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Byrnes, Thomas F. (15 June 1842–07 May 1910), New York City police official, was born in Ireland, the son of William Byrnes and Rose Doyle. The family immigrated to New York City when Thomas was an infant. After a limited formal education and training as a gas fitter, he joined the Union army in 1861. When his term of enlistment ended in 1863, Byrnes joined the New York Metropolitan Police Department. He rose rapidly through the ranks: he became a roundsman (a title then used for a first-level supervisor) in 1868, a sergeant in 1869, a captain in 1870, and the head of the detective bureau with the rank of inspector in 1880. Byrnes made his reputation by arresting members of the gang that in 1878 robbed the Manhattan Bank that was located in the precinct he commanded....

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Curtis, Edwin Upton (26 March 1861–28 March 1922), police commissioner and mayor of Boston, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of George Curtis, a lumber merchant and Republican politician, and Martha Ann Upton. Curtis attended the Roxbury public grammar and Latin schools and Bowdoin College (A.B. 1882; A.M. 1885; LL.D. 1914). He read law at a Boston firm and attended Boston University Law School. Admitted to the bar in 1885, he practiced law and in 1888 became secretary of the Boston Republican City Committee. Elected city clerk of Boston in 1889, he served for two years....

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John Alexander Kennedy. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109831).

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Kennedy, John Alexander (09 August 1803–20 June 1873), immigration official and police superintendent, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of John Kennedy, a schoolmaster who, accompanied by his wife (name unknown), immigrated to the United States from the north of Ireland. After receiving a common school education, Kennedy learned the sign painter’s trade. Residence in the slave state of Maryland bred in him a hostility to slavery that was to prove lifelong. In 1925 he became secretary of the newly formed Maryland Anti-Slavery Society, but the society was soon forced to disband by mob action. At about the same time he became ...

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Rizzo, Frank Lazzaro (23 October 1920–16 July 1991), police officer and politician, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Raffaele “Ralph” Rizzo, a police officer and tailor, and Theresa Erminio. Both of his parents were Italian immigrants. Rizzo was raised in predominately Italian South Philadelphia, where he attended local schools but failed to graduate from high school. He joined the navy in 1938 and received a medical discharge just one year later. Returning to Philadelphia, he worked in the steel and construction industries. In 1942 he married Carmella Silvestri; they had two children....