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 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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Am I a racist?

BY TONY BOUZA That is, according to Hamlet, the question. As a naturalized citizen I feel it is something we must all ask ourselves. At the very least it becomes a sovereign exercise in introspection. The life unexamined … In a very complicated equation, it finally became clear to me…

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BY TONY BOUZA I first heard the word a couple of years back. Its utterer seemed to be in possession of some unique verity. Profound. I was on my annual, solo pilgrimage to Cape Cod, where I’d spend January in splendid isolation. A friend—Jeff—called and said he had a video…

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BY TONY BOUZA Haunted by the word and frustrated by the lack of an excuse to use it. Then along came our senator to the rescue. Al Franken is a great guy. Amazing career. Shoved Norm Coleman out of public life. SNL. A book with a title to die for—about…

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Myths, shibboleths and dogma

BY TONY BOUZA The job sucks. The Chief is a psycho. We’re going to hell in a handbasket. Morale has never been lower. These are a few of the bromides that drive police thinking. Civilians, though, are looking at Atlantis and don’t know it. An unfathomable world, several fathoms deep.…

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Bravo, Trump

BY TONY BOUZA On these very pages, on more than one occasion, I pleaded for the one thing I felt America needed most. I even wrote a book about the subject, and the result? Silence. I begged the President to convene a National Commission on the issue—and a black president—for…

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The Justine Damond killing: some modest questions

BY TONY BOUZA Do you want to know why police departments across the breadth of America are screwed up?  Look no further than the July 15, 2017, shooting of Justine Damond—a white woman—by a Minneapolis police officer who is black. In this ghastly tragedy we encapsulate the nation’s ills.  Race,…

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McCarthyism and you

BY TONY BOUZA “An enemy of the people!” What irony. Does Pres. Trump even know the reference he uses so freely actually attaches to an Ibsen play in which a doctor discovers the therapeutic springs that attract tourists actually cause disease? The dilemma is obvious but the good doctor makes…

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