Maple grew up in Richmond Hill, NY off the corner of Forest Park on 108th
Street and Park Lane South and would later become known as a larger-than-life
crimebuster for the city of New York.
He worked his way up the
ranks from a transit cop to an undercover detective patrolling Times
Square and the 42nd Street train station at 8th Avenue, and finally
becoming a deputy police commissioner in Mayor Guiliani's administration.
Crime Fighter : Putting the Bad Guys Out of Business
by Jack Maple & Chris Mitchell
In 1999 Jack Maple authored
this book that chronicles his rise from cop on the beat to Deputy Police
Commissioner. It also would later inspire the TV series, "The
District". To read more about this book and to order click
Rumor has it that Jack Maple's
flamboyant dress, style and attitude may have been influenced by the
way he was kidded on how he resembled the actor Edward G. Robinson.
Two Tough Guys
|Edward G. Robinson photo
||Photo of Jack Maple
When Jack Maple passed away,
all major NYC daily newspapers ran a story on his life and how he is credited
for reducing crime in New York City and beyond.
From Newsday- August 6, 2001
Jack Maple Dies, 49
By Leonard Levitt
Photo, 1986 / Bruce Gilbert
Former Deputy Police
Commissioner Jack Maple, a former transit cop, was a key aide to Bill Bratton.
Jack Maple, the flamboyant deputy police commissioner credited with
implementing the Police Department's successful crime-fighting strategies,
died Saturday of colon cancer. He was 49.
Maple, who had only a high school equivalency diploma, was an unheralded
transit police lieutenant when he was discovered by Bill Bratton, who headed
the Transit Police in the early 1990s.
Realizing Maple had a unique understanding of crime patterns, Bratton
took Maple with him to One Police Plaza when he became police commissioner
Resented by much of the police brass, which looked down on the transit
police, Maple developed the crime strategy program known as COMPSTAT, in
which he and then-Chief of Patrol Louis Anemone grilled top police officials
on their borough or precinct crime strategies.
The COMPSTAT program revolutionized the department and became a symbol
of police accountability.
"I'd say he created the beginning of change in the Police Department,"
current Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said yesterday. "He was a brilliant
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani praised Maple yesterday as "one of the truly
great innovators of law enforcement" in a statement issued by a spokesman.
Giuliani visited Maple in recent weeks at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center "to thank him for his work on behalf of all New Yorkers,”
the spokesman said. The mayor also extended his condolences to Maple’s
Maple, who was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 220 pounds, became
known for wearing bow ties and black and white spats.
In his office at One Police Plaza, he kept an espresso machine from
which he delighted in serving visitors coffee.
Maple served in the Police Department for only two years. He left shortly
after Giuliani, upset that Bratton was receiving more favorable publicity
than he was, forced Bratton out as commissioner.
Maple, with another Bratton aide, John Linder, founded a police consultant
business, traveling to cities around the country to help departments with
their crime problems.
He described himself during this period as kind of “deputy commissioner
of the world.”
In 1999, Doubleday published Maple’s book, “The Crime Fighter: Putting
The Bad Guy Out of Business.” The cover jacket featured a picture of Maple
with a beard, wearing his patented bow tie and sunglasses.
He also began co-writing the prototype for the weekly television series
“The District.” The series features a newly appointed police chief in Washington,
D.C., played by Craig Nelson, that is based on Maple.
At the same time, Maple learned that he had colon cancer. He urged
reporters who knew of his illness not to write of it and tried - and largely
succeeded – in going on with his life as best he could.
During a recent hospital stay, Maple told one visitor, “I had a pretty
Knowing the end was approaching, he threw a dinner some months ago
at Elaine’s restaurant that was attended by his closest friends, both inside
and outside the department.
When it was time for him to speak, he began by joking that one of the
first things that Anemone and former First Deputy Commissioner John Timoney
had done when he joined the department was to try to get him fired.
“This is true,” a laughing Anemone said, interrupting Maple’s remarks.
Maple also recently married his long-time sweetheart, former police
Lt. Bridget O’Connor.
Besides her, he leaves a son, Brendan, and a daughter, Jacqueline.
© 2002 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission. http://www.newsday.com
|About Jack Maple
NYC Deputy Police Commissioner
"Crimefighter from Richmond Hill"
Born in 1952
Died on August 4, 2001
The following articles are
Daily News, and Newsday
From the Daily News - Monday, August 6, 2001
A Crimefighter dies
Jack Maple helped make city safer place
By ALICE McQUILLAN
and BILL HUTCHINSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
John (Jack) Maple, the bowtied, larger-than-life crimefighter who helped
engineer the city's historic murder drop, has died.
The former deputy police commissioner died Saturday afternoon at his
Manhattan home after battling colon cancer.
AP PHOTO 1999- Jack
Maple walks along the median in Times Square, NYC, where he had worked
as an undercover transit cop.
"Jack was certainly one of those people who believed New York City could
be a better place, and he helped make it that way," said former Police
Commissioner William Bratton. "He was a true hero of the city."
Mayor Giuliani hailed Maple as "one of the truly great innovators in
law enforcement, who helped make New York City the safest large city in
Maple, who was recently released from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center, managed to attend his daughter Jacqueline's wedding July 29.
His last days were spent cowriting and co-producing episodes of the
CBS cops-and-robbers TV drama "The District," whose tough-as-nails protagonist
was modeled after Maple. He also was the inspiration for the hero of Daily
News columnist Michael Daly's 1995 novel "Under Ground."
Friends said Maple's wife, NYPD Sgt. Brigid O'Connor, was at his side
when he died. The couple married in March.
The early days
Raised in Richmond Hill, Queens, Maple earned a night school diploma
from Brooklyn Technical High School. His crimebuster education started
as a city transit cop.
Maple came up with the idea of tracking crimes on 55 feet of maps taped
to a wall. He called them the "charts of the future" and used them to discern
underground crime patterns, and dispatched cops accordingly.
It worked so well transit cops were able to reduce gang robberies in
the subway from 1,200 a year to just 12.
"Treat every case as if your mother was the victim," Maple would often
tell cops under him.
When Bratton took over as transit police commissioner in 1990, Maple
caught his attention. They worked together to spark an unprecedented drop
in overall subway crime.
Off duty, Maple had a reputation as a dandy, who wore bow ties, homburg
hats and two-tone shoes. He hobnobbed at The Plaza hotel's Oak Bar and
at Elaine’s, the Upper East Side celebrity watering hole.
In 1992, Bratton became the police commissioner in Boston and took
Maple with him.
They were hitting their stride in Boston when Giuliani chose Bratton
as New York's top cop in 1994. Bratton made Maple his deputy commissioner
for crime control strategies.
Although he often said he outlined his points of strategy on a napkin
one night at Elaine's, he was anything but casual when it came to deploying
At war with crime
Maple helped establish the now-famed Compost, a computerized version
of his "charts of the future." During weekly, Compstat strategy meetings,
he would often terrorize police commanders about crime in their precincts.
"Jack was a smasher of old ways, he would use humor, ridicule and self-effacement
to get a point across and get somebody to believe in something," said Philadelphia
Police Commissioner John Timoney, who worked with Maple in the NYPD.
Both Maple and Timoney left the NYPD after Bratton was forced out in
1996. During the Bratton team's tenure, murder plummeted 50% and overall
crime dropped 39%.
Television journalist John Miller, the former NYPD spokesman under
Bratton, said Maple “changed the way we live.”
“He changed how we walk down the street and whether we decide to stay
out late; whether or not we ride the subway or… go to a certain neighborhood.”
After leaving the NYPD, Maple became a crimefighting consultant to
police departments from Newark to New Orleans. He also wrote the 1999 book
“The Crime Fighter: Putting the Bad Guys Out of Business," with journalist
Maple is survived by his wife; his daughters, Jacqueline and Breen,
and a son, Brendan. He also is survived by three brothers and three sisters.
About the RH Historical Society
Become A Member