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Dennis J. McGowan

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False Stature
Dennis J. McGowan  More Info

About the Suffern Police Department

The Suffern Police Department, formed in 1896, began when Suffern had a population of 1,200 and the first police chief, William N. Smith , headed a department of 3 part time officers who patrolled the village on bicycle. Smith operated the department by telephone out of his home. The village's first jail cell was attached to a lumberyard.  Today, Suffern Police Dept. serves a village of over 13,000, includes 29 full-time police officers and detectives, 9 civilian personnel and 5 part time police officers. The Department maintains a Dare Unit, K-9 unit, PAL and Community officers.


The police department is located on the ground floor of the Suffern Municipal Building at 61 Washington Avenue in Suffern, New York. In addition to its patrol function, the Suffern Police Department includes a detective bureau, K-9 Unit, a crime prevention program, officers trained in commercial motor vehicle enforcement, an Adopt-A-Cop officer, and a very active community policing program. Part of that program is the D.A.R.E. Program, which sponsors a street hockey league, dances, various trips for students, as well as the in-school curriculum taught by police officers.


In a continued effort to provide the best police service to our community, the Suffern Police Department has equipped patrol vehicles with Automated External Defibrillators (AED's). The AED's allow a patrol officer to rapidly provide needed care to a cardiac victim. The AED's were purchased with grant money obtained through New York State Senator Thomas Morahan.


As of September of 2002, the Suffern Police Department's patrol vehicles are also equipped with mobile audio/video systems that allow officers to record police activities. The Suffern Police Department also received grant money through Senator Morahan to fund the purchase of this equipment.








Dennis J. McGowan was born the younger of two sons of Irish immigrant parents on the upper west side of Manhattan in New York City. He graduated cum laude from St. Thomas Aquinas College with a bachelor of science degree in social science, and received an associates degree in police science from Rockland Community College.

McGowan gleaned his research from firsthand knowledge as commander of the detective Bureau, a member of the statewide narcotics task force and as a police officer in the Rockland County suburb of Suffern, New York. Through his career he served as president, first vice president, and public relations director of the Rockland County Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

In that capacity, he was director/writer and moderator of The PBA Speaks on WRKL radio. As the commanding officer of the Suffern Detective Bureau, he became the first president of the Rockland County Detective Endowment Association before its charter

According to the book description of False Stature, “Discretion is the key word two young rookies on the New York Police Department must employ. The West Bronx natives have dreamt of becoming members of the prestigious NYPD since childhood, but their reality is turning into a nightmare. Jim Mackery subdues a cop killer in his road to detective, but his best friend Frankie Driscoll ends up in prison. Driscoll's undercover detail must be kept from Mackery and mistrust creates a rift in the friendship until a rogue police sergeant, pedophile priest and shared childhood secret loom large in the investigation of a runaway's murder.”

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