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Vernon J. Geberth

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Practical Homicide Investigation (Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations)
Vernon J. Geberth  More Info

Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives
Vernon J. Geberth  More Info

Practical Homicide Investigation: Checklist and Field Guide
Vernon J. Geberth  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.





Vernon J. Geberth is a retired lieutenant-commander of the New York Police Department.  As the commanding officer of the Bronx Homicide Task Force, his investigators handled more than four hundred murder investigations every year.  Geberth is recipient of over sixty awards for bravery and exceptional work during twenty-three years of service.  He has personally investigated, supervised, assessed, researched and consulted on over eight thousand homicides.


Vernon J. Geberth has master's degrees in both psychology and professional studies, is a graduate of the FBI's National Academy.  Over the past twenty-five years, he has taught over 50,000 police officers his comprehensive course in Practical Homicide Investigation.


Geberth’s book,”Practical Homicide Investigation” has been referred to as the "Bible of Homicide."  His subsequent works, “The Practical Homicide Investigation Checklist and Field Guide” and “Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives,” demonstrate his professional ability and subject matter expert command over homicide investigations.  In addition to his own works Geberth has been an editor in over forty other textbooks. He has devoted his life to the study of murder and was the first law enforcement professional to devise standard guidelines and protocols for proficient death inquiries. Currently he is president of P.H.I. Investigative Consultants, Inc., a New York-based corporation that provides state-of-the-art instruction and consultation regarding homicide investigations to police officers.

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