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

Justine Damond: Post mortem

BY TONY BOUZA The Damond case is a one-in-several-decades of events. Bound to be pored over, examined, analyzed and judged. I admit to rapt fascination with its facets. Frequently overlooked—and to my regret, by me—is the origin of it all. Justine Damond was coming to the rescue of a human…

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Big Beasts

BY TONY BOUZA Editor’s note: Once again, I vigorously disagree with Mr. Bouza’s analysis. Please read my note at the end of his essay. Cineaste. Today’s word—and, since confronting the English language on Dec. 22, 1937, I’ve grown increasingly fond of this really powerful tool. At about that time I…

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P. D. Blues

BY TONY BOUZA Around 1966, the NYPD was assailed by the police union as an unfit place to work. The cops were miserable. Morale had never been lower. The troops wallowed in lachrymose self-pity and the Fourth Estate lapped it up. What a fun time they were all having. My…

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Letter to Amy

BY TONY BOUZA (Publisher’s Note: I vigorously disagree with Tony Bouza’s analysis and my rebuttal follows.) The election for President begins in 2019—and that ain’t an optic. Trump—if he can survive to run (which I doubt) has no chance. Zilch. So, who should the Dems nominate? My secret choice is…

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BY TONY BOUZA The name certainly conjures a shudder of emotion—cum—eroticism. As a cop in New York, I observed the information that the local distillate—illegal and popular—was, of course, called Kong. Potent. That it killed or blinded many of its imbibers did not appear to be a deal breaker. Hooch…

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The Jews

BY TONY BOUZA The very word conjures a freighted emotional frisson we barely dare acknowledge or express. Watching “Thurgood,” a biopic on the Supreme Court Justice and the NAACP, inspired me to think of the role of Jews in America. They arrived at the Lower East Side of Manhattan and…

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My trivial view

BY TONY BOUZA “What a great country!” The beginning of one of the many dumb jokes I love. Yet, for me, in there is contained the kernel of a central truth. Only an immigrant experiences the shock of change. I left a dictatorship (Spain) in Dec. 1937 to experience the…

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The roar ahead

BY TONY BOUZA Great events cast their shadows before them. Minneapolis is heading for a reckoning likely to affect every person in the city. The Justine Damond killing, in July 2017, will likely result in a settlement costing citizens three dollars each for every million. The lawyer for the family…

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The end is near! Repent!

BY TONY BOUZA Today I am 90. No, it’s not my birthday, only one of 365 days. Never thought (like death) it’d happen to me. And the point? Only a few ignorant musings. I am more convinced than ever that I am but a worm on the planet, along with…

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Roads—high and low

BY TONY BOUZA “They go low, we go high.” Thus, did that classy First Lady, Michelle Obama, abjure us to take the high road. Then we have Rep. Maxine Waters tempting us to the low road. All those lunch counter sit-ins ignored. What did it all mean? Think of the…

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Unintended consequences

BY TONY BOUZA I came late to the Law of Unintended Consequences, usually believing—naively, as it turned out—that the results of our actions were what folks usually intended. Gradually I came to recognize that the corruptions and abuses of Netanyahu actually lent support to Anti-Semites hungry for evidence of Jewish…

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More Cops

BY TONY BOUZA Whenever the Chief’s coffee grows cold and the last bite of the doughnut is taken, a light flashes and a voice whispers, “More cops.” That is the mantra. They will control crime and improve community relations. What tripe. It is nothing short of a scam—or, better yet,…

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The games we play

BY TONY BOUZA The prosecution of Justine Damond’s killer will start soon and end badly. Kibbitzing comes naturally to dumb onlookers like me. Getting a jury to convict is gonna be a hard—maybe impossible—sell. After all, the shooter is their protector. He stands between the juror and them, and we…

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The Columbia Bust

BY TONY BOUZA Every century has its memorable years—think your birthday. The ’20s had 1927 (Lindbergh), 1928 (Mickey Mouse and Oscar), 1929 (Crash). And then there was 1968 (Nixon, Humphrey, Chicago) Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Kent State. The Kerner Commission. 1941 (War). 1945 (Peace). And the Columbia University…

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The Justine Damond case revisited

BY TONY BOUZA In August and in October 2017, I wrote essays on the Justine Damond shooting in Minneapolis in these pages. I called it murder and criticized the mayor, police chief and prosecutor. The first two are gone—not, I’m confident, as a result, but following a vague chiasma of…

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