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 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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America’s police are still out of control

BY TONY BOUZA I wrote a piece in this space years ago with that title (excluding “still”), and the passing years have only deepened and confirmed that view. And how many objections/refutations did I receive for such an outlandish claim? Zip. Well, save your pennies, because your pocket is about…

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BY TONY BOUZA Humans learned the importance of controlling the extremes of other humans very early on—about contemporaneous with learning of the efficiency and importance of conveying their messages and controlling behavior. Artists were called “the antenna of the race” by a poet who saw them as key definers of…

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“Deja vu all over again”

BY TONY BOUZA “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” — George Santayana Metempsychosis—the Buddist theory of transmigration of spirit-lives.  The spirit of Charles Stenvig (remember him?) has landed on Chief Janee Harteau.  How deliciously ironic. In 1980 I was hired to exorcise the spirit of…

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