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Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police 
              and Their Irish Heritage
This is a photo of a now defunct Franklin Motor Car Company from the first decade of 1900. Most will agree on two possabilities that these transport vehicles were known as paddy wagons. One is the large number of policemen who were of Irish descent and the second was because so many of it's customers were of Irish descent. Personally I believe it's a combination of the two. These specialized trucks were also called Black Marias (pronounced "mariahs"), piewagons, or Mother's Hearts. Mother's Hearts, because, tongue-in-cheek, it was said there was always "room for one more".

As a man of Irish descent I enjoyedputting this page together. My Grandmother came to America when she was only seventeen years old. I recall the family get togethers with Irish music always in the background.  When I became a Policeman  in the mid 80's  many of the Irish traditions were still a daily part of the police community. Over the past twenty years they seemed to have dwindled away as the new mindset of policing has taken a front. Fortunately some of the traditions will always be with us.
PIPES and DRUMS and so much more have been a part of the Police community since we began policing in America. Today they are mostly seen at Police funerals or formal ceremonies. They represent several historical monuments  of Irishman in the beginning of police departments across America. American cities are where this was most noticeable Irish were,  however it was not restricted to just cities.  Where I work in Foxboro Mass. the first police Chief was Irish so the Irish employees at a local hat factory could be better dealt with when needed.
Click tab below to visit "D.C. Police Pipes and Drums" Web site
Maurice J. Cullinane served as the Police Chief for the Washington D.C. Police from December 1974 thru January 1978. He is best known for the photo below and for becoming one of the agencies Chief of Police
Pulitzer-prize-winning photograph taken in 1957 by William Beall of MPD Officer Maurice J. Cullinane. He later served as the MPDC Police Chief from Dec. 1974  to Jan. 1978
Today many people think the Irish  just walked into great jobs and  had everything handed to them. Years ago there were two types of Irish. Those born here known as the American Irish and  those who came to America from Ireland known simply as The Irish. Those coming from across the pond were not always wanted here. Signs in side store windows with IRISH NEED NOT APPLY  would not be uncommon.  
Having said that the VOTE was always an important part of a community and so when a politician needed votes he might provide jobs for the votes within the municipalities budget. This  could include Police Departments and fire departments among other city/town positions with political influence.  If
Below is an example of how the media would show their  negative view of the Irish and of the Irish Police
Washington D.C. Police in the early 1920's
The Cullinane surname is  an  Anglicization  of the Irish Gaelic            "O' Cuilleannain".
Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Honor Guard flanked by the D.C. Police Pipes and Drums
Sgt Cahil is shown here inspecting cadtes at the Police Academy. Sgt Cahil was described to me as being an old school cop who didn't have a mean bone in his body.
Hey I am from Massachusetts, so....
I had a memorable time here a few years ago. As I sat here with brothers I heard from the distance the sound of Ireland. As time passed it got closer and closer. The next thing I know there was aPolice  Pipe and Drums Unit proudly playing as they presented themselves to the crowd.
BlackSheep Productions 2009
  DC Police Pipes and Drums

      'In Onoraigh Ar Marbh'

      "We Honor Our Fallen"

With the folks of Ireland being the first large group of immigrants to enter the new world of policing it was on natural that the pipes and drums should become a police tradition. One hundred and fifty years after the birth of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police the tradition is still going strong...
Although all of the patches below are not shown yet I have all from 2000 thru 2016
              Who was Saint Patrick 
  What is the History of St. Patrick's Day?
Story by Seth Andrea McCoy:  A brief history of the holiday includes paganism, Christianity and 'snakes'. 
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you! Today is the day that the Irish wait for every year – and the day that the non-Irish become Irish for 24 hours.

Or, if you’re like me with an Irish last name but hardly any Irish in you, it’s the day you politely tell people that you aren’t wicked excited that it’s St. Patrick’s Day. No offense to those of you who are Irish through and through, or wish you were Irish on March 17.

So what is St. Patrick’s Day all about anyway and why do we celebrate it? Well, according to various sources on the internet, St. Patrick was born in Wales around AD 385. Before becoming St. Patrick he answered to the name Maewyn and, until turning 16, he identified himself as a pagan (no real shocker there, as most people back in those days were pagan). It wasn’t until he was kidnapped by Irish marauders and held as a slave for six years that he turned to God.

After his escape from slavery he went to Gaul and studied in the monastery for 12 years. It was during this time that he came to believe that he must convert pagans to Christianity. For 30 years he traveled through Ireland establishing monasteries and successfully converting pagans to Christianity before dying on March 17 in AD 461.

As I’ve mentioned before, many of our current holidays have their origins in paganism. St. Patrick’s Day is no different, albeit this holiday came about because a former pagan turned to Christianity and in turn worked to convert the people of Ireland to the Church.

There is much folklore about St. Patrick and what he did as he traveled around Ireland converting the pagans. One of these is that he drove the snakes from Ireland. That should not be taken literally, for “snakes” refers to the pagans that he converted to Christianity. Snakes, for those who may not be aware, are symbolic for pagans and if you see someone wearing a snake pin or other piece of snake jewelry on March 17 chances are they are pagan.  

He also used the three-leaved clover in his travels as a tool to teach the Irish about the Trinity. Each of the three clover leaves, he would explain, represented the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock was adopted as a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day as a result. Of course there are other symbols of this day including the leprechaun and wearing green, for example.

And did you know that up until 1737, St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t celebrated in the United States? That is until our fair city held the first public celebration of St. Patrick. Yup, that’s right, Boston brought St. Patrick’s Day to America. Of course these days most every major city – and some smaller ones – celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with parades and/or other events.

So on this St. Patrick’s Day (and during the weekend festivities) when you’re out and about wearing your “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirt and drinking green beer may the luck of the Irish be with you. Please remember to be safe out there and make sure that if you’re drinking you have a designated driver to get you home. 
 About this column: Seth Andrea McCoy is a West Roxbury resident who hosts 'All About Boston' on BNN, is a vegan, and has plenty of opinions to offer.
National night out, 2011
M.P.D.'s Irish Police
Contact Us
Information, stories and photographs are much appreciated
1948's Officer Patrick O'Sullivan
Photo provided by the M.P.D.
Tiarna linn go tú ag féachaint síos ar do póilíní le bhfabhar
Lord we ask that you look down on your police with favor
Then and now..
The sacrifice...
Days gone by..
The Irish Fiddle
Pipers Jeff Maslona and Chris Ritchie at St. Patricks in NW helping out a brother officer at his wedding...
M.P.D. Officer William Tinsley and Bullet
William Tinsley was born in 1936 in the formerly Irish neighborhood known as Swampoodle, which was between G and K Streets, to either side of North Capital. As a boy Tinsley shined the shoes of servicemen arriving at Union Station during World War II.

Tinsley’s fondest memories of his career in the Metropolitan Police are those of the dog he trained and patrolled with, and to this day he has a picture of Bullet –– who once saved his life from hatchet-wielding burglar –– in his living room.
For a number of years Officer Tinsley and Bullet toured Washington, appearing at recreation centers all over the city, at half-time in RFK Stadium, and on the Maury Povich television show, to demonstrate Bullet’s training, but also his gentle character, to counter public misperception of the nature of police dogs. Wherever they went, Tinley readily admits, Bullet was the star of the show.
Officer Tinsley ended his career in Washington in charge of the tactical division of the 2nd District. In 1980, at age 44, he became animal control officer in the Stafford County Sheriff’s Department, from which he has now retired, after a total of 42 years in law enforcement.