About the New York City Police Department 

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.

 

Source:

nycpolicemuseum.org

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Police Books

Michael Grant

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Michael Grant “is a former member of the NYPD. He worked as a police officer in the Tactical Patrol Force and the Accident Investigation Squad. Upon being promoted to sergeant, he worked in the 63rd Precinct, the Inspections Division, and finally the Police Academy. As a lieutenant, he worked in the 17th Precinct and finished up his career as the Commanding Officer of the Traffic Division's Field Internal Affairs Unit. He retired in 1985 and went to work for W.R. Grace Company as a Security Coordinator. Mr. Grant has a BS in Criminal Justice and an MA in psychology from John Jay College. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

In 1990, Michael Grant moved to Florida where he wrote his first three novels: Line of Duty, Officer Down, and Retribution. In 2006 he returned to Long Island where he has written six more novels: The Cove, Back To Venice, When I Come Home, In The Time Of Famine, Dear Son, Hey Ma, Krystal, Appropriate Sanctions, and The Stalker.

According to the book description of Precinct, “Captain Richard Leland is a rising star in the NYPD. Young, bright, and super ambitious, his goal is to be the police commissioner by the time he’s forty. He’s right on track, but then department politics rears its ugly head. All his carefully laid plans are suddenly thrown into jeopardy when his boss, Chief of Department Charles Drum, decides his young protégé needs more patrol experience—something that Leland has been avoiding at all costs because he knows that almost anything that goes wrong in a precinct could derail his promising career. To his horror, Leland is transferred to the notorious Bronx precinct that cops call “Fort Frenzy.” With good reason, a wary Leland views his precinct assignment as a career minefield that at any moment could blow his hopes and expectations all to hell. His new boss, Assistant Chief Lucian Hightower, is an archenemy of Chief Drum and he’s not at all happy to see this “headquarters groupie” in his borough. Another major flashpoint for Leland is Kawasi Munyika, a loudmouthed political activist who is waiting for that one “cause” that will propel him into national prominence. Then, there’s the “Poet Bandit,” a psycho whose robbery notes contain poems, and the “Midnight Mangias,” a couple who break into restaurants and cook their own meals. If that isn’t enough, Leland is forced to contend with angry cops, whacko cops, a radio car romance, a “cop fighter” bar that needs to be closed, and a beautiful, if contentious, community organizer who is a thorn in his side. Or is she? Finally, it all comes to a head. Kawasi Munyika finds his “cause”—the boycott of a Korean grocery store. And Richard Leland is faced with his own personal Armageddon: Will he protect his career or will he do the right thing? This book, sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, offers the reader an insider’s unique view of the life of a precinct commanding officer and what goes on behind the walls of a NYPD precinct.”

Publisher’s Weekly said of Line of Duty, “Twenty-three-year NYPD veteran Grant is being billed by his publisher as "the police novelist of the '90s," the logical successor to Joseph Wambaugh and William Caunitz. But while it is clear that the author of this competent if uninvolving first novel is writing from an insider's viewpoint, the narrative lacks the steady flow of raucous, off-color humor and wild anecdotes that has come to define the genre. When a well-known drug dealer is summarily executed by two men who might well be policemen, career cop Brian Shannon is assigned to conduct a covert investigation in an uneasy alliance with Internal Affairs officer Alex Rose. Similar murders of a sleazy lawyer and an uptown art dealer eventually lead them to police captain Patrick Stone, head of the city's elite antidrug unit and a rising departmental star. Unfortunately, Stone's corruption--which is the heart of the story--is difficult to accept, and his ability to draw an entire team of other cops into his web defies belief. Finally, while the requisite personal problems in the investigators' private lives are introduced, these never have much passion or impact, and are not resolved. As far as the police novel goes, Grant sings the song but sadly misses the melody.”

Kirkus Reviews said of Officer Down, “Tired of battling US anti-drug authorities on Colombian soil, the drug lords hatch an ingenious, improbable, yet prophetic scheme: They'll hire a cadre of terrorists to execute NYPD officers at random, spreading fear and demoralization in preparation for an all-out attack on a high-profile public institution--all in order to frighten federal authorities into backing off their demands for extraditions from Colombia. Commissioner Thomas Cassidy, looking for a few good men to battle the Puto Blanco (White Fist), chooses Deputy Inspector Dan Morgan, who's joined by DEA agent Donald Castillo (``pushing the envelope and close to burnout'') and FBI antiterrorist specialist Christine Liberti. As Morgan's tiny, secret unit begins to gather information, the Pu¤o Blanco--headed by paramilitary sharpshooter Lyle Petry-- plants a bomb outside One Police Plaza, killing the eager-beaver officer who picks it up thinking it's a dud; executes a second officer as she's sitting in her car writing out a parking citation; and begins to place bogus distress calls to 911 in order to bushwhack the responding officers. The department, even though they haven't been told that a terrorist organization has targeted their ranks, predictably demands automatic weapons and doubled backup personnel, and then, after another bombing in the South Bronx, starts a job action. The odds against Morgan and Co. would seem impossible except for an undercover cop they've planted right under Petry's nose--but a rookie whose inexperience sets the stage for a nail biting finale. The excruciatingly familiar characters, from coldly trigger-happy Petry to hotly trigger-happy Castillo, are only pegs to hang the action on--but as Grant showed in Line of Duty (1991), he sure can dish up the action. The recent bombing of the World Trade Center (not, by the way, the climactic target here) gives this crackerjack story an added timeliness.”

The Library Journal said of Retribution, “Rogue cop Michael Devlin, a man with great potential, has fallen victim to a cheating wife and no longer cares about anything. Transferred to the force's traffic division, he quits and takes a job as head of security of Taggert Industries, one of New York City's premier companies. The ex-cop, thinking this will be a soft assignment, calls in Marie Falcone and Otis Royal, computer and security experts, to identify and correct the problems. When a mail bomb is found under the podium where the head of the company is speaking, the situation turns serious. Although not as complex as his first novel, Line of Duty (LJ 6/15/90), Grant's latest has moved away from the police procedural into the realm of corporate security, and the author succeeds in writing a suspense-filled thriller.”

According to the book description of In The Time Of Famine, “In 1845 a blight of unknown origin destroyed the potato crop in Ireland triggering a series of events that would change forever the course of Ireland’s history. The British government called the famine an act of God. The Irish called it genocide. By any name the famine caused the death of over one million men, women, and children by starvation and disease. Another two million were forced to flee the country. With the famine as a backdrop, this is a story about two families as different as coarse wool and fine silk. Michael Ranahan, the son of a tenant farmer, dreams of breaking his bondage to the land and going to America. The passage money has been saved. He’s made up his mind to go. And then—the blight strikes and Michael must put his dream on hold. The landlord, Lord Somerville, is a compassionate man who struggles to preserve a way of life without compromising his ideals. To add to his troubles, he has to deal with a recalcitrant daughter who chafes at being forced to live in a country of “bog runners.” In The Time Of Famine is a story of survival. It’s a story of duplicity. But most of all, it’s a story of love and sacrifice.”

According to the book description of The Cove, “Haddley Falls, a sleepy, bucolic New England town, relies on tourism for its economic survival. But then the unthinkable happens: A man and a woman are brutally murdered on a sailboat anchored in the town’s cove. Understandably, these murders throw the resort town into chaos, but no one has more at stake than the town’s three movers and shakers. Jonathan Talbot, a wealthy industrialist, is a nominee for the position of Secretary of the Commerce and can’t afford a hint of scandal. Whittier Sanborne III, a wealthy and reclusive man, has dark family secrets that he must keep. And finally there is Royce Gardner, the Mayor of Haddley Falls, who also has skeletons that could destroy his family’s reputation. For these reasons, the three agree that they can’t afford to have the state police meddling in their affairs. They need someone they can control—someone like their police chief. Tony Brunetta, a retired NYPD homicide detective lieutenant who accepted the job of police chief of Haddley Falls precisely to get away from big city violence, is dismayed to find that he is suddenly tasked with finding the murderer. To make matter worse, his old partner, Pete Delaney, a burned out, suicidal NYPD detective arrives to spend his “last weekend” with his friend, mentor and old boss. Events quickly spiral out of control. Against his will, Pete Delaney is sucked into the vortex of an ever-widening investigation. With the help of two inexperienced deputies—JT Bryce, a beautiful and intelligent woman, and and Clint Avery, a well meaning bumbler, Delaney slowly peels away the protective layers of the town until it becomes clear that Haddley Falls is not the sleepy town is pretends to be. This fast paced novel of murder, mendacity, hubris, and ultimately redemption will appeal to readers who love police thrillers and enjoy watching a big city detective attempt to solve a double-homicide without the support of a major police department.”

According to the book description of Back To Venice, “Imagine what it would be like to go back in time to the 15th century Venice. And imagine what it would be like to meet your lifelong hero, Michelangelo. And imagine what it would be like if, on first meeting, you spill a tray of pasta and wine on that very same hero. Well, that’s what happens to serious young artist Mark Breen. As the result of a drunken bet, Mark knocks out a painting of a toilet bowl. Much to his amazement, he sells it. In short order he’s hailed as the new Andy Warhol and becomes an overnight sensation—and a very wealthy man. Soon, images of his toilet bowls are on more t-shirts, mugs, and calendars than Edvard Munch’s The Scream. His friend and mentor, Hugh Connelly, afraid that Mark is in danger of losing his “artistic soul,” advises him to go back to Italy and reacquaint himself with the “old masters.” In Venice, Mark falls in love with Alexandra, a beautiful art restorer, but it’s a one-sided affair. One night, hoping to win her over, he climbs up on a roof to find out who painted her favorite fresco. He falls off the roof and wakes up in 15th century Venice where he meets an innkeeper named Francesca, who looks exactly like Alexandra. And it gets curiouser and curiouser from there. During his stay—which is sometimes zany and sometimes frightening—he meet his hero, Michelangelo, who teaches him the true meaning of art.”

According to the book description of Who Moved My Friggin' Provolone? it “is as spoof on Spencer Johnson’s very fine book, Who Moved My Cheese. Follow the adventures and travails of Joey Boddaboom and Vinny Boddabing, two Mafia guys who are confronted with all the unpleasant aspects of “change in their everyday workplace.” Marone, it ain’t easy!”

According to the book description of When I Come Home, “Life is good for Nancy Cavanaugh. She’s happily married with three young children and one on the way. The only serious rift between her and her husband, Connor, is a debt-ridden farm in Ireland that Connor inherited from his father. He has dreams of one day going back there to work the farm and raise their children there. But Nancy wants no part of it. Then tragedy strikes. Just four days after the baby is born, Connor is killed in an accident and Nancy’s life is abruptly turned upside down. Then, a second blow—a letter letter from Connor’s sister, stating she intends to take over the farm. The farm is Connor’s legacy to his children and she will not allow it to be taken away from them. She will fight for the farm through the Irish courts. But, there’s one problem—she’ll have to go back to Ireland to do it. Then World War II interrupts her plans, Like millions of other American women, Nancy goes to work in a factory for the duration of the war. When the war ends, she books passage. Just before she sets sail, Neil, Connor’s best friend, asks her to marry him. Stunned by this sudden proposal, she promises to give him an answer when she comes home. In Ireland she meets Sean Garrett, a childhood sweetheart, further complicating her feelings for Neil. As the fight for the farm makes its way through the courts, Nancy knows she will be forced to make a wrenching decision if she wins. Keep the farm and raise the children there, or go back to the states. For Neil and Sean, the two men who love her, her decision means everything.”

According to the book description of Krystal, “Back in 1973 Johnny Carson made a joke about a toilet paper shortage. The next morning many of his 20 million viewers rushed out to their local supermarkets and cleared the shelves of toilet paper. And of course we all know about Oprah's legendary power to turn obscure books into overnight best sellers and unknown people into media stars. Talk show hosts like Johnny Carson and Oprah inspire almost religious fervor in their audiences. Television is indeed a powerful medium. As the novel opens, Krystal is the hottest talk show host on TV. She has it all—fame, a successful clothing and perfume line, a best-selling book, and Chandler Davis, a good-looking ex-soap hunk, for a manager and lover. But Krystal’s empire is beginning to show cracks in the foundation. Her product sales are beginning to slip, a serious competitor has arrived on the scene, and her Nielsen ratings are in free-fall. Then, literally, a miracle saves her career. A blind woman’s sight is restored on the show and suddenly the “miracle” is being discussed on everything from Good Morning America and 20/20 to countless blogs. Krystal is back on top. But is it a miracle, a medical anomaly, or a hoax? Everyone wants to know: does Krystal have the power to restore sight to the blind? Toss into the mix Reece Kagan, Krystal's sleazy, unscrupulous producer and a man who is obsessed with keeping the show on top at any cost, and the Reverend Darius, a conman, scripture-spouting Brooklyn storefront minister who specializes in miracles on demand—and you have Network meets Elmer Gantry, a black satire novel which examines two of our most influential institutions in America today: religion and television.”

According to the book description of Dear Son, Hey Ma: A Dialogue of Sort, “When it comes to interpersonal communications, Cool Hand Luke said it best: "What we've got here is a failure to communicate." And that statement was never truer than it is for the two characters in Dear Son, Hey Ma. Even in the best of times, meaningful dialogue between a mother and son can be difficult or even nonexistent. But in the age of Facebook, Twitter and cell phone texting, personal communication doesn't stand a chance. Or does it? Dear Son, Hey Ma is a humorous, and sometimes poignant, attempt by a mother and son to communicate via emails.”

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