Tony Bouza

Tony Bouza has served as a police chief, a gaming commissioner, briefly as a politician, and is the author of several books on policing and criminal justice. He has been writing for Southside Pride for several years.

 

Click this link to read the latest collection of Tony Bouza’s essays:

More Lessons Learned by Tony Bouza

 

Click this link to see the award-winning 1977 documentary “The Police Tapes” featuring Bronx Borough Commander Tony Bouza: The Police Tapes


Cindy Gerdes

BY TONY BOUZA The awful, awful thing about bureaucracy is its cold indifference. Many of my colleagues sought comfort, salaries and pensions while wallowing in self-pity and whining like gold medalists. Humanity was the great missing thing. Shortly before I left policing—for the first time voluntarily—we had an awful murder—Cindy…

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Monuments

BY TONY BOUZA Our—or any—society is driven by values. We repeatedly extoll the virtues of truth tellers and honest dealers. Our airways are clogged with boasts of integrity. Our morality defines us and we emphasize these beliefs in the artifacts of culture. There are not too many statues left of…

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Dying

BY TONY BOUZA One of my closest friends, Joe Selvaggio, (who is probably well known to you) has done more for poor people than anyone but Mary Jo Copeland. Joe is an ex-priest and has strayed. Today he wrestles with death and asked me to include this and respond: “The…

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Pius XII

BY TONY BOUZA I have a tiny coterie of friends who, whenever we meet, immediately plunge me into esoteric, vehement exchanges on arcane subjects. Two such are the publisher of this tract (and I mean that in the sense of propaganda leaflet) and the sadly dead and missed Ivan Musicant.…

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The slab

BY TONY BOUZA On Nov. 28, 2020, The New York Times reported the discovery of a 12-foot steel monolith in the desert called Red Rock Country, Utah. It described it as evocative of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” In that film primates howl around an unexplained monolith.…

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The way we live today

BY TONY BOUZA A bromide—a crisis can be an opportunity. Can we even see the possibilities behind such inane assertions? The deafening effects of samplers result in comas. I am driven to the NYPD by its size, prominence, utility as a universal example and my own tortured and loving relationship…

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McCarthy Lives

BY TONY BOUZA I was in my 20s during the McCarthy years—roughly the early ’50s. Communist hysteria. Traitors everywhere and a reckless and audacious national figure attacked such supreme patriots as George G. Marshall (of the Plan) and the architect of not just World War II victories, but World War…

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Fighting the police unions

BY TONY BOUZA On my birthday, The New York Times’ lead editorial centered on police impunity and labeled arbitrators as the villains. Quite a gift. Thank you. The Times are idiots. Union problems got so bad here that they (city leaders) undertook a desperate nationwide search for a chief in…

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Hard truths

BY TONY BOUZA The writer has a unique series of responsibilities. The first is to truth. Relevance and humility follow. Gratitude and respect for the reader, and I’m sure there are more. Facile, no? No. If our President has reminded us of nothing else, he has reminded us of the…

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Losing

BY TONY BOUZA “What do you have to lose?” Thus Spake Zarathustra! Well, Sarah Palin, of revered memory, might have responded: “How’s it working out for ya?” The Wall—ah yes, a metaphor for all that is good and wholesome about this great country. China has its Great Wall—why shouldn’t we…

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The death of Floyd

BY TONY BOUZA America has been plunged into riots, pillaging, arsons and killings by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. The incident created an explosion whose reverberations radiate to this moment. The event goes to the heart of America’s No. 1 problem. Racism. America…

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The ‘rotten apples’ theory

BY TONY BOUZA Throughout my involvement in policing—since 1953—I’ve been periodically reminded that every police department harbors a few rotten apples and, if we can only excise them, the entire barrel can be rescued. An attractive notion, but flawed. Those apples are the alpha males that set the tone and…

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America the Beautiful

BY TONY BOUZA America’s police are out of control. This is news to you? White America hires cops to control blacks. This is called racism. The Minneapolis cop did not murder Floyd. It was manslaughter. The prosecutor mangled it, but did he have the police union’s endorsement? Why didn’t he…

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Great events and shadows

BY TONY BOUZA It is a bromide and cliché that crises present opportunities—but these are honored mostly in being ignored. The comfortable status quo. The public understands and supports drastic action in a pandemic. The MPD could abandon two-person squads and answer twice the 911 calls—even with a virus-ravaged force.…

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