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Jim O'Neil

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Jim O’Neil enlisted in the Navy and served aboard USS Darby (DE 218) as a radarman and navigator.  He was discharged in 1957 at the age of 21. Jim O’Neil spent the next five years were in retail management. In 1963, Jim O’Neil entered the NYPD as a patrolman and was assigned to the elite Tactical Patrol Force. In 1966, Jim O’Neil was promoted to detective and spent the next five years in the 73rd Precinct Detective Squad in Brownsville. This entailed investigations of various crimes including numerous homicides in this very violent area of Brooklyn. In 1972, he was assigned to the Brooklyn North Robbery Squad. It was here that he cracked the Black Liberation Army case; involving bank robbery and the execution of Police Officers throughout the United States. He was also the first detective on the scene at the notorious Dog Day Afternoon bank robbery.

In 1973, Jim O’Neil was promoted to sergeant and had various assignments in uniform before returning to the investigative end of law enforcement for the rest of his career. He saw action as the boss of the Harlem Homicide Taskforce during the drug wars. And, his last six years on the job were spent as the supervisor of detectives in the Manhattan North Senior Citizen Robbery Squad, one of the most successful investigative units in the Country. Jim O’Neil is the co-author of A Cop's Tale--NYPD: The Violent Years: A Detectives Firsthand Account of Murder and Mayhem.


According to the book description of A Cop's Tale--NYPD: The Violent Years: A Detectives Firsthand Account of Murder and Mayhem, “A Cop's Tale by Jim O'Neil and Mel Fazzino delivers a rare look into the bare-bones brand of law enforcement from the 1960s to 1980s in New York City. O'Neil describes the thrill of putting LeRoy "Nicky" Barnes out of business and his key role helping the DEA end Frank Lucas's grip on the Harlem drug trade; and his experience at the "Dog Day Afternoon" bank robbery. It's one of New York's finest getting as down-and-dirty as the criminals he faced to protect the citizens of the city he loved.”

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