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

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading


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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading