Lt. Det. Joseph Petrosino, a NYC Police Officer, who served in the early 1900’s and created the Bomb Squad, the Canine Squad and the Undercover Squad that is still being used in today’s police work. The Foundation was founded to Honor his Memory.
The Petrosino Foundation Mission and Purpose is to perpetuate the Italian Language, Heritage and Culture through a number of programs:
Giuseppe Petrosino was born in Padula, Italy,
a village in southern Italy
Petrosino joined the NYPD. He was promoted to Detective Sergeant by Teddy Roosevelt in 1895
Petrosino married his wife Adelina Saulino and had a baby daughter in 1908.
One notable case in Petrosino's stint with the Italian Squad was when the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, who was performing at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City was being blackmailed by Black Hand gangsters who demanded money in exchange for his life. It was Petrosino who convinced Caruso to help him catch those behind the blackmail.
A second important case in Petrosino's career with the Italian
Squad was his infiltration of an Italian-based anarchist organization that was
suspected of ties with the King Umberto I assassination in 1900.
During his mission, he discovered evidence that the organization intended to assassinate President William McKinley during his trip to Buffalo.
Petrosino warned the Secret Service, but McKinley ignored the warning, even after Roosevelt, who had by this time become Vice-President of the United States, vouched for Petrosino's abilities. McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz during his visit to Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition on September 6, 1901.
Petrosino's investigations into Mafia activities led him to Vito Cascio Ferro, then a low ranking Black Hand affiliate. In 1903, Petrosino arrested him on suspicion of murder, but Cascio Ferro was acquitted. He later returned to Sicily, where he progressed increasingly to the top rank of the Sicilian Mafia. Cascio Ferro was later suspected of Petrosino's murder.