Ridgefield Police are Given Pins

This article is from around 1929, when Pop was still a Patrolman.  This wouldn’t be his last marksmanship pin.

1929-1931 Ridgefield Police Are Given Pins



Cops Who Did Good Work on Ranges Honored at Council

Four Ridgefield policemen last night were awarded pins for marksmanship at the meeting of borough council.  The pins were presented by Mayor Clarence Davis.  Those to receive them were: Patrolman Heilman, Patrolman Gallagher, Patrolman Keal, who received gold pins, and Patrolman Voehl received a silver bar.


5 Hurt as 3 Autos Crash in Ridgefield

1929-1931 Five Hurt in Car Crash - no date5 HURT AS 3 AUTOS CRASH IN RIDGEFIELD


Conor, Police Convey Injured to Englewood Hospital

Five persons were hurt and two others narrowly escaped serious injury last night when three cars figured in a crash on Grand avenue in Ridgefield.

One of the cars, containing George Popovitch, 46, of 33 Cleveland avenue, Bergenfield; Edward Berger, 24, of the same address and John Parrish, 41, of 484 Park avenue, Fairview is believed to have attempted to pass another car operated by Harry Bernhammer, 64, of 36 Hackensack avenue, Weehawken, both of which were going north of [sic] Grand avenue.

The Popovitch car, seeing a roadster, operated by Marjorie Dugan, 17, or 205 Armstrong avenue, Jersey City, who was driving on a permit, with J. F. Hoffman, 26, of 256 Garfield avenue, JErsey City a licensed driver, attempted to cut in to the right side of the road.

In so doing, the Popovich car struck the Bernhammer machine and pushed it off the road, badly damaging both cars.  The roadster was damaged but little.

Former Mayor Alam B. Conor who was driving along Grand avenue at the time took Popovich and Parrish to the Englewood Hospital, while Patrolman Gallagher of the Ridgefield police department, took Berger to the same hospital.  Patrolman Arthur Kahlbein took the Bernhammers to the hospital in the police car.

At the hospital it was reported that the injuries suffered by the occupants of the cars were: Berger, lacerations of the arm, head, chest and knee; Parrish, cut on the head; Popovich, cuts on the neck and shoulder; Berthammaer [sic], lacerations of the head and left hand.


The way this article is written makes it hard to figure out exactly what happened in this wreck.  Using my paralegal experience and exceptional skills in reading police reports, I have created an artist’s” (not very good) rendition of what may have occurred:

2015-01-18 14.54.16


Hold-Up Men Are Under Lock and Key

-1929-1931 Hold-Up Men are Under Lock and KeyHold-Up Men Are Under Lock and Key


Ridgefield Police Have in Custody Three Men Who Held Up John C. Dunn


On Friday afternoon the Hackensack police reported to Supervisor George Darrow of the Ridgefield Police Department that they had [sic] in custody one Andrew Gambo who had been wanted since September 27th as the third man involved in the holdup of John C. Dunn of the Lowe Paper Company, residing in Englewood.  Charles Ziti [he was Charles Riti/Ritti in the previous article] and Louis Capucco [he was Louis Capsaso in the previous article] of Little Ferry, the other two men, had already been captured by the Ridgefield police, who were still searching for Gambo [he was Gabo in the previous article].  The latter was turned over to Patrolman Gallagher and put in the cell, and later signed a confession in which he stated that the three men were pals.  Louis Capucco had told them one night of a fellow (Dunn) where he worked “who always had plenty of money with him and wore a large diamond.”  They planned to rob Dunn and went to the Lowe Paper Mill at night, where they accosted Dunn and viciously assaulted him.  They left him unconscious, but becoming frightened, fled from the scene to Edgewater.  Gambo went home, and later heard that his pals had been caught by the Ridgefield police.  He finally gave himself up and joined his companions in the Hackensack jail.

It was through the relentless efforts of the Ridgefield Police Department that the three men were captured, and general satisfaction is felt in the town at the efficiency developing in that department since its re-organization unde [sic] Mayor Davis’ administration.


More police propaganda?  Maybe it’s just me, but a criminal turning himself in doesn’t sound like “relentless efforts’ of the police department at all.

Badly Beaten by Pal of Man Boss Laid Off

1929-1931 Badly Beaten by Pal of Man Boss Laid OffBadly Beaten By Pal of Man Boss Laid Off


Ridgefield Stock Clerk Victim of Alleged Plot to Rob and Get Revenge




John C. Dunn of Englewood, employed as a stock clerk at the Lowe Paper Manufacturing Company, Ridgefield, was beaten to insensibility it is charged, by a companion of his assistant whom he had laid off temporarily a few days before.  Charles Riti, 18, of 36 Moonachie road, Moonachie, Dunn’s assailant, laid in wait all night with Louis Capsaso, 17, of 32 Moonachie road, the suspended clerk, and Andrew Gabo, 19, of Union street, Little Ferry, intending to rob Dunn when he arrived for work, it is alleged.

Confessing his intent to Patrolman Walter Gallagher, his captor, Capsaso said that he had told his companions Dunn carried large amounts of money, and that he had agreed to assist them in the robbery.  Although their victim wore a diamond ring valued at $1,000 and carried a purse described by police as “stuffed,” the three youths ran away without stopping for plunder when they realized the plight of Dunn, whom Riti, it is said, had beaten with an iron rod while Gabo covered him with a revolver.

1929-1931 Badly Beaten by Pal of Man Boss Laid Off p2According to the story told the police by Riti, captured by two factory employees, as he fled and Capsaso, who was arrsted [sic] at his home Saturday, the trio made their way into the building on River road by means of the fire escape.  Capsaso, they say, kept lookout while his two companions lay in ambush behind tiers of rolled paper.  According to the two men, Gabo, who fights as a middleweight under the name of Andy Dumpie, hend Dunn at the point of a .32 calibre revolver while Ritti felled him with an iron bar.

Seeing their victim bleeding from the mouth, nose and ears, the three fled, Riti speeding up River road and the other two along Grand avenue.  Two factory employees who saw the assault blocked the avenue and caught Riti, whom they turned over to Patrolman Gallagher.  The policeman was nearby at the time of the capture.  Gabo escaped capture by Gallagher when the policeman who called at his home after arresting Capsaso, a neighbor.

Dunn returned to work after treatment for scalp wounds by John D. Lynn of Ridgefield.  Riti and Capsaso are in Bergen County jail charged with burglary, attempted robbery and atrocious assault.


2 Arrested At Ridgefield Still

This article is one of the first that mention Pop after he became a police officer.  Date is unknown and newspaper is unknown.  It was published during the Prohibition era, and Pop didn’t become a cop until 1929, so it had to occur between 1929 and 1933.

Also – the Joseph Gallagher mentioned in this article is [so far] no relation.


1929-1931 2 Arrested at Ridgefield Still2 Arrested At Ridgefield Still

1,000-Gallon Plant Destroyed by Federal, Municipal Raiders

Federal prohibition agents of the Newark office of the Department of Justice visited Ridgefield yesterday afternoon, destroyed a 1,000-gallon alcohol distillery adn took with them two Elizabeth men as prisoners.

The raiding party, called in by Ridgefield police, included Agents R. E. Klohr, Joseph Gallagher and E. C. Deadman, and two Ridgefield patrolmen, Walter Gallagher and John Paul.

Suspecting the presence of a still, Patrolmen August Vohl and Paul and been detailed in plainclothes to keep the Oritan avenue garage under surveillance since last week.  The garage building, supposedly unoccupied, is situated near the Northern Railroad of New Jersey station.

Two Caught at Work

Breaking into the structure shortly before 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, the raiding party found the plant in operation by two men who identified themselves as David Miller, 38, of 1113 Elizabeth avenue, and Leo Marseillan, 39, of 1100 Elizabeth avenue both Elizabeth.

In addition to the 1,000-gallon distilling apparatus, the plant included three 10,000-gallon vats containing 4,000 gallons of mash, and 100 gallons of finished liquor.  Five five-gallon tins of this were taken as evidence. [I’m sure it was.]

After the two men were taken to Ridgefield police headquarters and charged with illegal operation of the still, Police Sergeant Charles Erickson and Patrolmen Henry Lustmann and Vohl went to the garage building and destroyed the apparatus.

The prisoners were removed to Newark, where they will be arraigned before a United States commissioner.



Walter makes good!

In April 1929, Walter decided to leave the “restaurant” business.  He and his wife Ruth were living in an apartment at 1 Elizabeth Street, Ridgefield, New Jersey.

1929 - 1 Elizabeth Street Ridgefield

He completed his application to the Ridgefield Police Department, and it was received on April 17, 1929.

1929 06 12 - Police Department applicationHe was applying for the position of Patrolman.  He states that he has been living in New Jersey for 12 years, but I found him and his wife Ruth enumerated at 1600 Jackson Avenue in Jackson Heights (Queens County), New York, in the 1925 New York state census.  Not sure what’s going on there.

I got a chuckle when I reached item #9.  Apparently the only marital conditions available were “single” or “divorced.”  Clearly, the creator of this form had a very jaded view of society at that time.

On June 18, 1929, the Police Commission sent a letter to the Mayor requesting appointment of Walter to the position of Patrolman.

1929 06 18 - Request to Mayor for appointment of Walter Gallagher


And on July 10, 1929, Walter appeared for his physical examination.  At the time, he was working as a night manager at a restaurant.  The person who taught penmanship to this examiner should have their hands rapped with a yardstick.

1929 07 10 Walter Gallagher Physical Exam for police dept

I love that it gives a physical description: Height 5’8-1/4″, weight 190 lbs., chest girth 36.4″, and abdominal girth 34″.  He has one child age 4 (his adopted son – my grandfather – John Joseph Gallagher).  He looks to be in pretty decent health, with the only thing notable listed under ‘other illnesses’ is what looks like either “H of C” or “D of C” only.  I can’t really tell what letter that is supposed to be, but by comparison, I know it’s not a G.  If you know of any illness that might fit that description, please share.

It is interesting to note that (spoiler alert) Walter eventually contracted diabetes. I’m curious to know whether this ‘other illness’ is related to that in any way.