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THREE TALES PROVE
JOB IS IMPOSSIBLE

By STEVE DUNLEAVY
PHOTO PATRICIA FEERICK:
Cops have a "lack of support."

August 6, 2001 -- THE NYPD blues started with liberal judges making justice a bizarre revolving door.

It got worse when politicians believed that a cop was someone everyone loved to hate and they made hay out of it like Kansas.

The police brass got nervous and became so overly politically correct they filleted some of the best cops the city ever had.

These are just three cops' tales. Three cops who lived and almost died for the job, who loved every second working for the Finest . . . but in the end, had to say goodbye.

How many of them out there? My guess, better still, your guess.

COP 1

Kennedy's story

Sgt. Tom Kennedy, with 150 commendations, involved in eight shootouts, wounded three times, is to the Police Department what Audie Murphy was to the army.

Yet in a dark example of the NYPD blues, he puts in his retirement papers in February, quitting the job he so passionately loved.

"It's time, unfortunately, and I fear it will get worse before it gets better," Tom told me.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back came three years ago when a punk, caught stripping a car, tried to take Tom's gun away from him in Harlem.

"I gave chase, caught him, cuffed him, and while dragging him to his feet, he fell about 12 inches to the ground and received five stitches," Tom recalled.

Tom was suddenly facing four charges that could have got him 15 years. But despite an almost spiteful prosecution, he was acquitted. The punk who attacked Tom walked free and was awarded $375,000 by the city.

"It's time to go," Tom said.

COP 2

Feerick's story

Former Lt. Patricia Feerick, a lawyer and a nurse, was once mentioned as being, down the line, the first female police commissioner.

Then, four drug dealers made a complaint against her and three other cops.

The druggies were people like Ben Stokes, an admitted liar who boasted on the witness stand that he, too, was a lieutenant, just like Patricia Feerick.

A "lieutenant" in the Purple City Gang, responsible for at least seven homicides.

She could have faced seven years, but served 32 days and is now appealing all charges.

"We were there when [then-Mayor David] Dinkins' policies were letting drug dealers run the streets and the prosecutors looked on us as the enemy," she said.

"Of course there is a problem with the money. But the exodus from the police force has a lot to do with the lack of support and the fear factor that cops have." Feerick concluded, "Take a bullet but not a jail sentence for doing your job."

COP 3

Burns' story

Retired Sgt. Eddie Burns, who has a master's degree in communications from NYU and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from St. John's, quit after 27 years on the force.

Burns didn't face a Blue Wall of Silence when he went for the lieutenant's test, he faced a Blue Wall of political obstruction.

"The test for the lieutenant's exam was originally an objective written test . . . but suddenly subjective tests came in. Was it a department who wanted more minorities in? Was it politically correct stuff? I don't know," Burns said.

"We needed more minorities in the ranks, but were the tests put there to make sure that there was an unequal level playing field? I don't know. All I know is that I failed the oral, and I wasn't going any further."

Burns, who is happily retired from the force and enjoying his son Edward making it big in Hollywood, said, "I didn't leave the job, the job left me."

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