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Adolph Hart

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Memoirs Of A Spy
Adolph Hart  More Info

About the New York Police Department (NYPD):

The first law-enforcement officer began to patrol the trails and paths of New York City when it was known as New Amsterdam, and was a Dutch settlement and fort in the year 1625. This lawman was known as a "Schout – fiscal" (sheriff – attorney) and was charged with keeping the peace, settling minor disputes, and warning colonists if fires broke out at night. The first Schout was a man named Johann Lampo.


The Rattle Watch was a group of colonists during the Dutch era (1609 - 1664) who patrolled from sunset until dawn. They carried weapons, lanterns and wooden rattles (that are similar to the ratchet noisemakers used during New Year celebrations). The rattles made a very loud, distinctive sound and were used to warn farmers and colonists of threatening situations. Upon hearing this sound, the colonists would rally to defend themselves or form bucket-brigades to put out fires. The rattles were used because whistles had not yet been invented. The Rattle Watchmen also are believed to have carried lanterns that had green glass inserts. This was to help identify them while they were on patrol at night (as there were no streetlights at that time). When they returned to their Watch House from patrol, they hung their lantern on a hook by the front door to show that the Watchman was present in the Watch House. Today, green lights are still hung outside the entrances of Police Precincts as a symbol that the "Watch" is present and vigilant.


When the High Constable of New York City, Jacob Hays retired from service in 1844, permission was granted by the Governor of the state to the Mayor of the City to create a Police Department. A force of approximately 800 men under the first Chief of Police, George W. Matsell, began to patrol the City in July of 1845. They wore badges that had an eight-pointed star (representing the first 8 paid members of the old Watch during Dutch times). The badges had the seal of the City in their center and were made of stamped copper.





In “Memoirs of a Spy,” Adolph Hart tells the story of how he was recruited by NYPD to infiltrate early Civil Rights movement and Communist party provocateurs during the troublesome years of the 1960s.

According to one reader of Memoirs of a Spy, “Abe provides us with intriguing insights into the spy scene of the 1960s. Having lived in Lower Manhattan at precisely the time of the author's recruitment for infiltration into Harlem groups, one can appreciate the awesome divide within the island city. Subway, bus and elevator stabbings were the order of the day in Lower Manhattan, yet most of us failed to make the connection between these incidents and the start of the civil rights movement. The first part of the book provides fascinating information about this historic time. The second part is a powerful rendition of a cop's life and experiences that outsiders are usually not privy to.”

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