GOOD COP, BAD COP by Mike McAlary

GOOD COP, BAD COP

Detective Joe Trimboli's Heroic Pursuit of NYPD Officer Michael Dowd
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A gritty if tasteless and overblown recounting of one honest NYPD detective's investigation of one corrupt NYPD cop. This is hardly the stuff of legend, despite New York Daily News columnist McAlary's (Cop Shot, 1990) insistent invocation of Frank Serpico. Early in 1986, the Field Internal Affairs Unit received a tip that officer Michael Dowd and his partner, Gerald DuBois, serving in the 75th precinct in Brooklyn's East New York section, were ripping off drug dealers. A ``world-class dirtbag,'' according to one cop, Dowd had been involved in a number of disciplinary actions, including being sent to ``the Farm'' for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. ``The first time I saw Michael Dowd,'' said Detective Joe Trimboli, ``I knew he was dirty.'' But Trimboli, known as ``The Watcher,'' failed to prove the more serious allegations, such as snorting cocaine while on duty, accepting bribes, doing chores for drug dealers, and stealing money from prisoners and corpses. Instead, he nabbed Dowd for ``patrol violations,'' such as leaving his assigned area for lunch and wearing his hat backward. Dowd was, however, heavily involved with Joe Adonis, a low-level dealer working for Jose ``Chelo'' Montalvo, a drug lord from the Bronx, and was allegedly receiving $8,000 per week in bribes. Investigators in the DA's office for Suffolk County, Long Island, where Dowd lived, suspected the New York cop was dealing drugs and arrested him in May 1992. Although Trimboli's years of work didn't lead directly to Dowd's downfall, his reports substantiated many of the charges and made a guilty plea inescapable. Dowd was later charged with federal racketeering for accepting the bribes and is serving a 14-year sentence. McAlary's lurid writing--Dowd hung out in a bar where ``the lighting was as weak as the character in the room''--and his sensationalistic attempt to puff up one cop's downfall as indicative of all-pervasive police corruption make this a tough sell. (8 pages photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-671-89736-5
Page count: 277pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1994