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An Officer’s Tales Of Life On Ave. D

CodellaAlexa Tsoulis-Reay Mike Codella, a retired police officer, has turned his experiences working the streets of the East Village into a book, “Alphaville.”

After dumping some stuff in my locker, I decided to take a drive around my new beat. What I saw was shocking. Even though it was January and one of the coldest days so far that year, there were dope deals taking place on nearly every corner I passed. Junkies and dealers shivered together, exchanged dope and money and parted company. A group of users followed one after the other into an abandoned building lobby being used as a “toilet” or a designated spot to shoot up indoors.— “Alphaville,” pg. 127

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Mike Codella steered his car from Avenue D onto East Houston Street. “This place used to be like a volcano, but look how quiet it is now,” he said, surveying the territory of the beat he patrolled as a New York City plainclothes detective at the height of the drug wars in the 1980s. “The further east you went, there was an atmosphere, something was always about to explode, and it usually did,” he said, throwing his hands up in the air.

From 1986 to 1991 Mr. Codella — his nickname is Rambo — patrolled Alphabet City. He has turned his memories into a gritty, nonfiction book, “Alphaville,” co-authored by former East Village resident Bruce Bennett.
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