thumbnail of The Evening Compass; Interviews with Tactical Patrol Force officers
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
I don't know that I don't know that I have every right to. Be.
OK. One two three four one two three four one two three four. One two three four. That OK. OK. Deputy Ron what is the TPF fan and what do they do basically. Oh a tactical troll for us was formed as a city white you know and you know as Malvo functions we take care of Lige crowd controls and riotous conditions. We also have an anti-crime helmet which is essentially the same playing as the tadpole the troll for us. The same man. We also have the emergency service. And I'm out of fellatio and I have a canine as attached to our team. We've had charges yesterday by people in South Boston police
brutality on the part of the TPF crowd control situation on Monday night. Can you comment on that. Well that's true in every situation we get and we get sad just brutality. There is brutality against the police when they hit with sidewalk bricks and concrete blocks. And naturally there's going to be some reaction by the police going to be a struggle. Every man can't control themselves. Ron the rat has come to this. So I rather maybe isolated cases where they overreact a little bit. As far as brutality the people read by that. File a complaint some of the best to get them all really. Hot. Well. Aren't we getting a pattern here last year we had complaints in that the rabbit incident which is now under investigation by the Justice Department. We had another incident in their Roxbury several weeks ago
at a bar and Harker story and now again we have charges from South Boston Common on that. Only thing I can comment on there is the fact that we had a very successful operation and a lot of work. Hot sun not lawful means of doing things that were in their way they have to discredit us one way or another and this is their way of going out there we go out and make accusations. And they are a lot of public accusation but very few formal charges of a file you talk about the rabbit and that's still under investigation. Either a cock aloud as they talk about that I heard as i'm or investigation I've never heard of official complaint and I meant were not there at the hours that they alleged to me that that happened. The newspaper man I'll let them know what happened during the last three
days four days now we've had most of the arrest almost all made by TPF members have we not. I'd say alleged number of them were some of the district might have made some good arrest Joe I'm not a tough guy they'll like. But those were detectives rather than trolling is that correct. That made the Molotov cocktail dresses I am not certain of that I know that one of those men they asked about the TBM not being on a roll. The milling two nights ago ensuring that somebody men were not on the rolls that night. It's easy to say TBM way out there. What I meant was not on the role of men and not irony. John as I understand it wasn't just a man chasing the girl in the car with a mop top cocktails that had occasion to fire at them when they were throwing Molotov cocktails at the policeman. And why can't the regular district police do the same thing at the TPF does.
We could take the District man and Rehman away on it and I love the way you have to name a living the way just as effectively as we do. Are you saying that some of the men aren't willing to work as effectively as you do. I think we have a special type of person and I have carefully selected there are more than willing work because they've proven it with their record on the department and they are not afraid to go out and do police work. They're not afraid to make arrests. They're not afraid to go to court as some officers. District man in a police station they used to working individually or in jail. We work in squads and work together under a sergeant. We have eight or ten men with us and I work as a cohesive group. They each know what the other man is going to do and what's expected and in what kind of men do you look for to become TPF members. Well we we receive applications from them. We check them out.
Developing good common sense and their eagerness to work. We don't want any overly aggressive people want to do the job without being brought in and. Some people like in any job Yeah they'll go along and do a day's work. But we get two days work out of each of us. OK I think that we have a couple of days. Now. Yeah yeah we go oh you know oh I can't I cannot talk. One thing out of the problem.
Me and hello. Hello. Would love. To. Hear it but you know when you're ready they were ready now. Why does someone want to join the TPF. You are in situations where you can get hurt. You have to work nights long hours in dangerous conditions. Why do you do that rather than stay where you were. I think US involvement probably within the community. Many different aspects of the job we have out here and the conditions like this which none of us are really thrilled being out here in the work in the anti-crime unit. Now we're not limited just to wild one area of the city. That was reason plus the all the guys up here asked me that. I'd say throughout the part of the greatest group of guys out of the way but you know whether it be in civilian life military life or in the case of when you say involvement with the community the community of
Charlestown in the community of South Boston have already complained. I'm aware of that. Well since I've been up here in Charleston I don't know really what to complain about all we're doing is trying to keep the peace up here trying to. Keep both sides from getting hurt on the busing issue here. The problem out here is oftentimes whether being child son or any other community within the city the elements but use this whether it be bussing of any other reason is excuse for their acts. I believe the people out here that before I mean this it has nothing to do with the busing issue at all. And and why does someone do this kind of work when the pay isn't any better and the hours are worse. Well I can't say the pay isn't any better it's no better than a regular police officer is it. Oh we do with longer work hours we put in longer hours and that we work those I was and we enjoy working but there
are times when you just take a sometimes too. When we we have worked long hours then the money is a little bit better I think as we know this is money that you earn that you just get as many you earn that you enjoy earning and I think I've enjoyed working. I really have. And why would a woman want to do that. I recently joined the TPF is a female decoyed the anti-crime unit which I like to like close but not being a tack unit called out for all sorts of things I have as much responsibility here as anybody else. And what about charges that the charges yesterday that members of the TPF were drug crazed animals and people who were provoking incidents. Well I'd say. Animals are why I'm married I have four chill out many different anybody else here that's why I got a job I have a job to do. As far as the complaints of files or assaults that's what I've
got I haven't seen one incident. With a drug crazed. Well that's what the charges were. I think that you should consider the source of where it's coming from. I really do I don't think that any one of us that are on drugs but have never seen any drugs and as animals they can be backed up like men. While this whole thing. Men and Women love this whole thing. I don't think we've lost our heads any time acted a rational act in a direction of us or very often and done everything that we are told and all that we've ever questioned. Very often they're actually done a better job. In either what kind of special training do you get. As many aspects as far as the riot control was almost bi weekly up to. The busing Stott a question I've always had that since I've been in the unit that was freshman 10 years I've always had training with lectures and throughout the throughout the year on what we're going to do how we're going to
handle the situations I think we're really fortunate this unit because I think because of the quality of the supervisors we have here the men have complete trust in them and their knowledge and their ability to handle the situation. That's why I think the show is so effective. The men plus the possible people have also said that the TPF are meaner than the regular policeman. I have a wife was a five foot three and I'm afraid of her as well homie we're. Theirs as far as being named this. That's ridiculous it's just a job enjoying the job the best you can and right why is it that you don't think people like you as much. Well I think it's the job that we've got to do we've got to do more than logistics till we've got to go in there and when it gets so bad that they call us in we got a second job trouble must be put down and we do it the best way we know. And it sure does there's a lot of hard work in it and I don't know people just don't like to see us go
I think that the reputation has been more than you know what we've been we've done I think you know when we when we do one thing we all multiply and make it sound like a lot worse. You know if you've been involved in crowd control also. Oh yes yes I do the same thing as everybody else. I think people today most English are the people in South Boston and in Charlestown. I just very upset and it's very hard for them to a lot to deal with the situation I think they have to speak out against buses and about the people that have to help and force the law and I think that's where the problem is. A lot. That's why I am holding is really a time out. I thought that. I was pleased with Charlie oftentimes on the same issue. Once you get back to. The simplicity of the physical way that. I don't know what the west possibly stand there take the rock so let it be that on
itself wasn't. Like I have a wife or a child I want to go back out of the soul alive and still in good physical condition and his people again like it was in the Vietnam War. We were the ones that they threw the stones I wasn't next anybody up there we were the ones on the fire line the bus had nothing to do with the law. I'm out here to make sure nobody gets killed. The TPF was also at the head of. The TPF was at the head of the sick and also was a not. Well. Right now about to leave that alone always concerned with right now as far as a labor issue I'd like you are so sure that you did you call in sick I was on vacation at the time. And I was there with them. No picking up here whether you're black or white the whole thing is untouchable and we have to live with
the schools and we have many and how many how many women are involved. Yes members. Oh yeah that's it. Yes. You know. Why me a cutaway and go.
Here go there. God is not going to get his NO THEY'RE GOING ALL.
The Evening Compass
Raw Footage
Interviews with Tactical Patrol Force officers
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-9bk16p6h).
Episode Description
Gary Griffith interviews Joseph Rowan (Deputy Superintendent, Boston Police Deparment) about the mission of the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF). Rowan responds to charges of police brutality by TPF in South Boston. Rowan says that the TPF responds to violence directed at them by residents; that complaints of brutality are fully investigated by the department. Griffith interviews three TPF officers: Kathy Fitzpatrick, William Johnston, and Val Williams. They answer questions about the TPF and deny charges of police brutality. Johnston says that the TPF is trying to keep the peace. Williams says that the TPF is called in to deal with difficult situations and that rumors of TPF behavior have been exaggerated. Fitzpatrick says that she performs the same duties as the male officers. Fitzpatrick says that city residents are venting their frustration on the TPF.
Boston (Mass.). Police Dept.; Riots; Violence and society; Policewomen; police brutality
Rights Note:It is the responsibility of a production to investigate and re-clear all rights before re-use in any project.,Rights Type:All,Rights Credit:WGBH Educational Foundation,Rights Holder:WGBH Educational Foundation
Rights Note:Media not to be released to Open Vault.,Rights Type:Web,Rights Credit:,Rights Holder:
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Publisher: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 5928766ed4817389f01ba0317558e4c07cf67b99 (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
Format: video/quicktime
Color: Color
Duration: 00:18:41;24
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The Evening Compass; Interviews with Tactical Patrol Force officers,” 1975-09-11, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “The Evening Compass; Interviews with Tactical Patrol Force officers.” 1975-09-11. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: The Evening Compass; Interviews with Tactical Patrol Force officers. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from