Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brothers Kappesser

Unc George, with wife Esther- 1950s

Uncle France, my dad Edward, and Charles Kappesser late 50's...all Sergeants.

France, Ed, and of bros.

This is a copy of Dad's photo, as a 1st Sergeant, that is still displayed in the lobby at NY State Police Headquarters in Oneida, NY.

I remember many gatherings at Dad's house at Sandy Pond when I was young. Dad's brothers, George, Chuck, and Frances would often visit. They would drink beer, eat heartily, tell jokes and stories, and play cards to all hours. Besides being brothers, these men had another thing in common - - they were all police officers. No Jerry Bruckheimer series could ever top the stories these men fascinated us with, because they were all real...

Brothers Francis, Chuck, Ed, and George Kappesser appeared in many newspaper articles during the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s during their careers as police officers in Upstate NY.

The 4 brothers, 3 of them State Troopers and George a Syracuse City Police Detective, were well known among New York's law enforcement circles during their heyday.
I have heard many stories. Wonderful stories.

At one point during his career, France was Attorney General (later, Governor) Thomas Dewey's bodyguard. He eventually was promoted to 1st Sergeant of Troop K in eastern NY. During retirement he was elected Town Justice of Pawling NY.

George was one of the best homicide detectives the city of Syracuse ever had. He solved many high profile murders. George also had a reputation for being skillful at talking suicide jumpers down and negotiating with criminals during hostage situations. This before they assigned these tasks to college-boys with psychology degrees.

Ed Kappesser, my Dad, with Grandma, circa 1938, New York State Police Motorcycle Patrol, Adirondack Region.

Ed, my Dad, a motorcycling State Trooper at first, eventually was promoted to 1st Sergeant of Troop D, which serves Syracuse and surrounding counties. He was in charge of the Trooper detail at the NY State Fair for many years. Among the four brothers, Ed was the best marksman. He taught marksmanship at the State Police Academy for a while. He also taught me. During retirement he was elected Town Justice of Sandy Creek NY.

Chuck was one of the first State Troopers to be airborne - using his own small plane for many official tasks. This before the State Troopers (or any NY police force) owned or used aircraft. Charles was also the best driver – he was fearless behind the wheel and knew how to drive faster than anyone he chased. His cruiser was always "personally modified" for more horsepower. This before the police had the special "interceptor" vehicles.

All 4 brothers enlisted as active duty soldiers during WWII. My Dad, a Marine, fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa against the Japanese. I don’t know about my uncles…these men didn’t talk about it much.

Their collective time in service as police officers numbered well over 100 years, prompting Lowell Thomas (who was also a friend of France's) to have these men as guests on his show during the '70s.

If all this seems unbelievable, read the newspaper articles for yourself.

Click on

Enter the site and search on 'Kappesser'.

It was a privilege to know these men, to call them my Dad and Uncles. Yes indeed, they were part of the "greatest generation". They are sorely missed.

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