One Police Plaza

Bratton Treks To Get Pension

June 13, 1994

Police Commissioner William Bratton will soon be spending some time in Boston: The reason: he's been advised by Boston's City Council President James Kelly to lobby legislators for his special pension bill.

Kelly introduced a bill for Bratton last month, granting him an exemption from existing pension requirements. If passed, it would give our $ 110,000-a-year commissioner a combined Boston and Massachusetts state annual pension of about $ 40,000 a year. But the bill is running into trouble with some Boston city council members, still wincing from Bratton's parting crack that the Boston Police Commissionership was "a consolation prize."

"It may require lobbying in his own case," said Paul Walkowski, Kelly's principle legislative assistant, who's contacted both Bratton and Peter LaPorte, Bratton's aide to camp. "In fact," said Walkowski, "it will require it. There is some opposition out there."

Specifically, the Bratton bill lumps his three years with the Massaschusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) with the 18 years he served in two other agencies - the Boston Police Department and the now-defunct Metropolitan Police Department - to give him the mandatory 20 years service for a pension.

Boston city councilor Daniel Conley opposes Bratton's bill. His chief of staff, Alex Geourntas, said Bratton had called recently about it. "We haven't called him back," Geourntas said.

Councilor Maureen Feeney, who will chair public hearings, said she has "serious reservations" about it. "By writing a special bill for him we're opening a Pandora's box. I know of ten or twelve other officers from the MBTA who are eligible. God knows how many other city employees also qualify and never applied," she said.

Bratton, who was at a three-day conference last week in, off all places, Sun Valley, Idaho, could not be reached for comment. Police Department spokesman, John Miller said: "There's no mystery here. It's a public process. Everything is being done out in the open."

Benched. Speaking of traveling, Assistant Chief Dennis Ryan has been spotted on television during the Stanley Cup playoffs standing behind the Ranger bench. The chief, the commanding officer of the department's Criminal Justice Bureau, moonlights six to 12 hours a week - according to a form he filed with the department - as a security consultant to the President of the National Hockey League and Director of Security, assigned to the New York Rangers. The chief says he's been going to hockey games since he was 5 years old - starting at the old Madison Square Garden. "I've become an addict. I love it. It's my second life. If I told you how much money the league pays me, you'd think I belong in an insane asylum."

Two-second victory. Julio Suarez's foul shot with two seconds remaining gave the Washington Heights 10 to 13-year-old Green team the PAL basketball league championship last Thursday with a 36-35 victory over the Maroons. The 10-team league, with 120 kids, is run by 34th Precinct officers Sal Maniscalco and Jimmy Mpasiakos and includes 20 to 30 coaches, some of whom are cops from the 34th and two - Sean Quinn and Larry Busching - who are Manhattan assistant district attorneys. The 34th's Danny Mulvey refereed.

So long, Joe? Despite an offer by Commissioner Bratton to stay on as a civilian employee past the mandatory retirement age of 63, Chief of Detectives Joseph Borrelli hinted he may retire. "I'm coming to the end of the road. You get to a point where you think about those things."

Next Wednesday, Borrelli will receive the "Person of the Year" award from the American Academy for Professional Law Enforcement. The award, to be presented Wednesday night at Harry's at Hanover Square, honors "your accomplishments as Chief of Detetives over the apt 12 months as well as your entire career . . . "

Two different worlds. Barbara Nevins Taylor, a reporter for Channel 9 News, says the Police Department violated her First Amendment rights as she prepared to broadcast a live report from Madison Square Garden following the Knicks' 7th game victory over the Indiana Pacers last Sunday. She said her truck, its antenna up, was parked on Seventh Avenue amid raucus fans when a captain from Manhattan South ripped out two of the truck's cables, preventing her from broadcasting. "I want the public to know about it," she said.

Det. Ralph St. Just, of the department's Public Information office witnessed the incident and saw it differently. "We were trying to prevent a mini-riot. There was a large crowd that was rocking the truck. The captain was trying to disperse them. The bottom line is we did what we had to do. Her safety and public safety come first," he said.

©1994 Newsday, Inc.Reprinted with permission.