July 15, 2005

NICKELS AND DIMES:

A Detective Story Alleging Hit Men in Blue: Details of Hollywood Killing Helped Indict 2 Former NYPD Cops Long Suspected of Mob Ties (Josh Getlin, July 15, 2005, LA Times)

As misting rain fell in the late afternoon, Anthony Dilapi strolled into the darkened, underground garage of his Hollywood apartment. Suddenly a masked gunman rushed toward him and fired.

Five bullets to the face. Four to the body. The killer jumped into a waiting car and raced away. His victim died instantly. The Feb. 4, 1990, shooting never made headlines. Dilapi, 53, was listed on his death certificate as a used-car salesman.

In fact, he was a New York mobster, a member of the Lucchese crime family. He had fallen out of favor with his bosses and fled to the West Coast.

Dilapi had covered his tracks well. How did the New York Mafia find him?

Prosecutors were mystified. Their investigation hit dead ends. Then, this year, they uncovered startling evidence: The trail led to two of New York's most respected detectives.

In 1969, drug dealing, burglary, robbery and rape were soaring in New York. Muggers on the subways and in the parks terrified many; there was a widespread feeling that the city was out of control.

Nervous officials relaxed background checks and began hiring more police. Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito joined the NYPD during this time.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 15, 2005 8:20 AM
Comments

I don't know why anyone is surprised. It makes perfect sense. Cops can carry loaded firearms on airplanes. They have access to evidence lockers where unlicensed guns are kept, or they can use a weapon they grabbed off a perp somewhere.

This has been going on for about a century. You don't get a second home or a boat on a cop's salary.

Posted by: bart at July 15, 2005 8:55 AM

The August Vanity Fair has a long article about this.

Posted by: beloml at July 15, 2005 9:18 AM

"Nervous officials relaxed background checks and began hiring..."

Where have I heard that before? maybe something I read in an airport.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at July 15, 2005 10:46 AM

Bart,
I have a friend who is a seargent (he may have made lieutenant recently) with the Reno PD. He makes around $65k and his wife makes around $40k. They have a 3500 sq. ft. house and a motor home and a boat and they aquired all of this while raising two kids. He will be retiring at age 43 with 75% of his pay plus full medical after joining the force at age 19. He is an honest cop. I don't think they are doing as poorly as made-for-tv movies make them look.

Posted by: Patrick H at July 15, 2005 12:01 PM

Bart -

My brother is a police lieutenant and makes $75k a year. His wife is an investment banker who pulls in 75k as well. They are very well off and yes they have a very nice boat (among all the other creature comforts) and could probably squeeze in a payment for a cabin at the lake if they felt like it.

Most cops are honest - there are more than 800,000 full time, sworn-in police officers in the USA - the stories of bad cops are so intriguing because they are the exception to the rule.

Posted by: Shelton at July 15, 2005 1:03 PM

The NYPD is starting cops off at $25K per year.

Cops are like anyone else, except they have lots more opportunities for criminality than the rest of us. I know a guy on the Jersey City PD who collects for a local bookie of my acquaintance, for example. A prosecutor I know loves to laugh about how the street-level drug dealers in Paterson always are brought in after a hard day's drug dealing with like $20 in their pockets. When the World Trade Center was cordoned off by the police after 9/11, the jewelry stores were miraculously emptied of their contents, and the only people who had access were the NYPD and the NYFD. I gotta million examples. I understand places like New Orleans and Detroit are far worse.

A lot of cops in Bergen County earn about $100K, but that pays for housing in a very nice corrugated box around here.

Posted by: bart at July 15, 2005 8:45 PM

Bart,
NYPD start at $31,305 per year. Not a great wage for someone in their 30s, but as a starting wage for a job with a great pension and job security, one could do worse.

http://www.policepayjournal.net/071102p3.htm

Posted by: Patrick H at July 16, 2005 7:54 AM

The NYPD is running full page ads in the NY tabloids that it's only $25K.

Posted by: bart at July 16, 2005 9:05 AM

This is from 2000 and I saw another sight that says starting pay has since gone up to over $33k.

The police union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA), cites low wages as one of the main obstacles to recruiting more officers. Starting salary is $31,300, growing to $49,023 after five years.

http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/crime/20000901/4/205

Posted by: Patrick H at July 16, 2005 5:39 PM
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