Patrick J Tracy (1856-1926) of New York, Police Chief



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1923 Long Beach Police department.jpg




In the 1880 Census, he is working as a census taker.


In 1885, he is a patrolman of the Twelfth Precinct


In 1903, he was promoted from sergeant to captain of the Flushing avenue station. He served as captain in a number of precincts. From 1905 to 1906, he was Captain of the Elizabeth Police Station during the Tong Wars. In 1906 he was captain of the Jamaica 278th Precinct and Long Island City and in 1908 he was back in Jamaica.


In September 1908, there was a newspaper article where he complained about the modern woman.


In October 1908 there was an unfounded allegation of graft and he was returned to duty in January 1909 to the  Flushing avenue station. In 1910 he was captain of the 176th Precinct. In 1911 he moved from the Bridge precinct to the 163d Precinct Bushwick avenue Brooklyn station. In 1912 he was at the Stagg, street station and 81st Precinct West Brighton station, Staten Island until 1915.


In December 1915, he retired on half pay with a pension of $1,375 a year.


In 1918, he became Police Chief of the small Long Beach Police Department of only three officers. By 1922 he had organised the force, with to a staff of officers and men including a captain, four sergeants, and 20 patrolmen. In 1922, he addressed morality issues of the Long Beach bathers, including swim suits and that the opposite sex must keep at least 6 inches apart and had his patrolmen walk the beach with tape measures to enforce that rule. There was also a plan to stop aviators beach hoping by shooting at their tail fins.




Roberta Fiore, Carole Shahda Geraci, Dave Roochvarg (2010) Long Beach. Arcadia Publishing, NY.


Scott D. Seligman (2016) Tong Wars: The Untold Story of Vice, Money, and Murder in New York's Chinatown. Viking - Penguin Random House LLC, NY.




Family Records


1880 Census – Brooklyn, Kings, New York

Patrick Tracy    Self                  M         25        Brooklyn New York, parents born Ireland, census taker

Susan Tracy     Wife                 F          22        Brooklyn New York, parents born Ireland,

Minnie Tracy Daughter             F          1          Brooklyn New York,


1900 Census –  Borough of Brooklyn, Election District 5, Kings, New York

Patrick Tracy                Head                M         44        b. Sep 1856 New York, parents born Ireland, Policeman

Susan Tracy                 Wife                 F          43        b. Nov 1857 New York, parents born Ireland, 22 years married, 8 children 3 alive

Thomas Tracy Son                  M         17        b. Mar 1883 New York

Susan Tracy                 Daughter          F          15        b. July 1885 New York

Margaret Tracy            Daughter          F          14        b. Aug 1886 New York


1910 Census - Brooklyn Ward 24, Kings, New York

Patrick J Tracy             Head                M         54        New York, , parents born Ireland, Captain Police Department

Susan S Tracy Wife                 F          48        New York, married 31 years, 8 children 2 alive, parents born Ireland,

Thomas F Tracy           Son                  M         26        New York, Chain Mana State Govt

Anna B Devine             Servant             F          18        New York


1920 Census – Brooklyn Assembly District 5, Kings, New York

Patrick J Tracy             Head                            M         65        New York, parents born Ireland, Police Chief

Susan S Tracy Wife                             F          61        New York, parents born Ireland,

Thomas F Tracy           Son                              M         36        New York, Civil Engineer

Christina M Tracy         Daughter-in-law            F          28        New York


28 Oct 1925 The Brooklyn Daily eagle

Mrs. Patrick .T. Tracy Dies.

Mrs. Patrick J. Tracy, wife of the former police chief of Long Beach, died nt her home. 165 Decalur St., Monday, Mrs. Tracy is survived by her husband, who served many year's In the Now York Police Department before coming to Long Beach; a son. Thomas F., a daughter, Mrs. Margaret Miller and a sister. A mass of requiem was said this morning in Our Lady of Victory R. C: Church, and interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery.    


23 Jan 1926 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (NY)

P. J. Tracy Dies;

Ex-Police Chief Patrick J. Tracy, former police chief of Long Beach, died today at his home, 155 Decatur st. He was a police captain In Brooklyn before going to Long Beach and served in various stations in Brooklyn, Flushing old Jamaica. At one time he was captain of the Elizabeth Street Station. Manhattan, which Includes Chinatown in its precinct, but was transferred in.1906 to Jamaica, his wife, Mrs. Susan Tracy, died in October. 1025. He is survived by a son Thomas F. Tracy; a daughter. Mrs. Margaret Miller and a sister, Mrs. William Carroll. Funeral services will be held on Monday morning at 9.30 o'clock with requiem mass at Our Lady of Victory R. C. Church, with interment in Holy Cross Cemetery.  


1930 Census - Decatin Street, Brooklyn (Districts 0501-0750), Kings, New York

Thomas F Tracy           Head                M         46        New York, parents born New York, civil engineer general practice

Christine M Tracy         Wife                 F          38        New York, parents born New York, married 13 years

John F Voke                Cousin M         29        New York, Father born NY mother born Germany, clerk telephone


1940 Census - Assembly District 17, Brooklyn, Kings, New York

Thomas F Tracey         Head    M         56        New York, civil engineer

Christine Tracey           Wife     F          48        New York

John Volk                     Cousin M         39        New York, clerk telephone Co


Thomas F. Tracy, 59, born 1884, (s. of Patrick & Susan Fullerton) died 11 Feb 1943 Queens New York, Spouse's Name: Christina



Newspaper References


9 Oct 1885 The Brooklyn Union

Owen M'lnerney In Court.

Fined One Dollar for Disorderly Conduct and Five Dollars for Resisting an Officer.

Owen Mclnerney, of Troy avenue and Bergen street, was before Justice Kenna on two charges—one of disorderly conduct and the other of resisting arrest. The complainant was Patrolman Patrick J. Tracy, of the Twelfth Precinct. It seems that on September 12 Mclnerney was constructing a building on the corner of Troy avenue and Bergen street, and that on the date mentioned he went to the corner for a keg of nails, and was discovered by Officer Tracy to be acting disorderly. The officer cautioned him to behave himself, and when he returned with the nails he applied vile epithets to him ; hard words ensued and Mclnerney struck the officer, and was clubbed in return and arrested.

James O'Neil, for the defense, proved a very comical witness. The officer's counsel asked him to tell what he knew of the case.

"I'll tell the truth, yer Honor, that's what I will," be volunteered, and proceeded;

"The first thing 1 saw I heard—" great laughter interrupted the witness—"Mclnerney mussing with the policeman; he hit him here [the witness putting his fist against bis neck], not in my neck, but in Tracy's neck, and then he was tuk in,"

When the defendant was put ou the stand there was more laughter.

"Were you ever convicted of an offense ?" asked counsel.

"No, sir."

"Sure ?"

"Ye,, sir."

"Were you not convicted for assaulting a colored boy and fined $30."

"I was, and that was the only time."

"Sure ?"

"Yes, sir."

"Now, were you not oonvloted for allowing a man to strike your wife when you stood beside her ?"

"Yes, but I never was convicted of anything I was ashamed of,"

"And you were once convicted of fighting in the street ?"

"I was, sir."

The magistrate asked the witness if he saw wounds on the officer after he reached the station-house. The defendant replied ;

'•No, sir; but I would have baen proud to have seen them."

Mclnerny was found guilty on both counts. Fined $1 for disorderly conduct and $6 for resisting tbe officer.


20 Dec 1903 New York Press

Police Commissioner Greene yesterday appointed Sergeant Patrick J. Tracy of the Flushing avenue station a captain and placed him in command of the bridge. 


18 Feb 1906 The sun (NY)

Capt. Patrick J. Tracy of the Elizabeth street station house was deposed as czar of Chinatown and sent to Jamaica. L. I.


14 April 1906 New York Daily Tribune Transfers...

Patrick J. Tracy, from Jamaica to Long island City 


13 Sept 1908 The Brooklyn Daily eagle

Capt, Tracy Says Women Have Too Much Power Jamaica Police Officer Blames Them for Many Present-Day Troubles. ...At that moment in came two women, talking excitedly, and complaining that the husband of one of them treated one son better than the younger brother. It was not a case for the police to settle, and they were told so plainly...     


17 Oct 1908 Greenpoint Daily Star (Brooklyn NY)

Jamaica Moving Picture Showman Tells of $25 Payments to Tillman, Who Said Money Was for the Captain. As a result of an investigation of the License Bureau by the Commissioners of Accounts, Arthur C. Tillman, a plain clothes man attached to the Jamaica police station, has been arrested for perjury, and Police Captain Patrick J. Tracy, formerly of the Hunter's Point station and Lately in charge of the Jamaica station, has been suspended from duty. 


25 Oct 1908 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (NY)

Tracy is Transferred. Suspended Captain of Jamaica Station Goes on Duty With Hansen. t was learned at, Police Headquarters In Manhattan last night that Police Commissioner Bingham has issued an order transferring Captain Patrick J. Tracy under suspension as captain of the Jamaica, L. I. station, to duty In the office of Third Deputy Police Commissioner Hansen. Following the recent exposure of alleged graft in the license bureau, Captain Tracey was suspended. The exact meaning of the transfer was not explained at Police Headquarters last night. 


The Sun., November 14, 1908

Says He Collected Graft Wardman Tinman Testified Against Police Captain Tracy Capt Patrick J Tracy of the Jamaica station was put on trial at Police Head quarters yesterday on the charge of accepting money from the proprietors of moving picture shows The charge was I based on the testimony of Arthur C Tillman one of his plain clothes men who was tried on A similar charge a month ago Tillman first denied the Charge under oath and then made a confession implicating his commander He has since been indicted for perjury Francis Edwards proprietor of a moving picture show at 531 Fulton street I Jamaica testified that for five months I he had been paying the police He said Tillman was the man who collected and that the money either $10 or 15 a week I was put In an envelope and addressed to the captain He bad never done business with Capt Tracy but understood tbe money was meant for him Tillman said he bad been sent to E was place by Capt Tracy but admitted that he had never been told to collect. Edwards handed him an envelope addressed to the captain and just put it on a desk In the captains office. Only once was the captain in the office when this happened and then no word passed between them Tillman slipping the envelope under the blotter and saying nothing Tillman admitted that a clerk and several plain clothes men worked in the captains office The captain had never spoken to him about collections ho ad mitted and be couldn’t swear that the money was meant for him When the prosecution’s case was finished George W Morgan Capt Tracys lawyer moved t dismiss the charge on the ground that absolutely no case had been made out He branded Tillman man as a self confessed perjurer and said his testimony was unworthy of belief Commissioner Hanson denied the motion to dismiss and adjourned the trial until Monday when Capt Tracy will take the stand In his own behalf     


1 January 1909 New-York tribune

The Sun  Capt. Patrick J. Tracy of the Jamaica station, who was acquitted in the trial room of unlawfully accepting money from moving picture show people and who since has been under suspension, was restored yesterday to duty and assigned to command the Flushing avenue station.


January 04, 1909 The Sun

Captain Tracy Restored To Duty  Captain Patrick J. Tracy, of the Jamaica Police  station, who was suspended from duty when charges of taking money from moving picture show places were made against him, has been exonerated and restored to duty by Police Commissioner Bingham. He will be placed in command of the Flushing avenue station Brooklyn.  


29 June 1910 The Brooklyn Daily eagle

Captain Patrick J. Tracy of the Flushing police station was also called before the trial commissioner this morning, haying three charges against him, all of which wore made by Inspector Kelly. The captain was charged with ordering one of his lieutenants, out on patrol In citizen's clothes; in spite of the fact that this order can only be Issued by the police commissioners. The second charge was for altering an entry in the station house blotter, while the list was that of falling to inspect, the station house as required and of reporting same on the blotter. Captain Tracy pleaded not guilty to all charges, and .after the case had been heard the decision was reserved. 


7 June 1911 New York Herald

Captain Patrick J. Tracy from the bridge precinct C to the Bushwick avenue, Brooklyn, station. 


18 May 1912 The Daily Standad Union (Brooklyn)

Police Parade...Company E. Capt. Patrick J Tracy  163d Precinct commanding... 


17 Sep 1912 The Sun (NY)

Transfers...Capt Patrick J. Tracy, formerly of the Stagg, street station, goes to the West Brighton station. Staten Island.


4 Dec 1915 Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Captain Patrick J. Tracy, a member of the old Brooklyn force, who has been doing duty at West Brighton. S. I., and Captain Stephen McDcrmott, who has been attached to headquarters, were retired on half pay. 

4 Dec 1915 The Sun (NY)

Commissioner Woods simultaneously announced yesterday the retirement of Capts. Stephen McDermott and Patrick J. Tracy with pensions of $1,375 a year. McDermott was attached to Police Headquarters and Tracy was in command of the West Brighton. Staten Island, station. 


26 Sep 1922 The Daily Review (Long Island NY)

Long Beach In Praise Greets Chief. Tracy Residents Commend Public Service of Police Department Head at End of Four Years—Was Police Captain in New York and Strict Disciplinarian Long, Beach,

Sept. 27.—Residents here are shouting the praises of Patrick J. Tracy, chief of the Long Beach police force. Chief Tracy la ending four years of service at the head of the local department Sunday. He begins his fifth year with his public service commended by Mayor Reynolds and the citizens generally. They credit Tracy with promoting efficiency In the personnel of his force through discipline and cooperative interest in human welfare. Tracy took up the duties us head of the local department with the benefits of his experience in the New York police, and he left a captaincy in the, city to assume the duties here. Tracy came to, the local job with an understanding that he was to be boss in handling the police business in Long Beach. He has brought much efficiency to the service through this free hand policy. The police force, since Tracy took command has been developed from three officers to a staff of officers and men to include a captain, four sergeants, and 20 patrolmen. The men work under a three platoon system and the roster is credited with being one of the best drilled and best disciplined outfits in this section. Chief Tracy's personal popularity is city-wide in Long Beach and extends to the thousands who make the popular resort their rendezvous in warm summer months. His friends speak in great praise of his acts' of charity. He is a member of the parish of St. Mary of the Isle, of the Holy Name society connected with the parish and of the Knights of Columbus. 


Nov 1922 Long Island News (NY) 

You Aviators Must Stop "Beach" Hopping Chief of Police Patrick J. Tracy and Village President Willam H. Reynolds of Long Beach are happy that they have solved the problem surrounding one piece bathing suits, by declaring them out of order, but they have another engaging their attention In aero and hydroplanes that soar so near to bathers as to cause serious fright. President Reynolds says he is considering the employment of a sharpshooter to nip off the tails of the flying machines in order to safeguard the bathers.  



Last update: 01 April 2017