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Bernard B. Kerik

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Bernard B. Kerik “was appointed the 40th police commissioner of the City of New York by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani on August 21, 2000. Prior to his appointment, he served as commissioner of the Department of Correction. He served with the New York Police Department in both uniformed and plainclothes duty for eight years, and was awarded the prestigious Medal of Valor, among many other awards for meritorious and heroic service. Before joining the NYPD, Kerik served as warden of the Passaic County jail, the largest county adult correctional facility in New Jersey. Kerik spent three years in the U.S. Army as an MP, assigned to Korea and to the 18th Airborne Corps, where he trained Special Forces personnel at the John F. Kennedy Unconventional Warfare Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.” Bernard B. Kerik is the author of The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice.

According to the book description of The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice, “An astonishing story of bravery and honor:  One man's quest -- against incredible odds -- to pursue justice . . . and to uncover the painful truths of his own background.

From the sagging row houses of Paterson, New Jersey, to the cocaine fields of Colombia, from the razor wire of Rikers Island to the streets of New York City, Bernard Kerik has dedicated his life to a single goal: to fight the injustice he sees around him. A jail warden with a black belt and a background in international security and anti-terrorism, he took a substantial pay cut to become a beat cop on the streets of Times Square in 1986. A fearless narcotics detective, he went undercover to buy drugs in Harlem, seized millions of dollars of cocaine from the drug lords of the Cali cartel, and was awarded the Police Department's Medal of Valor for saving the life of a fellow officer. In the 1990s, as the city's Commissioner of Correction, he ended the hellish violence at Rikers Island and transformed it into a model of its kind. Today, as Kerik directs a police force of 55,000 -- the largest municipal force in the world -- his battles continue.

And yet Bernard Kerik's greatest battle was not pitched on tough city streets, but within himself. For, even as he was driven to seek justice in every corner of the world, this extraordinary man never looked back until he reached the top. And when he did, he faced the greatest unsolved case of his life -- the tragic mystery of his own mother, who abandoned her young son forty-one years ago. The odyssey of Bernard B. Kerik is a poignant tale with lessons for all about what it means to be a good and brave man, and just how each of us should aspire to those ideals. A testament to courage in the service of honor, The Lost Son is a harrowing, inspirational, and uniquely American story.

According to one reader of The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice, “This is an engaging, well-written memoir of a man who came from a disadvantaged background, a high school drop out who, with a little help from his friends, pulled himself up by his boot straps, eventually becoming New York City's fortieth Police Commissioner in 2000.

Born to an alcoholic mother who worked as a prostitute and was eventually murdered, Kerik grew up in the mean streets of Newark and Patterson, New Jersey, and eventually dropped out of high school. A devotee of martial arts, he become a third degree black belt and joined the military, a career choice that was to give focus to his life. From then on, it was a natural segue into law enforcement.

The book takes the reader on a trip down memory lane through Kerik's colorful life from his inauspicious birth to the 2001 World Trade Center attack. Kerik details his rise from warden of a Patterson, New Jersey jail to a member of the NYC police Department, then NYC Commissioner of Corrections, and, ultimately, NYC Police Commissioner. Police buffs will especially enjoy Kerik's war stories of his days as a foot soldier of NYPD, from his early days as a rookie cop to his faced paced, adrenalin rush days as a member of the DEA/NYPD Task Force.”


The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice
Bernard B. Kerik  More Info

According to one reader of The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice, “Bernard Kerik is no ordinary man. Bernard Kerik is a man of extraordinary courage, character, determination, and integrity who has committed his life to fighting the world's injustices. He is a man with a mission and his task, at times, seems almost an endless impossibility. From a Times Square beat cop and an undercover police officer buying drugs in Harlem, to righting the wrongs of Rikers Island, Kerik is truly a man whose shoes would be very difficult, if not impossible, to fill.

The book is well written and mind absorbing from start to finish. One important message readers can take from this book is having the courage to stand up for what one believes in and the fortitude to stand up for those who are not able to stand up for themselves. This is a tremendous book written by a man of exceptional honor and valor. The book is deserving of far more than a five-star rating; it deserves all the stars in the universe.”

From the History of the New York City Police Department 

On January 4, 1808, the Common Council passed a law for the better regulation of the City Watch. Six persons were appointed (citizens and householders) who were denominated Captains of the Night-Watch, and place in command of the other Watchmen. In like manner, six assistant Captains were appointed, to take charge of the Watch and do other duties during the night when the Captain was absent from the watch-house upon his necessary duties. Such assistants, in addition to his pay as Watchman was entitled to receive the sum of eighteen cents for every night he was so employed. Other watchmen were likewise appointed, and placed under the command and directions of the Captains of the Night-Watch; and twelve other persons were added to each of the companies of the Watch, and were denominated substitutes. They possessed the same power and were subject to the same regulations, and, when employed, were entitled to the same pay as the regulars.

It was the duty of the Captains to fix the stations or rounds of the Watchmen within their respective districts; to prescribe the duties of the Watchmen and to see that such duties were faithfully executed; to visit each of the fixed stations of the Watchmen under his command at least once every night. Each Captain was entitled to receive $1.50 for every night's actual service, and each of the other Watchmen, 75 cents. Each Captain and every other Watchman should obey all orders given by the Mayor, Recorder or either of the Aldermen, and also of the Justices of the Police, on pain of removal from office. The above ordinance was followed by the appointment of forty-eight Watchmen.

The City hall park at this period was a piece of enclosed ground consisting of about four acres, planted with elms, palms, willows, and catalpas, the surrounding foot-walks being encompassed with rows of poplars. "This beautiful grove," in the language of a writer of the period, "in the middle of the city, combines in a high degree ornament wit health and pleasure; and to enhance the enjoyment of the place, the English and French Reading-room, the Shakespeare Gallery, and the theatre, offer ready amusement to the mind; while the Mechanics' Hall, the London Hotel, and the New York Gardens present instant refreshment to the body. Though the trees are but young, and of few years' growth, the Park may be pronounced an elegant and improving place." The City Hall Park apparently has not improved with age. It would hardly be in accordance with the facts to describe it now as "an elegant and improving place."

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