A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 17, 2005
Battle of the Badges (Fire vs. Police)
The "battle of the badges" occurs when the fire department fights with the police department, usually on rescue situations. The rivalry has sometimes been fierce. After the 9-11 tragedy, hearings were held to eliminate the "battle of the badges," but the "battles" still occur.

(Google Groups)
DRUNK FDNY FIREFIGHTERS START BRAWL
Firefighters In Drunken Brawl By HENRI E. CAUVIN Daily News Staff Writer
The Battle of the Badges turned ugly last night when a bunch of drunken ...
alt.med.ems - Jun 5 1998, 7:45 pm by FDNYLIES - 2 messages - 1 author

(Google Groups)
Battle of The Badges in NYC
This happened yesterday as numerous rescue units responded to a scaffolding accident on the West Side of Manhattan on Tuesday, Oct.12.. ...
alt.law-enforcement - Oct 14 1999, 7:40 pm by Micbloo - 1 message - 1 author

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/local/story/99852p-90317c.html
A new Battle of the Badges erupted yesterday when firefighters charged that an FDNY diver nearly drowned after his breathing mask was knocked off by a heavy rope thrown by arrogant cops.
Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta accused cops of causing a "dangerous situation" as Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly promised a full probe.

The second badge battle in less than two weeks unfolded Wednesday night, as firefighters were looking for a drowning victim in Newtown Creek, off Queens.
(...)
Originally published on July 11, 2003

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/20/opinion/20THU1.html?%20ex=1400385600&en=e8f811a8b65eece5&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND
Continuing Lessons of 9/11
Published: May 20, 2004
(...)
The continuing power of the police and firehouse cultures to head off any reform that seems threatening was still clear in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's insistence before the commission that there was no "battle of the badges," only isolated episodes in the lower ranks. If that was all there was to the problem, Mr. Bloomberg would certainly have solved it by now. He would also have undoubtedly produced a plan for future coordination that looked more specific than the vague statement of good intentions he unveiled this month. And even that minimal reform would not have waited until the 9/11 commission was virtually on the city's doorstep.

http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/20040524/200/989
Revisiting 9/11, Reworking 911
by Joshua Brustein
May 24, 2004
(...)
The 'Battle of the Badges' — the rivalry between New York City's Fire and Police Departments — has existed for decades.

The heads of the departments have tried to explain the rift as nothing more than isolated conflicts between individual "knuckleheads" at emergency scenes. The occasional fistfight, they insist, does not indicate a larger dispute between the agencies themselves.

But others concede that a power struggle between the fire and police departments has hampered emergency operations in the past. The police department's Emergency Services Unit, which carries out functions that in other cities would be handled by the fire department, has increasingly encroached on the fire's department's ground.

http://www.ufanyc.org/news_stories/nynewsday/nynd_07_23_04.html
July 23, 2004
Police, fire weren't ready to cooperate
By GLENN THRUSH AND WILLIAM MURPHY
STAFF WRITERS

The city's police and fire rescue workers were not fully prepared to coordinate their work when terrorists struck the World Trade Center, the national Sept. 11 commission said yesterday in its final report.

Then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had issued a directive in July 2001 to eliminate potential conflicts among emergency responders and put his Office of Emergency Management in charge of any emergency that would require multiple agencies to respond.

"Nevertheless, the FDNY and NYPD each considered itself operationally autonomous," the report said.

"As of September 11, they were not prepared to comprehensively coordinate their efforts in responding to a major incident. The OEM had not overcome this problem," the report said.

Giuliani created the OEM in 1996, in part because of a series of embarrassing incidents where firefighters and police officers clashed at emergency scenes over who was in charge.

Such disputes - locally known as a "battle of the badges" - have occurred for decades, and still occur. The lack of cooperation on Sept. 11 extended to top police and fire commanders, the commission said.

http://www.ufalocal94.org/news_stories/nynewsday/nynd_05_09_05.html
May 9, 2005
Bravest are set to support chief
But firefighters' presence at hearing is not expected to alter decision giving police control at emergencies
By WILLIAM MURPHY
STAFF WRITER

Hundreds of firefighters in full dress uniform are expected to pack City Hall and an overflow space today to support their chief's contention that the Fire Department should have joint command at many of the city's worst emergencies.

It's powerful symbolism, but by most accounts, their show of force will be little more than that. The mayor's decision to give the Police Department sole command at virtually all emergency scenes has already been made by executive order.

Today's hearing, at which Chief of Department Peter Hayden will testify, is expected to have little impact on the mayor's position. It's the latest public disagreement in an ongoing battle of the badges, in which the Police and Fire departments jockey for control at emergency scenes - an unrest with added urgency since Sept. 11, 2001, a day Hayden believes was made worse by lack of coordination.

http://www.slantpoint.com/mt-arx/2005/05/on_the_battle_o.php
On the Battle of the Badges
Mark Green said on NY1's Road to City Hall that he would have fired FDNY Chief of Department Peter Hayden for publicly rebuking Bloomberg over his choice of the NYPD to head hazardous material emergencies in the city.

On the same show, Koch said Hayden should have not said what he said, and should have taken up the issue privately. D'Amato added the 9/11 factor played a role in Hayden's passion over the issue. Hayden was a commander of operations during 9/11.

But Green. He flat out said he'd fire Hayden for simply for speaking up. One of the top FDNY guys? Yeah, he is appointed by the mayor, but wow. And this guy was almost mayor and wants to be NY's Attorney General. Needless to say, Bloomberg today said his decision stands and that anyone who disagrees has no place in his administration. Strong, but not knee-jerk. Green is simply too irrational to be in charge of anything.

Blogroll Me! | Posted on May 11, 2005 02:20 PM

21 September 1988, Newsday, "2 Local Heroes Remember" by Denis Hamill, pg. 6:
"It just isn't the same job anymore," Gorman said. "How can you have a police commissioner sit around and talk about his fire commissioner, a colleague, as having gotten his job in a multiple choice test? How can a mayor call the fire commissioner on the carpet for saying his men should answer certain emergencies but not ask {Benjamin} Ward to apologize to {Joseph} Bruno for saying something as disgraceful as that?. Morale stinks. This battle of the badges is disgusting. All of us, cops and firefighters, are out there putting our lives on the line every day. We always used to have cops drop in for meals in the firehouse. Now today you have these young cops ticketing firefighter's cars in front of the firehouse. This causes anger and resentment. It creates an atmosphere where we're all at war with each other instead of danger."

Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Wednesday, August 17, 2005 • Permalink