The Blue Truth Hezitorial: The Continuing Practice of the Yonkers Police Department Targeting and Maligning Yonkers Cops
By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Blue Truth, Community, Culture, Governance, History, Law, People, Police Department News, Westchester County, NY, Yonkers, NY 58 Comments

Political Hacks and Yonkers Police Benevolent Association (YPBA) Officers Only Answer to Yonkers’ Power Structure

How Many More Police Officers Will Next Be Targeted?

Has Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocca Dropped the Ball By Deferring to Yonkers Police Department Commanding Officer – Internal Affairs Division – Detective Captain Justin R. Barbato?

This Telling Is About Rocco R. Merante

Bronxville Tribune / Yonkers Tribune / Mount Vernon Tribune / Westchester Tribune Publisher / Editor-at-Large and WHYT Radio’s Westchester On the Level Host Hezi Aris.

The Blue Truth

YONKERS, NY — February 18, 2021 — Rocco R. Merante was hired as a Yonkers Police Officer in July of 2005 after serving 7½ years as a New York City Police Officer.  He retired on February 29, 2020 after more than 22 years of service.  He earned numerous commendations, certificates of excellence in police work, unit citations, Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Presidents’ award, as well as many letters of appreciation.  

He married his high school sweetheart. They have been together since he was 16-years-old.  They raised two children.  

Rocco has never been arrested. He has never been written up or had any disciplinary incidents while employed with the Yonkers or the New York  Police Departments. 

On February 26, 2020, Merante discovered his personal, as well as departmental property, had been stolen from his locker, which had been locked and secured inside the Yonkers Police Department’s 4th Precinct.  Merante had been on medical leave since January 6, 2017, but had been to his locker numerous times with the last being around September 2019.  Merrante reported the stolen items to Sgt. Collins and Capt. Hanley. Two days after discovering the theft, Merante again followed up with Sgt. Collins. 

Sgt. Collins advised Merante that higher ranking supervisors were seemingly baffled over what to do or even how to proceed. 

Merante made numerous attempts over three-months’ time to follow-up with the Yonkers Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division (IAD) and the 4th Precinct. Each attempt was documented. 

What Merante reported was a burglary, as defined according to New York State Penal Code parameters. Most egregiously of all is that the burglary occurred inside the Yonkers Police Department 4th Precinct.  As unfathomable as it seems, no investigation and/or police report has ever been filed or conducted.

On May 21, 2020, Merante was contacted by the Office of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit. Merante spoke to William Schaeffer to whom he explained the incident that he suffered in its entirety. 

Merante was informed and advised to complete and return a complaint form which Merante did. Merante returned the complaint form by “snail mail” using the United States Postal Service, as well as by eMail correspondence on May 27, 2020. The Westchester Country District Attorney’s (WCDA) Office acknowledged receipt of the complaint form by advising Merante by eMail on June 9, 2020, that the WCDA had referred Merante’s complaint back to the Yonkers Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division (IAD). 

Coincidentally, on May 28, 2020,  IAD Sgt. Fraska called Merante to “begin” an investigation. No interviews were ever conducted with respect to Merante’s stolen property.  YPD thereafter quickly deemed Merante’s claim “unsubstantiated” without ever conducting any type of investigation.  It took 3 months, first reported on Feb 26, 2020… for an initial “PCT Investigation” report to eventually be dated May 26, 2020).

“In 22 years of police work,” Merante said, “I have made thousands of arrests, written tens of thousands of summonses and testified numerous times in court. Never has my integrity been questioned.  I have never seen nor ever experienced a 3-month delay in beginning an investigation.”  

Merante questioned, “How can we expect a police department to police others if they cannot police themselves.” Additionally, Merante said, “This also shows how the Yonkers Police Department did/can manipulate their crime stats by refusing to acknowledge a burglary/theft complaint. 

Merante said, “I submitted a Freedom of information Law (FOIL) request for all documents regarding my locker (C/R #  20024725). On August 11, 2020, Merante received a letter from Lt. McGuinness verifying Merante’s request. In the paperwork referred to in the prior sentence, interviews conducted with the CO (Capt Hanley), XO (Lt Foley/Lt Block), Yonkers PBA Trustee (PO Croston), and exPBA Trustee (PO Galsinsky). The only police officer interviewed was PO Guzman. In PO Guzman’s statement he relates that he took it upon himself to “remove the old labels and re-number the lockers.” Merante emphasized, “This is a police officer that is on the Westchester County DAs “credibility list” and can’t testify in court.” 

In Sgt Collins’ IAD interview Sgt Collins states that Merante “seemed unfazed.”  Merante said, “This is from a supervisor who has been employed as a Yonkers Police Officer for less than 5 years.

Nowhere in his original report, which took 3-months to begin, was it ever mentioned that Merante was “unfazed”. Neither did anyone else, such as senior members of the department with whom Merante interacted that day describe Merante as “unfazed”. After a 20-plus police career and the incidents Merante has witnessed and investigated, such as murders, rapes, assaults, accidental deaths, 9/11, Merante said, “little ‘fazes’ me”, but my property being stolen from inside the precinct did upset me. I also have the whole interaction that transpired upon arriving that day at the precinct on audio recording.”

The IAD interviews with supervisors all mention that there are no official systems in place to distribute or keep track of assigned lockers and that numerous other people have access to locker rooms, e.g. cleaning crews, DPW workers, outside contractors, etc.” Yet no one seems to take issue with this and my complaint is determined to be “unsubstantiated”. The police locker rooms are a place where personal and departmental property is stored; including firearms.  It seems incongruous that this issue doesn’t matter.

From the onset, “No investigation took place. No Crime Scene Unit to photograph or process Merante’s locker, the inside of which should have contained only Merante’s fingerprints since Merante had that locker for almost 10 years.”

Sgt. Collins mentions the inside of the locker was “dusty”! Any competent investigator knows that a locker is a great environment to recover useable fingerprint comparisons.

Sgt. Collins also wanted Merante to identify items that were left in the locker as Merante’s own. In response to Sgt. Collins’ request, Merante emphasized that, “Since my lock had been removed and then replaced by an unknown person(s), and the items that were left do not have any identifiable characteristics, how could anyone positively identify any common uniform items as their own when the integrity/security of the locker itself had been compromised. The “unknown” lock which had been placed on Merante’s locker after Merante’s original lock was removed had a serial number, yet no efforts were made to trace where the lock replacing Merante’s lock came from. The IAD report states Merante’s “swipecard” had not been used for the duration of the reporting period which dates back to 2015.  Telestaff roll call records show Merante worked patrol in the 4th Pct from 2015 through 2017.  Merante exclaimed, “How would there be no record of me entering the Pct, not even once, spanning that time frame. 

“The IAD reports also focused on the same time frame, with the findings apparently being to long,” said Merante. “I have taken complaints of burglaries where the time frame between possible occurrence and discovery had spanned many years, and yet crime scenes revealed evidence that was processed at the scene. 

Merante said, “I should be able to lock my property in my locker in a police facility and it shouldn’t matter how long it sits there….3 days,…. 3 months…., or 3 years…. and when I return, it should still be there.  

This is not the first theft of property inside of a police precinct in Yonkers.  It HAS happened before, some just choose to ignore/deal with it and move on with their careers.  Merante states that he know of at least 3 other incidents such as this incident occurring. As a matter a fact, in the 3rd Pct, a current high ranking member of the Yonkers Police Department who was a P.O. at the time, personally handed Merante equipment taken from a recently retired officer’s locker. He then apologized and asked Merante to return it saying he didn’t realize it was taken without permission and that he was told the officer didn’t want the equipment anymore. Other current YPD police supervisors were also involved in that incident. 

On August 24, 2020, Merante filed a complaint with the Yonker’s Inspector General’s Office as well as the NYS Inspector General’s Office.  On August 27, 2020, the NYS Inspector General’s Office responded and suggested Merante make a complaint with the NYS Attorney General’s Office which Merante did on August 28, 2020.  “I spoke with Inspector Ralph Rodriguez, who works under the aegis of Yonkers Inspector General Liam McLaughlin, Esq. on September 17, 2020, but have not yet heard back. The Office of Yonkers Inspector General closed the case regarding Merante without ever advising him that the case was “unsubstantiated”.

Merante also advised the entire Yonkers City Council Membership and received not one response. 

Below, please find the letter not filed as a complaint with IAD on April 29, 2020. Merante reported his property missing on February 26, 2020, and no investigation commenced until May. YPD has intentionally or inadvertently maligned the pertinent details in chronological and dated order. YPD also doesn’t address why proper procedure for a burglary complaint was not followed from the time it was reported. No photos, prints, investigation into where the lock on Merante’s locker came from. The takeaway is evident, YPD made their “unfounded” decision before the investigation ever began. 

Detective Captain Justin R. Barbato

Commanding Officer – Internal Affairs Div.

Yonkers N.Y. Police Department

914-377-7330 (Office)

914-377-7335 (Fax)

justin.Barbato@ypd.yonkersny.gov

Letter – A2020-031.pdf

Dear Mr Merante,

Thursday, February 18, 2021, 09:54

YONKERS, NY —  Your complaint, which was filed on 4/29/2020 alleging theft of property from your precinct locker, has been thoroughly investigated by this office. It has been established that there is insufficient evidence to support your claim and the investigation has been subsequently closed.

The Yonkers Police Department is committed to high standards of professionalism, and any misconduct will not be condoned. We recognize your sentiment that this matter was not investigated appropriately, but I can assure you that this office’s dedicated and resolute effort in investigating your complaint was consistent and unwavering from the onset.

On 2/17/2021, this office was forwarded an additional complaint, filed by you, from the Westchester District Attorney’s Office. This complaint is consistent with your original complaint filed on 4/29/2020. I will advise that if you have come upon any new evidence that may shed new light upon this matter please forward it to this office. Absent new evidence, this matter will remain closed.

If you have any questions please contact me.

Detective Captain Justin R. Barbato

Commanding Officer – Internal Affairs Div.

Yonkers N.Y. Police Department

914-377-7330 (Office)

914-377-7335 (Fax)

justin.Barbato@ypd.yonkersny.gov

Letter – A2020-031.pdf

eHeziThe Blue Truth Hezitorial: The Continuing Practice of the Yonkers Police Department Targeting and Maligning Yonkers Cops
By HEZI ARIS

Comments 58

  1. John Mueller stop it. All those female politicians are not flattered by your fake pasted smile and your disguised personality.
    Your only PC by title.

  2. Breaking news from Yonkers PD, someone just found an old bag of snickers in KO’s old locker. Apparently the Yonkers PBA Union leader said he doesn’t recall ever eating candy from the old vending machine in the 4th Precinct.
    Then again Yonkers IAD deemed that case closed too , due to the owner of the vending machines losing revenue.

  3. Just finished the movie the Joker and I thought I was watching Mueller for a while. Then I realized that nope it wasn’t him because the real Joker of the YPD usually chokes himself when others are not looking

  4. Time for the New Westchester D.A. to double check her homework and not to worry about endorsements. The District Attorney has a duty to take a real hard look into Rocco’s complaint. Yonkers PD lacks integrity so long as Mueller and Olson are in place.

  5. clearly the yonkers police department is incapable of policing itself and safeguarding the property and privacy of its officers…what is needed here is an independent investigation outside of police personnel …someone with subpoena power and someone who has no connection whatever to the yonkers pd or any of its employees

    1. Exactly right, because that will ensure all officers get a fair investigation. Currently the likes of Olson and Mueller can target anyone which has been going on. Open up some files and see for yourself how dirty Yonkers PD and the City has been.
      They have ignored this for the past 10 years.

    2. Agreed…. then they could not get away with perjury or setting employees up.
      That would be a big problem for Olson , Mueller and Mike Spano who is in control of the Corporation counsel.

      1. Mueller has already infiltrated Mimi. Heard it here first. He and Keith have much of time on their hands to work on influencing and playing politics. Should be doing their job, crime is skyrocketing, all you will hear is excuses or lies.

  6. Bottom line John Mueller and Keith Olson have no credibility and must go. They have been the problem Yonkers and the Police Department. Sooner or later law suits will blow a hole into the inner workings of the Yonkers Police Department under these two.

    1. The only thing nonsense is Keith Olson the union rat. Who ever heard of a union leader not helping a person like Rocco. Perhaps men like Rocco should have been union leaders.
      The only thing Olson was good at was shaking the snacks out of the vending machine back in the 4th Pct. Now he moved on the cheese snacks with fat Nick Spano

  7. Does not matter what was in his locker. Does it matter what’s in your house , garage or car? You must have casted for dumb and dumber you asshole. It was his locker, locked and personal items in a Police facility period.

  8. I wasted my time teasing this nonsense story. Read entire thing and sounds like a lot of resources and taxpayer money being spent for this guy whining. What was in the locker? Tell me something good at least

    1. His property was stolen. Whether is is a few bucks or more is beyond the issue. Belittling the issue by placing a value on the token items is illogical. What may be pertinent to you does not have to have equal value in everyone’s eye. If you reflect more deeply on the issue you will grasp the concept.

      Kindly, Hezi

  9. At least NYPD has Pat Lynch and real accountability. There is real unity down in NYPD. Lynch didn’t kneel nor sacrifice PBA benefits to make his sister a City Director under the Mayor

  10. Does anyone remember when Olson sent that boot polisher John Donaghy to Dunwoodie to retrieve taped audio equipment of a PBA meeting saying it was official business? Olson and that boot polisher did beat Yonkers IAD which found the evidence in Donaghy’s car at his residence. That is just another bed time story from the office of Keith the fat man Olson

  11. now retired I also had property stolen from my locked locker, never to see it again, some cops cannot be trusted, what I know I can write a book, because if you say something to people in charge you are called a rat, no one cares.

  12. Rocco, so sorry that you went through that. Just proves Yonkers Police Department is corrupt through and through. Just look at all those CLSA and PBA union officials they all are going out with fat pensions just for agreeing to go along with whatever they say against others. Very toxic environment under Mueller. Laughable that he and the fat man Olson are suing the Tribune for what is ALL true with plenty of good statements, complaints, witnesses.

  13. Wondering if Rocco’s stuff was taken by the same dude that stole the late James McCabe’s fundraiser money right out of Keith Olson’s draw, who was so kind as to hold his cash for months.

  14. Rocco was a good cop and never kissed the dirty asses of the PBA and Mueller so his complaints didn’t matter to those scumbags. Way to go Yonkers PD. Maybe Rocco should have given Nick Spano some cash. If Rocco had, perhaps only then would PBA Pres. Olson and PC Mueller wouldn’t have pushed a fake investigation to hurt Rocco.

  15. Yonkers PD has become a low life boys club since Keith Olson filled Eddie’s seat. I remember also pounding on his chest telling new recruits that they can get away with anything.
    What a dirtbag . Guess that’s why a good amount of Yonkers PD members are junkies

  16. The City of Yonkers is a grimy corrupt place where politicians are paid under the table for favors and hire the Mayor’s brother Nick to lobby for their boys like that laughing Joker Mueller. The place is crime infested in and around the waterfront and it sad that Rocco got no justice after others stole everything he had. Now you want to compare that with NYPD. At least NYPD don’t break into precinct lockers of other cops.

    Another word to any lawyers dealing with Yonkers, corporation counsel also works for the Spano’s so they side with dirty union bosses like fats Olson and Mueller. They accuse others, write it and the law department polishes it up.

    Wondering how many they are setting up now?

  17. Where is Council President Mike Khader on all of this? or that other babbling fat womanizer Mike Spano? Are you that dumb? Don’t answer that for him

    1. Keith Olson where was your unity when you were ratting on supervisors for doing absolutely nothing; or when you were attacking other cops; or when you were calling cops and other supervisors rats, or when you were sitting on fat Mike Spano’s desk with your stretchy pants whispering on how bad other commissioners were and the need to make your 🥜 job friend Mueller?
      Yeah, the only time you believe in unity is when a group of you beat Rue, not to mention setting other cops up to be thrown out of your union.
      That’s your unity you sh*t bird union leader

    1. The Yonkers Police Department has a history of corruption from covering up on cases at crime scenes such the recent attempt in the Mayor Mike Spano all night drinking with his communication director Jamal. When radio transmissions said it was a city worker from the Mayor’s office and it was a minor accident .
      Also tried to blame the YFD for another drunken accident, and tried to scam insurance cash attempting to say he was responding to a robbery while on duty…
      Now who believes anything while these guys are in charge…. would you

  18. At least NYPD IAD don’t sit on any union board and they actually investigate what cops say.
    Not like Yonkers IAD who make calls as soon as an interview is over.

  19. Hey Joe Blow sorry to say maybe twenty years ago Yonkers was a place to work but not now. Back then guys like Olson and Mueller weren’t allowed to set up others with false allegations. Mr Twenty years there were no unauthorized investigations, no failed attempts to throw out other union members, no harassment of civilians and their families, no targeting of … Yes other Yonkers CLSA and PBA members. Now don’t hold back and be honest what a SHIT department Yonkers PD has become because of rodents like Olson and Mueller.

    Yes, come to Yonkers and take your chances. Stop by the PBA office and ask how to lie on others. I personally know many other members that don’t feel that way. Taking prisoners keys and searching their premises or committing perjury to get search warrants is why your living in a bubble pal.

  20. I been in the department 20 years I can’t recall one Yonkers cop leaving Yonkers for NYPD . I also have many friends in NYPD they wish they were in Yonkers. They leave to go to the YFD not NYPD . Sorry

    1. The guys I knew who left were before your time. The NYPD was a great job but now I wouldn’t recommend it now to anyone. I wouldn’t recommend law enforcement to anyone for that matter anymore. Let the “progressives” reap the benefits of their “woke” policies. It looks like ME-ME Rocha is bringing to Westchester what the rest of the leftist lunatics brought to NYC-enjoy!
      YFD is a great job that unfortunately had an extremely toxic commissioner. I commend Hezi for his unrelenting exposure of Darcy.

      1. In my years we had more NYPD come to Yonkers then YPD leaving For NYPD. I also agree that getting into law enforcement is not a very good idea .

      2. Worrying about being set up by Olson and John Mueller is worse than anti progressives.

        They put it to paper and then the Spano’s go with for the PBA cash. All trash

  21. Let’s see the cop makes a report and no one in the Yonkers Police Department can figure out who cut off the lock, nor who removed his personal items, nor who placed a new lock on the locker.

    That smells like a cover up from start to finish. No wonder no one goes to the police Internal Affairs Division. Wondering if they told other members who filed complaints the same thing.

  22. Laughable just like Keith Olson didn’t attack and harass other members and that fool nut job John Mueller never held a beer bash in the precinct . Yeah and now the department can’t figure out what happened. Maybe Rocco knows the real story like so many others.

    Do what Mueller and Olson do best, just lie and set up other cops and civilians.

  23. Yonkers is the “City of Hills, where nothing is on the level!” Stories like this are just sad.
    I’m retired from the NYPD and I’ve known a number of guys who either left Yonkers for the NYPD or went back to the NYPD after transferring to Yonkers. They all said the same thing in reference to intolerable nepotism, corruption and brutality. It’s great if you’re in the clique but a serious problem if you’re not. At least in the NYPD the Internal Investigations were generally fair to the innocent and guilty cops alike. I almost transferred to Yonkers PD 30 years ago but got a really uneasy feeling and backed out.

    The Yonkers PD pursuits into the Bronx were a legendary headache for us years ago.

    1. Plenty of nepotism in the NYPD too. Heard endless stories of needing “A Hook” to obtain choice details, placement in easy precincts, etc.
      YPD has an outstanding contract, hard to imagine anybody wanting a transfer to the NYPD.

      1. So true, all the Spano hooks are in the right spots for *** convict Nick. Olson had been paying the convict since 2014 to lobby for what?

        Rocco you should have lied on search warrants, stolen drugs, and main line drugs in full uniform and maybe Olson’s fat lying ass would have got your stuff back.

        Too bad the new District Attorney was misled.

      2. Yeah you need a “hook” in the NYPD to hide like a coward in a do nothing command. But you also don’t need “steam” to avoid being set up for something you didn’t do like YPD.
        PLEASE don’t misunderstand me I have nothing against YPD, my issue is how you guys are treated if you fall out of favor with supervision or your union, it’s unacceptable.
        Your contracts are great but unsustainable.

      3. Outstanding contract? Keith Olson took a knee and gave away changes to 207c. He owns that and he should get a tattoo on his fat ass with cheese chunks around 207c. Just ask some of the dudes forced off or using their own time to prove they were injured while working. More like a nice contract for Olson’s sister who got a nice big city job right after Olson and Quinn lied to the new jacks.

    2. So true, ever since dirty street rats like Keith Olson and John Mueller came into power they have set up other cops on All lies and have systematically targeted other supervisors with false accusations because they are suspected of what Olson and Mueller call Blue Truthers.
      Yonkers police personal must come forward and legally fight back. Remember you are cops and should never stoop to trash like Mueller and Olson.

      The DA dropped the ball. Guess she is new to how things work under the Spano crew.

      1. Happened before your time kid. I can think of three off the top of my head. One is a very close friend of mine, a retired Sgt& a retired Captain and a narcotics detective who ran back to NYPD when he saw what went on.

        1. I saw way more people come to YPD from NYPD . Sorry that’s what I see. Not the other way around. By the way I’m no kid or if you get the reference I’m also a brown frog not a green frog . Patrol my whole career.

          1. I grew up in Yonkers and had a number of friends on that job over the last 3-1/2 decades. Of course more guys Leave for Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk etc. better pay and demonstrably less dangerous. Having said this Yonkers is such a toxic political environment that the feds and AG have all but given up on it. The hope I see for your job are the young guys here that don’t think corruption and brutality is the norm rather than the exception. I had no “hooks” but still actually earned my gold shield and almost pitied the guys/girls who conned their way because they know they didn’t earn it.

    3. Oh yes the NYPD 30 years ago, that was an NYPD with real integrity: The notorious dirty 30 cops, Serpico, the mafia linked detectives who framed suspects, protected mobsters from one family who ratted out their competition. Abner Louima who had a plunger shoved up his rectum. And how’s your pension.

      1. 30-40,000 cops we had our lunatics but they were caught. I didn’t fear being set up by Internal Affairs or supervision like you.
        You forgot the 075-watch the documentary.
        I am doing very well with my 3/4 pension and variable supplement and retirement LE jobs that I got from my experience and contacts.

      2. Yeah, no different than Yonkers who search without warrants, overdose in uniform, assault others, and then write a Hollywood script. Ask that fat boy Olson about searching.

  24. The District Attorney’s Office should have done their own independent investigation in dealing with Mueller and Olson. Boy she needs to be brought up to speed as to what has been going on in the Yonkers PD with internal complaints that all have the same brand.

  25. The Yonkers Police Department is a corrupt Department. The personnel in IAD are hand picked by the Spano’s and are loyal to Nick, and Mike.
    Any complaints made are immediately pipeline by PBA and CLSA Union officials to Mueller and Olson. Then they run over to the corrupt Corporation Counsel and assemble a nice legal story or a plan to make it appear that the employee is the issue.
    Rocco was an honest cop who just told it like it was and didn’t kiss fat Keith Olson’s or John Mueller ass.
    This story smells of a complete cover up. It is not possible that no one knows how one lock was removed, contents were no doubt stolen and another lock put on. Pure bullshit and lies by the Yonkers Police Department under that partying beer bashing Johnny the Joker Mueller.
    Maybe Rocco should have went to Olson . The fat man usually creates his own investigations with his friend John Mueller.

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