©1999 - 2013
Edward D. Reuss
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New_9th_BadgesmThe 9th Precinct muster-room was always an active place. You stepped into it when you walked through the front door.  The desk was the first stop for visitors to the precinct. On a busy tour, cops and their prisoners could be lined up waiting to be logged in. The prisoners had to be searched at the desk and their personal property verified.  The facts of the arrest an the evidence were presented to the desk officer for invoicing and processing.

Sometimes, "Elvis" would come into the precinct to entertain us. I never learned his full name, but we called him "Elvis". He would walk off the street and stand to the side conversing with the cops.  He was a young guy who combed his hair in the '50s style with a big wave on top and a "DA" (duck's ass). When he felt comfortable, he would start to sing an old Elvis Presley song.  The guy could really sing and he sounded a lot like Elvis.

 Charlie Nelson and I would like to set up a sort of stage for him sometimes.  Once, we were busy with the usual line of cops and prisoners waiting to log in their arrests, and Elvis came in.  We stopped everything, turned off the lights in the muster room except for the flexible desk light and we used it as a spotlight.  Elvis beamed as we all fell silent and listened to his rendition of "Blue Suede Shoes". Even the prisoners got into the spirit of the show.  When he finished, the entire room burst into applause as Elvis shyly shuffled his feet and nervously glanced around at the packed police station. On would go the lights and it would be back to business.  Elvis walked out of the precinct shaking his head.  He must have thought we were crazier than he was.

When I first looked up, I saw an attractive woman dressed in a sexy black dress.  She was a petite brunette and looked like she had a dinner date. The two cops presented her at the desk and informed me of the charges. She was under arrest for loitering for the purposes of prostitution.  The cops motioned me aside and we conferred about the charges.  They were experienced officers and they had made many such arrests. It was not unusual for transvestites, hermaphrodites, cross-dressers or just plain female impersonators to be arrested in the 9th Precinct.  The cops were nervous because they felt that the "woman" was in fact a male, yet, to avoid a civilian complaint asked that a female police officer conduct an interview and search of the "woman".  A female officer from the 13th Precinct responded to the 9th and after a brief interview, she and the "woman" went into the toilet on the first floor for a search. After a five-minute period, the door of the toilet flew open and the female officer emerged with an angry look on her face.  "He' a guy!" she yelled.  With that, the "woman", who had removed "her" dress for the search, strutted out of the toilet and stood in front of the desk with a wide smile on "her" face. The black bra, garter-belt, panties, stockings, and high-heels shoes evoked images of a stripper as "she" stood with hands on hips and thrust "her" breasts at the desk.  The cops entering the precinct stared bug-eyed at the unexpected show.

The pretense was over now and the prisoner was properly searched and the charges entered in the Command Log. After booking her, the cops took "her" back to the sitting room for arrest processing. The 9th Precinct had the holding pen in the same room as the sitting room where the troops mustered for roll call.   When "she" was brought back into the sitting room dressed in garter-belt and stockings, the cell full of prisoners whistled and shouted their approval.  She refused to put the dress back on.

I instructed the cops to keep "her" separate from the other prisoners, but while I was talking with the cops, "she" took off "her" bra and proudly displayed a pair of shapely breasts. At that moment, the Duty Captain entered the precinct to sign into the command log. I was called out to the muster room to confer him about precinct conditions. He was a quiet guy and avoided spending too much time inside the stationhouse.  I called him "the Monsignor", He would always ask about conditions, sign the book, and hurriedly leave.  This time, I thought I would include him in some of the precinct problems.  I told him I needed his opinion about an arrest in the sitting room. His face turned ashen and he mumbled his assent. We walked together back to the sitting room and his eyes widened in dismay at the sight of the "stripper" standing insolently before him. He stuttered and looked from the cell full of leering prisoners back at the sexily clad "stripper".  His jaw dropped when "she" sassily shook "her" breasts at him and said: "C'mon, guys, I'll wash your glasses with my tits!" When we all started laughing, the Captain realized the joke and in spite of himself, he too smiled at the antics of the "stripper".

9th Precinct cops on an uptown detail in 1981
LtoR: Sgt Timmy Clark, Mike Dimino, Pat Rogers,  Gene Fiocca,  Lt. Ed Reuss
Kneeling: Tom Kalb (unable to identify cop wearing helmet)

Such incidents colored the lives of the police officers who worked the 9th Precinct.   There was never a dull moment in that Command. For humorous incidents, it had no equal. Some of those stories will be told on these pages by cops who served many years in the "Fighting 9th" Precinct.

Copyright © l999 Edward D. Reuss


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