Order today to get FREE Shipping. Call 1-800-270-5317
Rich Miller with his youngest son, Richie in 2009. The boy Rich was diving to save and his son were very close in age.
For cops, diving is dangerous business
One only has to check out this video about the recent death of Nicholas Mevoli, the Brooklyn diver whose lungs collapsed after he tried to break a record, to see how dangerous this activity really is. Almost everywhere officers don a uniform and strap on a firearm, they are called upon to dive to rescue victims who are in danger of drowning. Here's just one story of an experienced officer - the NYPD's Rich Miller - who almost died after he went back in for a third time to search for a boy who disappeared in the murky, treacherous waters of the Bronx River.
From Chapter One: Rich Miller: Always Above and Beyond. . .
Every officer assigned to the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit is a certified rescue diver. The training is extensive as scuba officers learn to dive in sludge, mud, vegetation, cold water, strong currents, poor visibility, rough seas and every kind of debris imaginable. By 2005, Rich Miller had participated in over two dozen rescues of victims who found themselves submerged somewhere in the five hundred miles of water that surrounds New York City.
It was a hot and humid day in June of 2005. Around three-thirty in the afternoon, someone called 911. The caller was hysterical and it was difficult for the operator to understand what she was saying. As best as she could determine, two boys and a girl had been fooling around on a makeshift raft on the Bronx River when it capsized. One of the kids was missing.
- Steve Bonano on top of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in 2004. When this photo was taken, Steve had reached the rank of "Inspector" and was commander of the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit.
From Chapter Eight: Steve Bonano: It’s Not a Job, It’s a Calling . . . One night when Steve was on patrol with Tommy Crowe, they heard a barrage of gunfire. They headed in the direction of the shots. Tommy was driving. He made a left turn and both officers saw a man standing on the corner randomly shooting a firearm.
“Another cruiser pulled up at the same time and we almost ran into each other,” Steve said. “Once we got closer we could see the man was shot up pretty bad, but he still had a gun in his hand.
"The cops pulled their weapons and ordered him to drop the gun. The suspect was incoherent. The police could tell he could not hear them. One of the officers, Joe Zallo, tackled the man and was able to get him face down on the street. Steve said despite the fact he was riddled with bullets, but the man put up a fight to keep hold of his gun. “A few seconds passed before Joe was able to get a hold of the weapon and put the cuffs on,” Steve recalled. “When Joe stood up, he was covered with blood.”
Just one of 15 extraordinary officers profiled in Cynthia Brown’s book Brave Hearts: Extraordinary Stories of Pride, Pain and Courage with a foreword by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, is Joe Herbert who today is one of the NYPD’s top people working the counter terror beat.
Widely considered one of the most skilled homicide investigators in the NYC Police Department, Joe Herbert was tapped just days after September 11th, 2001, to join twenty-five other top detectives to begin the painstaking work of finding out who was behind the attacks. While the fires burn and the dust swirls, Joe spends his days combing the rubble for clues. He begins a monumental research project so he can better understand Al Qaeda and formulate a plan to bring whoever committed the crime to justice.