Friday, June 17, 2005

OpinionJournal: Dad Ran the Hippie Squad

William McGowan, in the June 17, 2005, Opinion Journal, writes about a police program in New York City that rescued more than 300 runaways in the late 1960s.
So what did you do in the 1960s, Daddy?

For more than a few boomer men, such a question would ruin an otherwise pleasant Father's Day, calling up memories of antiwar anger, countercultural folly and bad hair. But in my house it was always the start of an enjoyable generational exchange. My late father, a Navy vet who retired in 1972 as a detective captain after 25 years in the New York Police Department, always had a striking answer when one of his eight children (or their children) asked him about those days. "I ran the Hippie Squad," he would say.

During his long NYPD career, my father guarded Fidel Castro, held down the fort in "Fort Apache" and taught Telly Savalas how to answer the phone for "Kojak." But leading the 20 or so young undercover detectives in this real-life "Mod Squad" was his favorite assignment...
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