Saturday, June 27, 2015

Uncommon Valor – Insignia of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit

As you know, since retiring from the NYPD I have written four mystery / suspense books and a fifth one currently in the editing process. What you might not know is that, since 1985, I have also been an avid collector of NYPD items. In addition to actively collecting, I also enjoy the history of the Department, especially as it pertains to the cloth insignia.
In 2011, I was provided with a photograph that showed the nine original applicants for the NYPD’s Aviation Bureau. As I examined the photograph I was astounded at what I saw. In that black and white photo, appeared to be the hood cowling from an ESU truck, nearly a year before the Emergency Service Division was created. What ensued was an exhaustive research project that would cover the entire spectrum of the insignia of ESU, including the pre-merger NYC Housing and Transit Emergency Units.

This 147 page book provides well over two hundred color photos that chronicle a behind the scenes look at not only the history, but the patches worn by this elite unit. It is a must have for any insignia collector or anyone just interested in the NYPD or ESU.

I spent years uncovering the stories behind the patches. From the very first patch, depicted in that original Aviation photo, to the most current issued one. In many instances I had the privilege of speaking to the officers and original graphic designers about their work. I even obtained some first run artwork, to show the progression from graphic proof, to finished product. It was a process filled with both frustration and exhilaration, often at the same time, as each new discovery unearthed even more questions.

When the decision finally came to publish this book, I was faced with a difficult dilemma. I could choose to go the route of most other research books, producing it in black and white or go for full color. After toying with the concept, and doing several pages in black and white, the choice was clear. After all the hard work that went into creating it, it needed to be done in color. This has affected the cost, but I truly believe that, in the end, it was the only way to do justice to this important subject. It is the book that I would want for my collection and I hope that you will agree.

While the E-Book is currently available through Kindle, the print version should be released within the next few weeks.

After all this time, I am proud to present to you the culmination of my work: Uncommon Valor – Insignia of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit.

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