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


BY TONY BOUZA Policing in America, today, is about where medical science was in the 19th century—desperate for reform but staggering blindly under the problems. Hacksaws, in the Civil War, got plenty of mileage. Wounds got fingered and microbes ignored. Progress came and discoveries flowed with surprising ease, right? Actually,…

Continue reading

The Feds are coming, The Feds are coming

BY TONY BOUZA A group of Federales is scheduled to assess the Minneapolis Police Department. It is tantamount to an archeological dig among the ruins. With characteristic hubris I will offer an agenda. Welcome to Fredonia. They will find an agency bloated with supervisors—but none making appearances at such atrocities…

Continue reading

The Stenvig Years

BY TONY BOUZA Nostalgia is morbid homesickness. We are all susceptible. Take, for example, the Stenvig Years. The Seventies. Charles Stenvig, the president of the police union, got elected mayor three times for two-year terms, almost explicitly on the premise he’d control Black riots. The echoes I hear are of…

Continue reading


BY TONY BOUZA In the English history of man the wise (Homo sapiens) there has never been even one who didn’t consider him(her)self a national leader. It might tempt you to ask—then where are all those cockups coming from? People—leadership is in short supply. Just looking at our last few…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading


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…

Continue reading


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…

Continue reading

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.…

Continue reading

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.…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading


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…

Continue reading