About Al Sheppard
I was raised on the west side of Manhattan, NYC. A place called "Hell's Kitchen". There are several stories how it received it's name. The most popular one is that during the Civil War New York City was the scene of largest civil disturbance in America history. It was the week of July 4, 1863. The Irish had taken over most of NYC. This was known as "The Draft Riots". They were actually firing artillery in the streets. The police were calling for reinforcements to area. The telegraph to the Police Headquarters on Mulberry Street was "Send help, "It's hotter then Hells Kitchen up here". This was a neighborhood in the 1950's that little to offer it's youth. Either you became a cop, fireman, or a priest. The other choice was to become a hoodlum or gangster. I took the first of the pick. I have never regretted it.
I joined the NYPD in 1969 after serving two years in the US Army during the Viet-Nam War. I was assigned to the NYPD Emergency Service Unit in 1974 through 1984. Our mission was Heavy Rescue and Special Weapons and Tactics. As a member of the original Anti-Terrorist Team formed by the NYPD (A-Team). I was the first NYPD Officer to repel out of a helicopter. In addition ESU performed Hostage Recovery, Explosive Identification, and Removal.
In 1984 I was assigned to the NYPD Intelligence Division. Our duties were to protect foreign and domestic officials. Some of my assignments were protection of Fidel Castro and the Shah of Iran. This also included providing security for the President of The United States while working with the U.S. Secret Service. I was also responsible for conducting investigations into international criminal and terrorist organizations.
In 1985 I was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and designated a U.S. Marshal in addition to my NYPD rank of Detective. The case I was assigned to was an international investigation. When the case was over, all members were "Sworn to a Non-disclosure" Never to speak about the assignment.
In 1988 I was reassigned to the Major Case Squad of the Special Investigations Division. My assignments included Bank Robbery, Kidnappings, and confidential assignments from the Chief of Detectives Office. My last case was my most challenging the serial murderer "Zodiac" in 1991.
3 Exceptional Merit Medals
9 Commendation Medals
10 Meritorious Medals
29 Excellent Police Duty Medals
2 Citations for Bravery from the
National Police Officers Assoc. of America
2 Medals from the Seamen's Institute for saving drowning persons
Letter of Commendation from Vice-President George Bush in 1989
Military Order of the Purple Heart
1974 Inducted into the NYPD Honor Legion