Francesco Vincent Serpico is a former New York City Police Department Detective. He is known for whistleblowing on police corruption in the late 1960s and early 1970s, an act that prompted Mayor John V. Lindsay to appoint the landmark Knapp Commission to investigate the NYPD.
Frank Serpico on Twitter
A policeman’s first obligation is to be responsible to the needs of the community he serves…The problem is that the atmosphere does not yet exist in which an honest police officer can act without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers. We create an atmosphere in which the honest officer fears the dishonest officer, and not the other way around.
- 1971: Became the first New York City policeman in history to testify about widespread corruption in the department.
- 1972: Received the NYPD’s highest award, The Medal of Honor.
- After being shot and testifying about corruption in the NYPD, Serpico lived in Europe for nearly a decade.
- Al Pacino played Serpico in the 1973 movie about his life.