By Ret. Lt. Peter J. Pranzo and Rachela Pranzo Behind the Shield, A Journey through the NYPD, is a true crime, epic adventure capturing the body, mind, and soul of a New York City Police Lieutenant and his wife. It covers a hard-hitting, twenty-one year career ...
By Ret. Lt. Peter J. Pranzo and Rachela Pranzo
Behind the Shield, A Journey through the NYPD, is a true crime, epic adventure capturing the body, mind, and soul of a New York City Police Lieutenant and his wife. It covers a hard-hitting, twenty-one year career of violence and death, delivered through the plague of narcotics, murder, and other notorious street crimes.
The book follows the career of this police officer as he changes from a naïve, suburban young man, into a gruff, cold, potential killer. This was his only defense on the streets, his only source of survival: Kill or be killed.
Sworn in and put onto the streets of New York City just a few days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Pranzo learned quickly that the NYPD was more than TV had portrayed. With little training and no experience, his first months on the job taught him how to be cautious, suspicious, and brazen. Little did he know that these traits would be a mirror image of what was to come during his career.
Enduring the backlash of the Black Liberation Army, he watched two of his fellow officers shot down, compounded with the loss of others via shootings, stabbings, and self-destruction. The brigade of funerals was endless. His memory of the bloodshed will never be forgotten. The Knapp Commission corruption hearings, closing the door on racism and inner-departmental politics, were all part of this officer's career. His efforts in Harlem, racking up over 8,000 arrests, brought on threats to his life, while undercover work in the NYPD's Street Crime Unit gave way to meetings with the Mayor and Police Commissioner as his team arrested members of the Guardian Angels for their disruption on the streets.
From his rookie days, to his work as an NYPD veteran, to retirement, Pranzo transcends a life in law enforcement drawing strength from hundreds of fellow officers, his wife, and his family. Readers will not only shed tears and feel the terror of police work, but will also laugh and look cynically at some of its most amusing and comical happenings. But, they will never experience more truth or openness. From the proud moments to the shameful, it is a glimpse behind the thin blue line, a journey, a look Behind the Shield.
I couldn't put the book down. It was like reading a movie. the thought of just one of these events taking place was wild but to know that they all happened to just one cop is incredible. it is even more amazing that he makes it out alive to tell his story. i gave the book to my father in law (a retired nypd officer) and he read it in one sitting because he couldn't put it down either.
Peter and Rachela Pranzo, husband and wife, have been married for over forty years and have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Peter Pranzo is a retired New York City Police Department Lieutenant with over twenty-one years of service. He has received over 60 awards, department commendations, and community awards including some of the Police Department's highest: the Police Combat Cross, the Award for Valor, and the Honor Legion Medal for Valor. Peter has also done free lance writing for law enforcement magazines around the country. In the 32nd Precinct of Central Harlem as a Sergeant, he supervised a narcotics team for eight years, racking up over 8,000 arrests, which kicked off the Operation Drug Campaign that spread city-wide. Retired Lieutenant Pranzo's last assignment was to the New York City Police Department's elite Street Crime Unit. There he supervised, daily, plainclothes/undercover police who made use of various disguises and impersonations such as cab drivers or street persons, while they made arrests for violent street crimes in progress. The Unit effected over 3,000 arrests per year, and has achieved notoriety within the ranks of law enforcement throughout the Nation.
Additionally, he has done technical consulting and advising for various court testimonies and TV shows, as well as given lectures and seminars. One of his works is the publication of "Stress Management for Law Enforcement," (Gould Publications, 1999), co-authored with his wife, Rachela, that was researched and written as a guide for all men and women in law enforcement who face that daily challenge of combating and managing two of their deadliest foes - stress and trauma. The book has also been selected for placement in the FBI Academy Library, and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Library.
Rachela Pranzo manages her own business designing home-study courses for career and promotional advancement. She has also written for many years and specializes in poetry.