafayette Riker, was a Civil War colonel in a Union Army volunteer regiment called the Anderson Zouaves.

Riker was killed at the Battle of Fair Oaks in 1862 and buried in Green-Wood Cemetery.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 13:11:00 +0000

..."Know A Good Lawyer"?

These little gems are from a book called "Disorder in the American Courts", and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place..

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, "isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?
What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And, Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
And the best for last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:49:00 +0000

Street Slang: NYC Born

Ever heard street slang and wondered how it came about or where it came from?...

The term "Jones" or "jonesin" (jone-sin, jones-ing) was originally used by drug addicts and junkies when referring to their habit; "I got a 3 bag a day Jones"...or the desire for drugs; "I'm jonesin' for some ______". The term is said to have been created after Jones St. in the West Village of NYC...
then there is Great Jones St and Great Jones Alley which runs behind Great Jones St. It's rumored that Great Jones Alley was a big hang out for the drug culture in Greenwich Village... hence the term, "Jonesin'".

Tue, 02 Feb 2010 16:32:00 +0000

Interviews: "Make 'Em Do It Backwards"!

Theories abound about how best to tell if a suspect is lying to you, short of hooking him up to a polygraph or CVSA, and even's only a tool. We hear about kenesics, the use of body language and movement, different cues to look for, and on and on. Well, here's one more for your consideration: Make 'em tell it backwards. That's right. One more wrench in your toolchest should be having your subject recount all the facts for you as always, then....have them do it backwards in a timeline. One of the best ways to obtain cues to possible deception may be simply to have the subject tell his or her story backwards. You will find it's much more difficult for a person who is fabricating a story, alibi or incident to do so while telling it in a reverse or backwards timeline. In doing so you will start to see a pattern within the context of the interview:
Extreme Brevity: You will get very condensed versions.
Sparse Details: When lying, subjects will tend to offer few details generally speaking.
Justifications: When details are offered in the fabrications, they will tend to be in the form of justifications or rationalizations.
Non-verbal giveaways: During deception, the subjects may more often press their lips together firmly and look away like they were trying to think, to concentrate hard. Also their hand gestures may be different. When being truthful, they may tend to gesture away from their body, the opposite -- toward their chest -- when making up stories. And, when lying, grooming gestures may be more evident. These cues are all based on you obtaining a baseline of truth prior to your interview. You will notice, that Kenesics do play a part in this style of interview. Talk to your subject, get their baseline, then give it a try.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 16:57:00 +0000


The retired NYPD Lieutenant that thousands of cops know, yet never knew, recently passed away.

Jesse Oldshein was the inspiration for the paper target that thousands of New York (and other) cops shot at for years. How many of us ever knew his name? How many ever knew he was a real person?

Jesse Oldshein retired as a Lieutenant, and has been living in Florida. He died recently, at the age of 92.

It was less than 2 years ago that he was unmasked as “The Thug” – the male holding a gun in a shooting pose that we shot at as a target at Firearms training for years.
When this target was replaced in 2008, with a faceless Mr Clean look-alike, it was revealed that Jesse Oldshein was the model for the target.

When he showed up for firearms training one day in the early 1960’s, Oldshein was asked to pose for a picture. “Pose in a boxing stance”, he said he was told. “Next thing I know, my face is on a target.”

Jesse Oldshein served as a Lieutenant in the 79 Precinct before he retired.

Not only was he the face that everyone knew, even if we didn’t know him, but he was truly a “cops cop”.

In a thank-you letter sent to Jesse OIdshein from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, he summed it up best when he wrote “Yours is the face that launched a thousand careers.”

We say “Farewell- and God Bless” to this NYPD legend.

Mon, 18 Jan 2010 14:36:00 +0000

The Role of Private Individuals Before the Police

Throughout the period 1674 to 1829 many victims of crime were able to identify and apprehend the culprits before contacting a constable or a justice of the peace to secure their arrest. Those who witnessed a felony were legally obliged to apprehend those responsible for the crime, and to notify a constable or justice of the peace if they heard that a crime had taken place. Moreover, if summoned by a constable to join the "hue and cry", inhabitants were required to join in the pursuit of any suspected felon.

Although these legal obligations were rarely enforced, Londoners continued to help apprehend suspected criminals. As the Proceedings frequently illustrate, cries of "stop thief!" or "murder!" from victims often successfully elicited the assistance of passers-by. This sense of individual responsibility for law enforcement was eroded over the eighteenth century, however, as increasing numbers of men were paid to carry out this task. For example, victims frequently paid thief-takers to locate and apprehend suspects. Moreover, the difficulties the authorities had in identifying and apprehending criminals led them to offer rewards to those whose arrests led to the conviction of serious criminals, and pardons to accomplices who were willing to turn in their confederates. Increasingly, ordinary Londoners left the task of securing criminals to people who were motivated to do so by the prospect of financial or other rewards.

Sat, 26 Dec 2009 16:31:00 +0000

Miranda Warnings: Hollywood Vs. Real World

How many times have we all seen a television show or movie that depicts an arrest and while in the process the LEO'S give Miranda Warnings to the suspect? How many of us actually do that? As a member of a patrol division or a detective squad I submit that doing that too soon can be just as bad as not doing it at all.
The truth is if you're a patrol cop and you make an arrest, there is a chance you may want to question your arrestee. If you were to administer Miranda as you are arresting your suspect like they do on television, you may very well be shutting your bad guy (or girl)down before you need to. The ride "back to the house" can be very productive depending on circumstances. If it's a job that you will handle all the way through, you are going to want to talk to your subject right? Why then would you want to lose the opportunity to gather spontaneously uttered information? Those comments and statements made from the rear of your patrol vehicle by your subject will certainly be called into question if you gave Miranda prior to them being made. I have seen too many times LEO's in the real world doing their job as if they were trained by cops on different TV shows...sad but true. We are human and absent a good training officer and /or mentor people (yes even Police Officers) will act based on what they are exposed to.
Being a detective for many years it is one aspect of TV and movies that I cannot deal with. Why would a producer/director of a movie or series show take the time to hire real LEO's (retired or active) as consultants and then throw in the mistake of advising Miranda as the arrest is taking place? Because that is what people have seemingly come to expect. The same reason all the CSI issues are now so's been shown in the movies and on TV so much, real jurors expect DNA, fingerprint evidence and other aspects of crime scene investigation to be present in a case before they will convict (but that's yet another post).
It is not necessary to advise an arrested person of their right to remain silent UNLESS they are going to be questioned! Yes they have been arrested, yes you will want to question them. Think about this...
don't do it on the street to "get it out of the way", or to make sure you won't forget. Give them the opportunity to "vent" all the way back to the station. Then, during your "pre-interview chat" let them know their rights prior to getting into your subject matter.
I realize we all have or own style of working and we all do what we have found works best for"us"....but let's keep our edge and don't give away the game before you get started.