I have been an avid reader of Civil War books and especially regimental histories. The keeping of personal
diaries by many of the common soldiers of that war were published many years later as memoirs.
Police officers of the New York City Police Department must keep what is called a memorandum book of their daily assignments. They are required to retain those books for possible use in court.
They are accepted into evidence by the courts because they are issued
by the NYPD in bound and numbered pages. Also, when each book is issued, a ranking officer of sergeant or above must sign the last page of the old book, and the first page of the newly issued book. The
memorandum book must be carried by all police officers on patrol at all times. It is also a supervisory tool, in that when the officer is visited on
post, the ranking officer examines the entries and signifies that it is correct by his signature on the next line in the book.
NYPD Photo 1963
When I retired in October, l992, I cleaned out my locker and threw all my personal belongings into my car for the ride home. With those belongings was a large box containing
all of my memorandum books, which chronicled my entire career on the NYPD. They lay in my basement until recently, when I decided to write a memoir of my years in police work.
To all the men and women of the New York City Police Department: Those memorandum books that you write in today are a part of the history of the NYPD. Cherish them because
they are the record of your life as a member of the greatest police department in the world.
The accounts of incidents that I will relive on these pages will be gleaned from the official
Department Records that I have maintained. They include my memo books. I have kept copies of many of the "unusual occurrence" reports, with all the relative complaint, aided or
accident reports, and arrest reports. I will also recount the deeds of many of the men and women that I had the honor to serve with during my career. As the magazine takes on its
own character, I hope that many of you who comprise the "thin blue line" will be generous and share your heroic actions with the readers of this publication.
Since I have retired, I have traveled abroad to Europe and have met with police officers from other countries. When I tell them I am a retired member of the New York City Police
Department, their eyes grow bright with excitement and admiration. I can't tell you how proud I am to have been one of you. Wear that blue uniform with pride and remember that
you stand on the shoulders of thousands of cops who in this life, or in the ranks of the dead, are with you in spirit.
Edward D. Reuss
Captain NYPD (retired)
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