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BACK in THE DAY 1971 - 1972 NYCPD
From Ret. Capt. Harvey Katowitz: and Message from Randy Jurgensen Homicide Detective, ret.
Let me put some additional figures of my police department "back in the day, 1971-1972".
First and foremost,13 Cops Were "Set Up and Executed" simply because they were cops who
represented law and order. (During that time, 22 NYPD officers died in the line of duty) hk
Date Rank Name Shield # Precinct/Command Cause of Death
Sep 23 1970 Ptl. Michael Paolillo 4063 ID Sect. Stabbed-Investigation Off Duty
Oct 13 1970 Ptl. Maurice Erben 6582 Harbor Unit Boat-Crushed
Oct 22 1970 Ptl. Gerald Murphy 16043 9th Shot-Arrest-Off Duty
Nov 9 1970 Sgt. Henry Tustin Jr. 2265 32nd Shot-Robbery
Jan 19 1971 Ptl. Gerald Velotta 25970 18th (Mid. N.) Shot Accidental Discharge
Jan 22 1971 Ptl. Robert Bolden 20025 75th Shot-Altercation Off Duty
Feb 15 1971 Det Joseph Picciano 2281 41st Det. Sqd. Shot By Prisoner
Feb 19 1971 Ptl. Horace Lord 4292 Man. N. Pep Sqd. Shot-Arrest Investigation
Feb 20 1971 Det Erle Thompson 1316 114th Shot-Domestic Dispute
May 05 1971 Det. Ivan Lorenzo 1694 Narco. Div. Shot-Altercation Off Duty
May 21 1971 Ptl. Joseph Piagentini 8788 32nd Shot-Assassination
May 21 1971 Ptl. Waverly Jones 4381 32nd Shot-Assassination
Jul 24 1971 Ptl. Robert Denton 29130 73rd Stabbed-Investigation
Aug 20 1971 Ptl. Kenneth Nugent 16022 103rd Shot-Robbery
Aug 26 1971 Sgt. Joseph Morabito 2365 1st Det. Div. Shot-Investigation
Sep 25 1971 Ptl. Arthur Pelo 3259 HPD Bklyn./S/I Shot-Robbery Arrest
Nov 24 1971 Ptl. Patrick O'Connor 9270 Emer. Serv. Unit Auto Accident
Dec 7 1971 Det. Harold Marshall 768 HPD Bklyn Det Sqd Heart Attack Chasing Felon
Dec 21 1971 Ptl. Carson Terry 3353 HPD Shot-Off Duty Robbery Arrest
Jan 27 1972 PO. Rocco Laurie 11019 9th Shot-Assassination
Jan 27 1972 PO. Gregory Foster 13737 9th Shot-Assassination
Mar 18 1972 PO. Elijah Stroud 4202 80th Shot-Robbery
Apr 3 1972 Det William Capers 945 16th Det. Dist. Shot Accidental Discharge
Apr 14 1972 PO. Phillip Cardillo 26620 28th Shot-Investigation
Jun 28 1972 PO. John Skagen 3229 TPD Dist. 2 Shot Chasing Felon
Oct 22 1972 PO. Joseph Meaders 5033 63rd Crushed By Oil Truck
There were bombings, too many to mention. We, the police, had no vests, no radios, we were outgunned and not supported. These acts were carried out by people of all color and different backgrounds. Again, the sole purpose was to kill cops. During this time, in our great city, there were over 250,000 registered (by arrest) heroin addicts, regularly committing crimes to sustain themselves. If we had 250,000 people with TB, the city might have been quarantined. The yearly homicide rate exceeded 2,000, that's 2,000 human beings murdered not in Viet Nam during the war, but in N.Y.C.
We were called pigs" in fact, many of the signs at the various demonstrations read, "off the pig". We were leaderless, not supported by our own Commissioner or Mayor, in fact, they did not have time to attend our funerals. We buried our own and went out and did the job, trying to just hold the line. We have been told we were not as well trained and certainly not as well educated as today's police officers. Well, we did our best and sometime in the future, when we are again compared "racked up 994 shootings", please visit Police Headquarters and look at the Wall of Heroes for 1971-1972
Homicide Detective, ret.
From Mike Bosak Some Penitent NYPD L.O.D.D. Stats
NOTE. Factoring out 9/11 and the W/T/C Terrorist Attack;all figures were taken from official NYPD stats*:
The last time four (4) NYPD officers were shot & killed while on duty within 10 months was 26 years ago, in 1989
The 1930s followed by the 1920s were the two deadly decades for the NYPD for L.O.D.D.
The Six (6) Deadliest Years for the NYPD [ Almost all were shot and killed ]
1930 19 Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
1931 18 Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
1938 17 Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
1922 17 Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
1932 15 Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
1971 15 Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
Prohibition, bootlegging and the depression were all major causal factors in the killing of NYPD police officers in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1971 it was the B.L.A. - Mike Bosak
* NOTE: The above stats were taken from the official NYPD website that listed those killed in the line of duty. However, they were removed by the department a number of years ago.
“Only A Cop”____ Remark by Joe Fox Ret. Bureau Chief
In early 2000 when I was a new Borough Commander of Brooklyn South, then rookie Captain Dave Barrere (Now a two star Chief, Queens South) gave me an article, “Only A Cop.” (Please see link below.) He thought I would enjoy it, and he was on the money. I shared it with everyone I could - all my supervisors and commanding officers, every group of rookies I had who had just graduated the Academy, and then some. Up until that time I had never met the writer, retired Sergeant Harry O’Reilly. After sharing “Only A Cop” with so many people, I decided to try to track the writer down. I had a great conversation with Harry, and eventually a special friendship. I really enjoyed our phone calls and all of the old stories and lessons Harry would share with me. I would come to learn of the amazing career that he had working in so many important specialized units. I particularly loved calling Harry and telling him when I would run into someone who referred to himself as, “just a cop,” and then give him his homework assignment, sending him a copy of “Only A Cop.”
This past Father’s Day I got the sad news that Harry had passed away. In my 37 year career I have been given so many gifts and so many honors but one of the greatest honors I have been given is speaking at Harry’s funeral this morning.