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John Moreno

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John Moreno “was born and raised in New York City. In 1951 he married Eileen McTiernan, his childhood sweetheart. They have three daughters and five grandchildren. In 1955 he joined the New York City Police department and retired at the rank of lieutenant in 1984. While on the job he earned an Associate Degree in Police Science and later a Bachelor Degree in Theology. Upon retiring he accepted a position on the staff of the Bishop Molloy Retreat House, working with the Passionist Community of priests and brothers. While working there he went on to earn a Masters Degree in Catholic Doctrine. After leaving that position he became associated with the Marianist Community organizing, promoting and offering spiritual programs at their Emmanuel Marianist Retreat House. He is founder of Catholic Lay Preachers, a small group of experienced lay speakers offering their talents to religious organizations. John Moreno is the author of A Spirituality For Police Officers.

According to the book description of A Spirituality For Police Officers, “Under the police shield is a real live person. The experiences of police work has an effect upon that person. This book is an attempt to have the reader weigh how their experiences are affecting them as persons. Is what they are dealing with on a daily basis having an effect upon their relationships with family, friends, neighbors and most important their God?

The author shares real life police experiences, drawn from 30 years of service to the New York City Police Department. He shares how the work made him feel. There is that ongoing struggle in trying to be both a tough enforcer of the law and a loving, caring, popular human being and a person of faith. As a rookie officer, working with an old timer, he is warned of the three Bs, booze, broads and bucks and how they are the downfall of many officers. He is admonished by a superior officer for not beating a prisoner who had assaulted him on the street. He fights back tears at the sight of his first DOA, an infant.

In all of this the author seeks holiness. He wrestles with the question, can I be a tough, no nonsense, effective police officer and still lead a holy life, Police work offers the officer many opportunities to get into trouble, or to grow in holiness. Frequently it is the same incident and depends on how the officer handles it, whether it brings him or her down or lifts him or her up.

The book is written from the perspective of a Roman Catholic, however, anyone holding a belief in God should find helpful material in its pages. It would also be interesting for anyone who has relatives or friends in law enforcement, helping them to understand what the officer struggles with.”

According to one reader of A Spirituality For Police Officers, “I had hoped this book would be another resource for police chaplaincy, but it is very narrow in its outlook. It might be a good resource for some individual police officers, but a more honest title for this book would be "A Spirituality for Conservative Roman Catholic Police Officers.”


A Spirituality For Police Officers
John Moreno  More Info

From the History of the New York Police Department 

The High Constable, in 1793, was enjoined to direct that two or more of the constables, those of the Harlem Division of the Seventh Ward excepted, on every Sunday during the time of the Divine Service, by turns, should walk through the several streets with their staffs and cause this law (a law for the due observance of the Lord's Day) to be duly kept and observed; and to that end the said High Constable and other Constables were authorized to enter into all or any public inns, victualers, or ordinary-keepers; and if any person should be found tippling therein, or that strong liquor was sold therein contrary to law, they should make complaint thereof, that the same might be punished.

Along towards 1796, the progress of the police system became very marked. Four more men had been added; the pay for all was now increased. On January 1, 1796, it was determined that until May 1 of each year, the Captains of the Watch should receive eleven shillings a night; the assistants, seven shillings; and the privates five shillings and sixpence. By the close of the year, too, the new watch-house at the end of Chatham Street was reported complete and ready for occupancy. A committee was then appointed to make recommendations as to the number of me to be assigned to the new house. This committee made a thorough report, recommending that the Captain and one assistant be stationed at the main watch-house, Broad and Wall Street; and one assistant at the new house. The additional number of men to be employed was sixteen. The committee counseled that the rounds should be performed by three bands of three men, each relieving each other; and that seven sentries should be posted as follows: one at the watch-house; one at the intersection of Pearl and Chatham streets; two at the ship-yard; one at the "upper box" in the Bowery; one in division Street; and one "in Mr. Iver's ropewalk."

A man could be both a policeman and a politician in those days. We learn that in 1796 Alexander Lamb, one of the Captains of the City Watch, being about to depart for Albany to attend his duty as a Member of Assembly, it was ordered that Nicholas Lawrence, his assistant, take charge of the Watch until his chief's return.

The Watch Department was under the immediate direction of the Corporation. It was the duty of the Captains, under the direction of the Watch Committee, to fix the rounds of the Watchmen, prescribe their duties, and visit their stations. When a Watchman was guilty of misconduct, the Captain of the district might suspend him till the pleasure of the Common Council was known. He was obliged to make a return, early in the morning, to the justices of the Police, of the number and names of Watchmen attending the preceding night, and the defaulters, if any.

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