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James O'Keefe

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James O’Keefe, Ph.D. “graduated from St. John’s University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.  Shortly after graduation, he began his career in law enforcement as a police officer in Texas with the Houston Police Department: “For the ten years that I was with the Houston Police Department, I served as a uniformed and undercover police officer assigned to the Vice Squad specifically to investigate narcotics and child pornography cases. I ended up becoming a Special Assistant to the Chief of Patrol,” says Dr. O’Keefe.

Upon his return to New York City, in 1981, O’Keefe became the Associate Director of the Office of Management & Budget for the New York City Transit Police Department.  He was soon promoted to Director of Training when the first independent New York City Transit Police Academy was established. Dr. James O’Keefe retired from the New York City Police Department in 2001 and became an Associate professor of Criminal Justice at St. John’s University, where he currently serves as Associate Dean & Professor.” Dr. James O’Keefe is the author of Protecting the Republic: The Education & Training of American Police Officers.

According to the book description of Protecting the Republic: The Education & Training of American Police Officers, “This practical book provides an insightful, real, and detailed analysis of police education and training. Its author, James O'Keefe, successfully ran the largest police academy in the world for ten years, and comprehensively looks at the logic, structure, and actual course content police offers should be studying to effectively meet and manage the complex challenges of the 21st century. His book addresses critical issues in law enforcement education, discusses why police officers do the things they do, advocates the need of elected officials in local and state government to understand how their police officials should be educated and trained, and explains the need for a “standard of training.” KEY TOPICS Chapter topics explore the modern day American Republic, and what makes policing in a democracy so crucial to freedom and human rights; Overview the key academic subjects that should be taught in terms of police science, law, and most importantly, behavioral science; review the education and training of law enforcement supervisors, managers, and executives with a wide ranging focus on leadership; and summarize the key organizational requirements to build a law enforcement organization to sustain the American Republic in a time of legitimate public safety threats. For use by municipal police academies across the country, local and state elected officials, attorneys involved in criminal and civil litigation, Executive Development Programs in municipal police department—and the American citizens they represent and protect.”

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.

 

Source:

nycpolicemuseum.org

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