©1999 - 2005
Edward D. Reuss
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During the first few days following the attack on the World Trade Center, I was coordinating a large group of retired cops who responded to a call for volunteers.  We set up a temporary headquarters near the Verrazano Bridge on Staten Island and were able to mobilize hundreds of retired cops who responded and offered their services.  The retired cops commandeered buses and filled them with medical supplies, water, and supplies for the emergency workers at Ground Zero.  The retirees escorted the buses filled with supplies up to Manhattan and returned to get more. Some of them jumped off the bus and went to the scene to help. All of them returned changed by what they had seen.  Even those old-timers were deeply effected by the awesome sight. Thank God that we have such men and women.

Since September 11, 2001 many have been recognized for their volunteer work following the attack on the World Trade Center.  Thousands offered whatever assistance that they could to help our police, firefighters, and emergency medical workers. I had the honor and privilege to witness firsthand such dedication and unselfishness by the folks that I consider my neighbors here on Staten Island.

The Staten Island Advance published a copy of a letter from President George W. Bush that illustrates just how much Staten Island lost on September 11, 2001:

The White House
March 11, 2002

Laura and I join you in paying tribute to those who were lost in the terrible attacks of September 11.  Six months separate us from that dark September day.  And on that day, Staten Island suffered greatly. Twenty-two percent of the firefighters lost at the World Trade Center were Staten Island residents.  Great Kills, West Brighton, Eltingville, Huguenot and New Brighton were particularly hard hit.  Staten Island's Rescue No. 5 lost 11 men.  And a total of over 200 Staten Islanders were lost. Many of the rescue workers who have been working at the World Trade Center site are from Staten Island.

For the families of the lost, each day brings new pain, and each day requires new courage. The dignity, grace and patience of these families have been an example for our Nation and the world.  America will not forget the lives that were taken, nor will it forget the justice we seek.  Every civilized nation has a part in this struggle for justice and peace, because every civilized nation has a stake in its outcome.

There can be no peace in a world where differences and grievances become an excuse to target the innocent for murder. In fighting terror, we fight for peace.  We also fight to rid the world of unlawful violence, for human choice against coercion and cruelty, and for the recognition of the dignity and goodness of every life.  We will fight to bring justice to those responsible for the September 11 attacks and to end terrorism.  And we will succeed.
May God bless you all; and may God continue to bless America.

- George W. Bush


The Staten Island Community has reached out to those who responded.  For instance, the YMCA has a program called the 911 Scholarship Program that offers a free membership to those who volunteered their services. 

From:Edward D. Reuss, Captain, NYPD (retired)

To:Alane McCahey
Associate Center Director


On September 11th the attack on the World Trade Center in NYC drew a response from volunteers in unprecedented numbers. It is unfortunate that the names of many of those volunteers were not recorded.  Happily, some documentation and record keeping was maintained during those trying days.

The undersigned is a retired Captain of Police, New York City Police Department. On September 11th, it was apparent that the attack in Manhattan would result in the need for volunteers with police experience.  With the concurrence of Assistant Chief Anthony Marra, Borough Commander of Staten Island, NYPD, Captain Reuss established a mobilization point for the response of retired members of the NYPD.  He established the mobilization point at Father Capodanno Boulevard and Midland Avenue.  That location was ideal for such a mobilization of large numbers of personnel and equipment.  A large parking lot adjoined the mobilization point and was also suitable for landing areas for helicopters.

As per procedures of the NYPD, a Temporary Command Log was maintained to document the activities of the mobilization point.  NYPD Detail Roster/assignment sheets (PD 406-141) were prepared with the names and assignments of responding personnel.   The movements of the personnel were noted in the Command Log and on the Detail Roster Sheets. The names of the retired personnel has been preserved and documented.

First, the media was notified by calling 1010 WINS Radio, and then NY1 Television Station. This was necessary because the communications system in Manhattan had been disrupted due to the attack on the World Trade Center.  The new Command Center in 7 World Trade Center was destroyed and One Police Plaza had been evacuated. That necessitated the use of cellular phones and privately owned phones to mobilize the retirees. Several representatives of retiree groups such as the NYC Verrazano 10-13 Association and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodges also responded and provided membership lists for notifications. A number of those representatives made numerous phone calls to their memberships to respond to the mobilization point. Within a short time, hundreds of retirees responded.

The retirees were initially dispatched to offer to provide security at all Staten Island Hospitals.  Others were assigned to isolate and secure three helicopter-landing areas in the vicinity of Capodanno and Midland Avenue.  Volunteers such as ironworkers, medical personnel, and computer specialists offered their assistance also. The ironworkers were given police escorts up to ground zero by units of the Staten Island Highway Unit.  Due to the emergency, NYC Transit Authority buses were pressed into service to bring water and medical supplies up to ground zero. The retirees provided escort and assistance for those missions.

After two days at Capodanno Boulevard and Midland Avenue, heavy rains threatened. The mobilization point was relocated into the Gateway Recreation Area (Miller Field) into a former airplane hanger.  As the need for supplies continued, the hanger was used for storage and shipment of medical supplies to ground zero. The management and personnel of Miller Field provided their full cooperation.

The mobilization point was again relocated to the former US Navy Homeport upon the request of Deputy Borough President James Molinaro. The warehouse at the Homeport became a major logistical site to supply the efforts at ground zero in the coming weeks.

A properly identified retired member of the NYPD (NYPD Identity Card w/photo and the copy of the Detail Roster/Assignment Sheet with his/her name listed thereon) are verification of the dedication to duty and loyalty to the Citizens of the City of New York.  Please extend every courtesy to this member who responded to the call for service in the face of physical danger.

Yours very truly,

Edward D. Reuss
Captain, NYPD (ret)

Note:  Properly identified retirees must produce a copy of this letter, with a signed copy of the original Detail Roster sheet with their named affixed, and a valid NYPD ID Card. 
Apply to Alane McCahey, Assoc. Center Director, YMCA Broadway Center, 651 Broadway, Staten Island, NY 10310 phone 718-981-4933

A special note of thanks must be extended to the following:

Captain Richard Gutch, Executive Officer, 122nd Precinct, NYPD, who provided liaison with the NYPD and lent his professional expertise to the coordination of the retirees and volunteers.

Mr. Dominick Spada, Director of Pharmacy Services and Corporate Business Officer of the OCEAN BREEZE Pharmacy, 1817 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, New York.  This firm provided much of the medical supplies that the volunteers took up to ground zero on September 11th and days that followed.

Good fellas Brick Oven Pizza, 1718 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, New York donated much food for the many who volunteered. 

McDonald's Restaurant, Hylan Boulevard and Midland Avenue, Staten Island, New York provided a daily supply of donated food for those at the Miller Field facility.

Many have suggested that retired police officers be enlisted for future threats to our city and throughout the entire nation. Such a body of experienced retired police officers would be a valuable resource in the event of more attacks. See the following articles on this subject:




Copyright © 2002 Edward D. Reuss



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