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David M. Waksman

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Search and Seizure Handbook (2nd Edition)
Waksman  More Info

About the Search and Siezure Handbook

In a meaningful, substantive and easy-to-use way, The Search & Seizure Handbook helps readers understand key cases and issues of the Fourth Amendment that are needed to perform the important role of applying and enforcing state and federal laws. 


Drawing from his extensive experience as a street cop, David Waksman presents readers with an accessible handbook that can eliminate the guesswork for the average police officer.  This valuable text provides the reader and potential trainer with a basic understanding of the Constitution and the various safeguards that law enforcement officers must have to deal successfully with the current criminal justice system.


The Search & Seizure Handbook fills a long-needed void among the available materials used for training and guidance of law enforcement officers at every level of government.

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.





David M. Waksman, J.D., is a nationally known homicide prosecutor with vast experience in trying violent offenders.  He is a very popular speaker, not only at professional meetings, but before business and civic groups as well.  Waksman brings a witty and pointed humor to this oftentimes dry and sensitive area.  He has been invited several times to address the Mystery Writers of America, giving them the reality they need for their novels.


Mr. Waksman is well published in police publications. He has had two criminal justice related Op-Ed articles published in the Miami Herald, and has been featured numerous times on TV shows such as Inside Story, Inside Edition, COPS, Hard Copy, 48 Hours and Dateline NBC.  The local TV networks call upon him to comment on current cases in the news.  On the 200th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, Mr. Waksman appeared with Justice Antonin Scalia, Judge Robert Bork, and several other distinguished judges and lawyers in a nationally televised PBS segment of Fred Friendly's The Constitution - That Delicate Balance. The show featured a hypothetical case highlighting the constitutional problems encountered in investigating and prosecuting a capital case.


Waksman has toiled 32 years in the criminal courts of Miami, Florida, after working the mean streets of The South Bronx for six years as a police officer and rising to the rank of sergeant in the New York Police Department.  He may have tried more first-degree murder cases than any other American prosecutor.


Mr. Waksman's career as a prosecutor began under the legendary Richard Gerstein.  He also worked eighteen years as an assistant to America's most popular, and longest serving Attorney General, Janet Reno, when she served as Miami's top prosecutor.  During that time period he tried over eighty-five homicide cases to juries, including twenty in which the death penalty was sought.


Prosecutor Waksman's trial experience spans well over 180 jury trials, primarily for such crimes as homicide, rape, child abuse, armed robbery, home invasion robbery, and public corruption. In federal court, five years before the world heard of Rodney King, Mr. Waksman was sworn in as a Special Assistant United States Attorney to prosecute a Hialeah police officer for Conspiracy to Violate the Civil Rights of two people, by killing them, after that officer was acquitted in state court of homicide charges, resulting from an off-duty drug robbery gone bad. 


David Waksman, not content to fight his battles in Miami-Dade County, has been teaching the cops of America the law and procedures they need to combat violent crimes in their communities.  Since 1988 he has taught a monthly seminar on homicide investigation for the Southern Police Institute (University of Louisville) in various locations (22 states, 34 cities) across the country.  He also teaches new detectives, crime scene technicians, medical examiners and forensic investigators at the nationally renowned Dade County Medical Examiner's Police-Medical Investigation of Death seminar.  He has taught classes (one a Fourth Amendment seminar) at the University of Miami School of Law and at several colleges in the South Florida area.  Local police departments continually call upon Mr. Waksman to teach refresher courses and in-service training to their investigators.


Waksman is also on the staff of the National College of District Attorneys, at their training facility in Columbia, South Carolina.  He teaches newer prosecutors how to be effective advocates in jury trials at the National Advocacy Center. 


In September of 2001, Mr. Waksman was invited by the U.S. Departments of State and Justice to participate in a training seminar in Yerevan, Armenia.  With two FBI agents, and a medical examiner, a five-day class was taught (during the week of September 11th) entitled Major Case/Homicide Investigation.  The seminar was an advanced level course designed for Armenian investigators, prosecutors and medical examiners currently participating in homicide investigations.  The class was presented in rather austere conditions, in a former Soviet military installation.  As the investigators spoke no English, the class was taught with simultaneous translations, as well as his collection of rather graphic slides.


His unique experiences and engaging style make him a compelling storyteller, one who can cut through the confusing legal issues that have befallen our modern American justice system.   He tells it as he sees it, yet protects himself from the carnage, as most cops do, with humor, albeit it away from the grieving families.


The compliment he appreciates most came from a Metro homicide detective:


Waksman, you're nothing more than a cop in a lawyer's uniform.

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