At the age of 22, Judge George Grasso became a Police Officer with the New York City Police Department, commencing a career that would last for more than 30 years. A year after joining the force, Judge George Grasso was awarded a full scholarship to St. John’s University School of Law and continued to work on patrol performing a steady Midnight to 8AM shift while attending law school at night. Judge George Grasso graduated from law school in 1984, being assigned to the Department Advocates Office under Managing Attorney John P. Walsh and passing the New York State Bar Exam the following year. With a reputation for ingenuity, excellence, and integrity, Judge George Grasso quickly climbed through the uniform and civilian ranks, becoming Special Prosecutor; Managing Attorney; Commanding Officer; Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters; and First Deputy Police Commissioner, the highest rank ever attained by an Italian American in the NYPD, which he held until his appointment to the New York City Criminal Court bench in 2010. Notably, only once before in the history of the NYPD had a member of the service retired to accept a judicial appointment and that member was his former supervisor and mentor, Acting Supreme Court Justice John P. Walsh. Judge George Grasso’s career at the NYPD was marked by his commitment to the citizens of New York and to the safety and well being of members of the Department and their families. Among the most significant initiatives spearheaded by Judge George Grasso in his capacity as the First Deputy Police Commissioner are “Arrive Alive,” a program that changed the culture of the NYPD with respect to safe driving practices, including the use of seat belts and undoubtedly saved many police officers from death and serious injury; and a “First Responders” program set up to provide physical and psychological screening and follow up care for those who responded to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and played a critical role in the aftermath of those attacks. Judge George Grasso was himself a first responder on 9/11 and subsequently served as a primary point of contact between the Police Commissioner, the Mayor of New York, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The recipient of multiple awards from law enforcement agencies and community organizations, Judge George Grasso was given the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2008 and was “Man of the Year” at the 2009 Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade. Judge George Grasso was admitted to practice law in the United States Supreme Court in 2000 and returned in 2001 to St. John’s University as an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice.
About George Grasso