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

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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BY TONY BOUZA “That Tony Bouza, he sure is full of himself, isn’t he?” Thus, did a wonderful old lady describe me to her companion as they left a talk I’d given. “You enter a room, big, loud and aggressive and suck the air out.” Thus, did a group of…

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Trophy hunting

BY TONY BOUZA [Editor’s note: I disagree with the argument and the conclusion of Tony Bouza’s analysis. My rebuttal follows.] The first thing that must be said is that racism is America’s #1 problem. Period. The murder of Tyesha Edwards, 11, in 2002, is an unspeakable, unbearable tragedy. Myron Burrell,…

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Race, sex and policing

BY TONY BOUZA I had lunch the other day with a bright, educated liberal. He fulminated over the Left’s excesses, going overboard on race, etc., etc. I disagreed with him vehemently. We have made progress: 1619-1865: slavery; 1865-1965: Jim Crow; 1965-present: incarceration. White society uses its cops to keep blacks…

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Sartorial splendor

BY TONY BOUZA By 1975 women were entering police ranks in great numbers. They’d been piling up at the gates for years and then the dam broke. I am very proud of my role as an expert in demolishing the barriers. The Southern Poverty Law Center sued to eliminate the…

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Transactional Analysis

BY TONY BOUZA Once a guy gets to my age, he needs to ask himself whether he’s ever engaged in sexual harassment, in any form: “An unexamined life . . . “ Well? After a mental search, I remembered. It was August 1994. Erica was selling her jewelry at the…

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Prophets and Losses

By Tony Bouza Erica, telling me a friend of ours—educated and sophisticated—had consulted a psychic, set me to thinking—after overcoming nausea. Psychics are clever scoundrels, preying upon our gullibility using their study of human nature. They observe the external (appearance, body language, etc.) and exploit our hopes and dreams. With…

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Myths and History

BY TONY BOUZA History is a mischievous goddess. Accounts are transmitted to us by flawed and often biased observers, and we are compelled to view it as gospel. In the trivial pursuit of a beknighted career, I was sometimes privileged to be a fly on the wall—observing events I otherwise…

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Truth and Consequences

BY TONY BOUZA There is no doubt in my mind that the most vital institution in America is a free press. Period. And the responsibility of the Fourth Estate? Dig for and report the truth. I tried hard to lead my life as a public servant in service to that…

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Bloat, and more bloat

BY TONY BOUZA [On Sunday, July 29, The StarTribune reported: “Arradondo told reporters after a meeting of the City Council’s public safety committee that he wanted to add 400 more street officers by 2025 in order to keep pace with attrition and population growth. “Last week, Arradondo shared a startling…

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The subtle art of losing

BY TONY BOUZA Every essay is a drip between the Scylla of truth and the Charybdis of offending. What is your responsibility to readership? It is really a sort of sacred trust and central to my pretensions to integrity—pathetic though they be. The reader must be served. The writer is…

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