The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘PO Edward Byrne

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The floating fuzz.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Harbor Launch No. 451 was christened with the name PO Edward Byrne when it was launched in 2010, and just the other night, it was literally running circles around the Working Harbor Committee. We were onboard the Zephyr, an excursion vessel, and the cops came roaring up alongside and began to circle us. Doesn’t matter what you’re driving, when a bunch of cops pull up next to you, you stiffen up and try to present overt signs of wholesomeness in an effort to avoid their attentions.


“This new launch will enable us to be even more vigilant in keeping the city safe from crime and terrorism,” Commissioner Kelly said. “It is a tangible symbol of Eddie Byrne’s legacy. All who see it will be reminded of his courage and his sacrifice.”

The new boat will be used for various police emergencies and operations in New York Harbor , including search and rescue and recovery and proactive counterterrorism patrol. The 45-foot vessel is custom equipped with a thermal camera and advanced navigation system, enabling police officers to better conduct search and rescue operations in low-visibility conditions. It can travel up to 48 knots, or 53 m.p.h.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The vessel in today’s shots is a SAFE Boat, which is a pretty sophisticated little craft that can take on a variety of utility and security functions depending on who its customized for. There’s a Coast Guard variant, and an FDNY one, and every agency that has any jurisdiction on the water seems to have at least one of these increasingly ubiquitous vessels bobbing around NY Harbor.

from wikipedia

Commanding Officer of Harbor Unit – Deputy Inspector David Driscoll

On March 15, 1858, five members of the New York City Police Department rowed out into New York Harbor to combat piracy aboard merchant ships lying at anchor. The NYPD Harbor Unit has existed ever since, protecting life and property. With hundreds of miles of inland waterways to cover, the unit operates 27 boats from three bases.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Harbor Patrol actually predates the Civil War, but in the beginning, they were all about fighting River Pirates. Back in the heyday of NY Harbor, pirates would launch from shore in rowboats with felt wrapped oars. They would sneak onboard anchored ships in the maritime equivalent of a modern “home invasion” and grab whatever they could carry. The problem was so rampant that the Harbor Patrol was formed. Today, the piracy problem is under control, and the unit largely works the Homeland Security beat instead.


The Metropolitan Police’s Harbor Police were established on Feb. 15, 1858 as the 24th Precinct. When established the command consisted of 2 sergeants and 25 patrolmen. Harbor’s first station house was located at 21 State Street, near the corner of Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan.

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Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Glittering Realms Saturday, August 3rd, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 2, 2013 at 10:04 am

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