January 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013 - Just a thought ...


March 29 - "It's Friday but Sunday's comin'!" Those of us who claim Christianity as our faith understand this little, concise statement to be the difference between empty rituals or a life full of power and real hope. The empty grave means we are either the victims of a vicious lie or the recipients of the greatest gift this world has ever known. However you express your personal faith know that this weekend is what sets you apart from everyone and everything else. You may think that your faith is weak and insignificant in this vast greatness of human pain and suffering but always remember that the blackest of darkness can never extinguish the smallest of lights. Happy Easter!


March 26 - I'm very proud of you, my Father-in-law, Vito Colucci and the example you've set for others to never give up on your dream! Doing the right thing wasn't always easy when you were on the job in our hometown but it was always right. Thank you also for believing in me - your support has been a great source of strength.


March 18 -



March 12, 2013 - Here is something you can absolutely count on for the rest of your life: Change. It's inevitable and unavoidable. There's nothing you can do to stop it. Seasons change, people change, times change, feelings change; even political and religious views change. We need to be anchored to something that will keep us steady through the transitions. We need things like faith, values, honor, integrity, commitment and purpose. If you don't stand for something you will eventually fall for anything.


March 8 -


March 5 - The road between forgiveness and trust is long and slow. Let that soak in for a minute...We all need forgiveness and we will all have the chance to forgive. There are no exceptions here. You can help keep your family life healthy by being quick to forgive and quick to say I'm sorry. And don't ever stop making deposits into your trust-account. Keep your relationship healthy!


February 18 - You are preparing a legacy, good or bad, each and every day. What you pass down is entirely up to you - not your department or coworkers; not the administration, society or government either. Regardless of what's happening at your department or how you've been treated by the administration, the best legacies are based in values, faith, honor and truth. Legacies based on fads, programs, policies, the shifting winds of cultural relevance and political agendas aren't worth leaving. Are you going to leave a legacy worth leaving?


February 14 - Remember that First Due Family is here to help your marriage go the distance!

February 9 - According to the predictions of some experts who are monitoring the social and psychological climate in our nation it only gets worse from here. Our new reality is more senseless shootings, more dysfunction, more emotional breakdowns, more suicides, more terror, and more fear. The families of Police Officers and Firefighters carry an enormous amount of stress each time their loved one goes off to work because it's a dangerous job in an increasingly more dangerous world. Times are changing but the Divine call has not. It's important to understand that your personal spiritual wellness is key to surviving the fire grounds in your life. The Old Testament Book, Daniel, in The Holy Bible says this in Chapter 11, verse 32: "...but the people that do know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits for God."


January 25 - I was privileged to attend a seminar recently that was both disturbing and hopeful.  As I sat in a packed auditorium of Police and Fire professionals along with various Clergy and Chaplains, I was saddened to learn that last year in the U.S. a Police Officer was lost to suicide every 17 to 21 hours.  That's one per day every day...and it's just not acceptable.  The Fire Service realizes that they have an issue with this as well and are addressing it.  "First Due Family" (FDF) was created to help promote healthy life-cycles in the Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement communities.  Spiritual wellness is not a religious issue but a vital part of enjoying a long and healthy career of service and honor.  FDF will continue to be a faith-based resource for you and your loved ones.  We will do all that we can to encourage agencies to adopt a spiritual/emotional wellness program to incorporate into the Police, Fire and EMS cultures.  Through training, education and awareness we can shine a beacon of light into the darkness for you to find your way.  You are not alone.  This Chaplain is praying for you - always.


January 14 - Some of you know my Father-in-law, Vito Colucci. Many of you hear me talk about him often. For those who have expressed an interest in his new book, ROGUE TOWN, below is a review he recently received. I'd like to recommend this raw and honest book on crime and corruption. It's available on Amazon.


Not all that long ago, Stamford had a reputation no city would want.

It was known nationwide for corruption.

Scandals that broke in 1974 and continued for a decade revealed that Stamford was virtually run by the Genovese and Gambino crime families.

Bribery, embezzlement, nepotism and other serious wrongdoings were discovered in eight city departments, and crept up into state government.

Out of Stamford police headquarters on Bedford Street, a lieutenant operated the biggest drug ring in southern Connecticut.

The corruption had been festering in Stamford for a generation, and by 1974 it was so blatant that city officials met weekly with mobsters to decide how city business would be conducted, and police officers asked openly during roll call who would like to fly to Las Vegas on gambling junkets sponsored by the city's biggest racketeer.

By 1974, though, honest city employees had had enough. Despite threats to their livelihoods and sometimes their lives, they began to feed information to a Stamford Advocate reporter named Anthony Dolan, who exposed the crooked officials in the newspaper.

In the police department, where the corruption was most rampant, a young officer in the narcotics squad named Vito Colucci Jr. and his partner, Joseph Ligi, were developing information of their own. They learned that two of their supervisors, Lt. Larry Hogan and Sgt. Duke Morris, had runners bringing big shipments of heroin and other drugs from New York to an apartment in St. John's Towers in downtown Stamford.

There, Hogan and Morris, and sometimes other police officers, bagged the drugs and prepared them for distribution in Fairfield County. As part of his official police duties, Hogan, head of the narcotics squad, often visited Stamford schools to talk to children about the dangers of drugs, the very drugs he brought into the city and sold at enormous profit to himself.

It was a remarkable time in Stamford history. Now Colucci has documented it in a book, "Rogue Town," written with Dennis N. Griffin using Dolan's stories obtained from Advocate archives.

Colucci writes how Morris almost killed him as he sat in his car waiting to pull out of a driveway. Morris backed off because Colucci's 4-year-old daughter was in the seat beside him. In another instance, a dirty cop tried to lure Colucci to a restaurant in Port Chester, N.Y., where Hogan planned to kidnap and presumably kill him.

At one point, Colucci pretended to quit the police department so he could go undercover and wear a wire for the FBI. His cover was blown by the sister of a mobster who worked in the city payroll department and revealed that Colucci was getting his checks as usual.

Colucci, who quit the department in 1978 and became a private investigator, said he did not write the book for revenge.

"I wanted to put out the full story of what went on in Stamford, how it started, how it ended, to show that it can happen any place," Colucci said. "Put a certain kind of person in power and it will, again and again. Then people have to find a way to go up against powerful figures."

A police chief named Joseph Kinsella created an atmosphere that allowed corruption to take hold, Colucci said. Kinsella looked the other way when two officers were caught burglarizing homes in the Ridges, and when an officer in uniform high on cocaine was found passed out behind the wheel of his squad car.

"Guys were damaging squad cars because they were driving drunk. Kinsella just told them to be careful. He allowed it," Colucci said. "And he kept it secret."

So conditions were right when mobsters stepped in, seeking to bribe officers to look the other way while they ran their lucrative drug, gambling, loansharking and extortion rings.

"It made most cops sick to their stomach. They hated to go to work," Colucci said. "But they did. They caught bank robbers, they got crooks off the streets. They did their jobs under horrible working conditions."

And they called Dolan at The Advocate. So did city workers in the building department, the personnel department, the parks department and elsewhere who knew about promotions given as favors, contracts awarded without bids, money disappearing from city accounts and other betrayals of the public trust.

In a forward he wrote for "Rogue Town," Dolan explained how the honest police officers and city workers cleaned up not only Stamford but the nation. They gave Dolan information that helped him write 75 stories about crooked officials and organized crime figures. In 1978 Dolan, whose life was threatened more than once, was awarded the Pulitzer prize for investigative journalism.

Dolan ended up at the White House, working as chief speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. There Dolan would discuss what he'd learned in Stamford about organized crime and government corruption. It was happening at the federal level, too, and it made Reagan angry, Dolan wrote.

Dolan presented a five-point plan for attacking organized crime that became the blueprint for Reagan's crackdown of the 1980s. As a result, the number of prosecutions quadrupled. That and other measures eventually broke the American mob.

In "Rogue Town" Dolan wrote that Reagan once said something that summed up what happened in the Stamford scandal, which ended with the resignation or firing of 15 officials. Several more were indicted and convicted. Reagan's words were, "Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid."

Colucci said that's why he dedicated "Rogue Town" to "every good cop who wore a badge in that era."

Organized crime survives on fear and intimidation, Colucci said, and it ends only when honest people find the courage to say to the corrupt, "I'll take my stand. Come and get me."

Read more: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/Angela-Carella-When-Stamford-went-rogue-4189610.php#ixzz2Hv9YN3nz