Frank Serpico Essay

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3/1/2012 Frank Serpico “The fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity (Maas).” Serpico was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was the youngest child of Vincenzo and Maria Giovanna Serpico, Italian immigrants from Marigliano (in the province of Naples, Campania). At age 18, he enlisted in the United States Army and spent two years in Korea. Later, he worked as a part time private investigator and as a youth counselor while attending Brooklyn College (Maas). In 1959, Frank Serpico joined the NYPD. He was sworn in as a probationary patrolman on September 11 of that year. Serpico was commissioned as a patrolman for the New York City Police Department on March 5, 1960, a job he would have for twelve years. He was first assigned to patrol in the 81st precinct. He then worked for the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) for two years doing jobs such as filing fingerprints (Maas). Serpico was later assigned to work plainclothes where he encountered widespread corruption among the other police in his system. He witnessed them mishandling of money, mishandling civilians, and basically not fulfilling the job they were intended to (Maas). Serpico's career as a plainclothes police officer working in Brooklyn and the Bronx to expose vice racketeering was short lived because he avoided taking part in the corruption. He risked his own life and safety to expose those who did, (Maas). In 1967, he reported evidence of widespread police corruption. However, bureaucracy slowed down his efforts because they were benefitting from the corrupt system also. ("Serpico Testifies").He connected with another officer, David Durk, who helped him in his anti

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