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Jack Maple

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Jack Maple worked his way up the ranks from a transit police officer in the New York City Transit Police to an undercover detective patrolling Times Square and the 42nd Street train station at 8th Avenue, and finally becoming a deputy police commissioner of the New York Police Department in Mayor Guiliani's administration.  His book, The Crime Fighter : Putting the Bad Guys Out of Business, chronicles his rise from cop on the beat to Deputy Police Commissioner. It is said that this book inspired the television series “The District.”


Amazon.com said of The Crime Fighter : Putting the Bad Guys Out of Business, “Jack Maple was a former NYPD transit cop who found himself appointed deputy commissioner in 1993. Upon assuming his new office, the erstwhile Don Quixote of urban crime led a charge to reform the way cops go about their everyday business--namely, busting the bad guys. Amazingly, Maple succeeded, and New York's crime rate--previously spiraling out of control--took a 39 percent tumble within two years of his ascension to policymaker, with murders alone falling an astounding 50 percent.

The Crime Fighter is the story of a regular beat cop with big ideas, and Maple's fast-paced, two-fisted tone helps punctuate an often madcap assortment of recollections. Maple's an unusual character to say the least, a somewhat rotund dandy who sports a bow tie and derby in public and nurtures a reputation as a gourmand. He takes the lion's share of credit for NYC's reduction in crime, but almost in an offhand, good-sportish way, rather than incessantly beating his own drum. He'd rather tell tales about the time he chewed out the chief ("I'll be damned if I'm going to start looking over my shoulder because of a guy down here wearing Ricky Nelson suits") or the time he played up his hemorrhoid problems to goad a prisoner into making a confession. Once he gets past his active days on the beat, Maple settles down into a steady rhythm, systematically laying out the obstacles he faced in trying to get his department to fight crime in an orderly, sensible manner, and then explaining the process whereby he went right ahead and did it. (The COMSTAT system he devised for storing and tracking crime information is now standard operating procedure in many police departments across the country.) The Crime Fighter never gets bogged down in its own grandeur--on the contrary, parts of Maple's look back read like good Elmore Leonard-type crime fiction, and several passages are so beautifully absurd that it takes a supreme effort of will to remember that, yes, a cop really wrote that.”

The Crime Fighter: Putting the Bad Guys Out of Business
Jack Maple  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.





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