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NYPD IRISH COP WROTE ONE OF IRELAND’S BEST-KNOWN BALLADS
It sounded like a good story. The item was only one of many that Patrolman Ray Weiboldt, precinct reporter for the 28th Precinct , had sent in for his November ...
The Old Forty-Niner Digs For The Story From: The Old Forty-Niner. BEALE, HENNESSEY, HUGHES AND YOUNG. November column, but it caught the eye of the Old Forty-Niner, ace reporter of SPRING 3100. It read this way:
"If Dick Beale ever tries to wear all his departmental decorations, either his blouse or his shoulder will give way-"Diamond" Dick already is well up in double figures in citations. " "Any guy who wins that many citations is worth a blow in SPRING 3100," the Old Forty-Niner said. "I shall investigate and report my findings forthwith on a 49.
" First he called Patrolman Weiboldt who hastened to confirm the story. "While you're at it," he added, "there are a couple of other guys who aren't doing too badly either. There's Johnnie Hennessey, who's Dick Beale 's partner in the car and then there's Joe Hughes who's got a million of them, too. They don't have as many as Dick but they've got an awful lot between them." The Old Forty-Niner now hot on the trail thanked Weiboldt for his excellent reporting and cautiously called Captain Boland, the commanding officer. "Captain," he began, "SPRING 3100 has heard about three of your men who seem to have cornered the market on awards.
We'd like very much to get their pictures. " "You've got a fine idea there;" the captain said, "those men are excellent police officers and it's a wonderful thing to let the department know about them. Say when, and I'll have them ready and waiting for you." The Old Forty-Niner made an appointment for the next day at 11 A.M. A little while later, the captain called back. "We'll have to make a change in those plans.
Beale has an appointment with the Honor Committee for another citation and Hughes and Hennessey are due in Felony Court on arrests they made." "Wouldn't you know it," the Forty-Niner said under his breath. "It's going to be impossible to get these guys when they're all free." However, the appointment vas finally arranged, over the weak protests of the Old Forty-Niner, for the crack of dawn on the Captain Boland congratulates PtI. Richard Beale for having been awarded his eleventh departmental citation. John Hennessey, standing next to Beale, is his partner on RMP duty and has six awards and Joe Hughes, is the proud possessor of eight citations. Another honor man in the 28th Pet. is Arthur Young who has garnered nine citations during his career in the department.
Old Sol's rays as they came over the flats of Harlem, found the Old Forty-Niner at the doors of the 28th Precinct. He was met by the captain, Beale, Hennessey and Hughes. The rays of the decorations on their uniforms sparkled stronger than the sun. "Take them off," Old FortyNiner shouted. "You're blinding me." They led him into the back room and when his eyes had become normal again, the interview began.
The precinct reporter had been correct. Richard Beale, first grade patrolman, with eight years in the job has earned eleven awards. Over this short span of time, he collected five Commendations, five meritorious police duty and one excellent police duty. Dick had a little trouble remembering whether he won the awards when he was on the car or when he was doing foot patrol.
"There was the time I was sitting in the car at about 11:30 P.M., waiting for my partner who had gone into a building on a routine complaint. Suddenly a woman ran up and told me that a man obviously nuts, was terrorizing the next street by waving a gun at everybody and threatening to shoot. I left the car and ran to the street. It was completely empty except for this man who was shouting and waving that gun. Fortunately, his back was turned to me. I crept down the street, hoping that he wouldn't turn around. My luck held until I was a few feet from him. Then he turned. I made a dive for him. The gun and both of us went down together. Just then my partner arrived and we were both able to take care of him. That gun was loaded — but full — and he had forty cartridges on him."
"How about the time," young John Hennessey said, "when we were both riding together and were stopped by someone who said that a man had gone berserk and was threatening a crowd with a gun. That was a hot one. We went scooting down the street, the wrong way, trying to cut off this guy who was running between the parked cars like a rabbit — except that he had a gun. We didn't know if it was loaded. You don't have much chance to think of those things when you're in the middle of it. We finally cut him oiif behind a parked car. Beale ran around and tackled him from the rear, getting a grip on the gun. I jumped him from the front and together we took that gun away. It was loaded, cocked and ready to go off. Me? I've only got four commendations and two meritorious police duty awards."
"How about you?," Old Forty-Niner asked Joe Hughes who had been listening quietly. "Well, I've got five commendations, tW'O meritorious police duty and one excellent police duty — and a letter of commendation from the Fire Department. I got a commendation for that one. A tenement caught fire and as luck would have it, there was a children's nursery on the fifth floor. My partner and I dashed up those steps and pulled out eight kids and the woman who ran the nursery. That was a tough one — it was a three alarm blaze and the whole building finally went up."
"Was that the toughest case you were on?" Old Forty-Niner asked.
All three men thought a while and finallv Hennessey laughed and said, "You know, it's a funny thing but sometimes the toughest ones are the ones that go by the board. Once Beale and I had to take in a man for disorderly conduct — and that guy fought us tooth and nail all the way back to the station house. Another cop came over to help it turned out to be my brother — and the three of us finally brought him in."
"Yeah," said Beale, "I went to the hospital with bites on my ear and arms, and Hennessey had to get some cuts fixed up. I was on sick report for two weeks. That was the toughest case we ever had — and yet it went on the blotter as only a disorderly conduct case."
Hughes said, "I'll go along with that. Say, we don't know how you got to us, but now that you're here did you know that the three of us were all in the same class in the Police Academy and that we all have brothers in the job?" Old Forty-Niner didn't know it but Dick Beale has a brother, Warren in the 25th Precinct ; John Hennessey has a brother, James, in the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Joe Hughes' brother, William, is in the 30th Precinct. "It's nice to know there are more at home like you," Old Forty-Niner said earnestly.
Beale looked at the clock on the wall. "Gee, I've got to go or I'll be late for the Honor Committee Meeting." "OK, fellows, and thanks. I think I've got enough," the Old Forty-Niner said. The captain caught up with him as he was going out the door. "I just wanted to tell you how good those three men really are. They are "all cop," every inch of them. You never hear them complain about time in court ; they don't watch the clock. If they see anything, no matter what the time is, they go into action. You couldn't ask for better men."
By the time he got back to headquarters, the Old Forty-Niner found that Patrolman Weiboldt had been burning up the wires trying to get him. "Wow !", he said, "I almost let one of the biggest ones get away. I took another look around the precinct and I found that I left out Arthur Young. I don't know how I did it — but this guy's got nine citations — five commendations and four excellent police duties. In addition, he's a great guy and one of the best liked in the precinct. Being a fine athlete probably helped him to win all those awards. He's a crackerjack hand-ball player and Harlem's YMCA chose him as a perfect physical specimen. I could go on but just put him down for being a credit to the department!" Old Forty-Niner said he would do that and was sorry that he had missed meeting him at the precinct.
"I'll bet there are lots of men who can tie or beat these records," he mused. "They do their work faithfully and conscientiously, building up great records of achievement for themselves and the department. Who are the other unsung heroes in the department? Send their names and records to SPRING 3100 and perhaps we can give them a blow."