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William Higgins

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According to the book description of Hagan’s Watch, “It is two hours into a cold and windy midnight-to-eight tour. Police Officer Matthew Hagan walks his beat along Flatbush Avenue. Unknowingly, he takes the same steps that his father took two decades before. He carries with him the memory of his father. He thinks of his sons, now toddlers, who are destined to follow the same path two decades later. Get into the head of Matthew Hagan as he walks his beat and whip through the streets, with lights and siren, to shoot-outs, horrible injury and, ultimately, death. Meet Hagan's domineering father and witness the escapades of his two fearless sons, who bring crisis, trepidation and glory to the Hagan name. Follow the lives of three generations of Hagans, whose watch parallels events in New York City during the post WW II era, the riotous 1960's and '70s, and the violent, crack-infested 1980's and '90s. Become immersed in the saga of a family whose iron provides the grit and stability necessary to overcome the social mayhem and danger of "the job." Discover an old police call box that foreshadows ominous events. Experience an encounter in blackness, void of any sound. Feel the struggle for the sight of a child. And, witness the psychotic obsession of one man to exact revenge on a cop called Hagan.”

Hagan's Watch
William Higgins  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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