It seems that our items about the NYPD’s campaign to stop its own retired officers from using the department logo have struck a chord. The Voice has gotten an unusual number of emails on this subject.
As you may recall, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s people sent letters to so-called 10-13 clubs, which are made up of retired city cops, around the country threatening criminal charges or lawsuit if they did not stop using the logo on t-shirts and membership cards.
In all, as of lunchtime today, we have received 20 emails from retired cops since Wednesday, and every one of them has been critical of the NYPD.
One of those emails came from a retired cop serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq, who said he’s been giving away patches and encouraging fellow marines to apply for the NYPD. “The city does not own the logo of the NYPD, it is owned by the spirit of those who have served it,” writes Daniel Medina.
Another came from Colleen Burke Willisch, who has four cops in her family. She writes, “I think it is a disgrace that people who put their lives on the line for the City of New York can not wear in retirement the emblem that they wore to serve and protect.”
“It is absolutely beyond belief,” another retired cop writes.
Edwin Day, retired lieutenant and detective squad commander, writes that he was shot at, stabbed, had four line of duty surgeries and made hundreds of arrests. “As I traverse the City now, it seems EVERYONE is wearing NYPD caps, jackets, shirts, etc.,” he writes. “Why is it these civilians can violate the law in NYC but retirees in other states are being harassed?”
Another: “Kelly is wrong in going after retired members of the service and their retiree organizations.”
Harry Morse, a retired sergeant who says he served 23 years, writes: “The hypocrisy of this directive is mind boggling.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 17, 2009