Chief Of Police Badge

John P. Tuffey's Chief Of Police Badge
John P. Tuffey's Chief Of Police Badge

One of the many stories that my grandfather would tell me when I was younger started off with his father, John P. Tuffey, and how he was the Chief of Police in Albany. He would sit down with me on his lap and say: “Did you know that if you went into Albany right now, and told them that your last name was Tuffey, they would recognize the name and bring up my father, your great grandfather?” I could hear the pride swelling in his voice and the glimmer in his eyes when he talked about his father. It was a common story - many Irish immigrants in the mid 1900s were cops - but this was his history, and he was proud to tell it. I would nod and smile, because I thought it was cool that my family had a legacy in the police force, but as I got older I started to question the all-around goodness of the story. We hear so often about police brutality and middle aged white men taking advantage of the law, that I started to wonder whether I should be proud of having family members in such high ranking roles of the police force. Of course I know that law enforcement is necessary; it was created in our country for a reason, even if that reason has been slightly corrupted in our modern society. In the United States, police officers have always had a major role in culture, whether it was positive or negative. The police badge that you see in front of you has many meanings for my family and I, but the biggest is that it shows overcoming our struggle, and how far our family has come.

Place(s): Albany

– Elly Tuffey

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more