Police Chief Al DeCarlo of Rotterdam, New York got very sick with a virus that damaged his heart. It was so badly damaged that he would have died if a transplant were not performed. He was in the hospital for many months until a heart became available.

Chief DeCarlo recovered and went back to work. Not only that, the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police elected him their president that year. They thought he was indispensable. And so he was.

One day, I got a call from Chief Joseph Dominelli. Chief Joe was the head of the Rotterdam Police Department when Al DeCarlo first came on the job. Chief DeCarlo was like a son to Chief Joe. Chief Joe told me that someone should write something to tell the story of Chief Al DeCarlo. That is when I knew why Chief DeCarlo had survived and recovered.

Chief DeCarlo lived about three more years after that and he certainly made the most of them.


I'll tell you of a small town cop
Who rose from raw recruit to top.
A simple, decent, kindly man
Who's served the Town of Rotterdam.

A man of courage, strength and grit.
A man of laughter, joy and wit.
The kind of man of whom it's told:
"'pon making him, they broke the mold."

All cops put in each day a lot
Of all the heart and soul they've got.
They're each prepared to give up all
At furthest bound of duty's call.

And so that all in peace might live,
They give and give and give and give.
Chief Al DeCarlo's one of those
Whose story can't be told in prose.

Yes, better Woodie or maybe Arlo
Should write a ballad 'bout Al DeCarlo.
But who could put in words the part
'bout what became of Al's big heart?

That noble heart that did inspire us
Destroyed by some malignant virus.
And then the long, expectant wait
'Til donor met more final fate.

Through all those months, what did sustain
His hope that health he might regain?
'Twas loving family and faithful friends
Put off the day his story ends.

And some would say a certain chief
Outside the door caught Death, the thief;
He read his rights, then stared him down
And told him to get out of town.


Tyger jumping through hoop

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