Gary Provenzano

Thursday, 23 April 2020 00:44 Written by  Published in Courage Read 6655 times
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Gary Provenzano

Shortly before graduating from college in 1974, Officer Provenzano applied to BNDD (Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) This was the predecessor of DEA. He knew a guy on the job that told him about the exam and how to apply. Gary took the exam and scored 86. Only 7% of the people that took the exam even got a passing score of 70. Gary and his friend were in. Gary kept waiting-and heard nothing. Finally he was  told by the bureau that they would only be hiring women and minorities in that group. They said the best thing to do was to try and get into a major city police dept. to add his resume. So, Gary wrote a "form letter" that said, "I'm moving to your city, what are the requirements to join the Police Dept." He then hand signed each letter and sent copies to virtually every major US city, NY, LA, Chicago, Baltimore, Atlanta, Dallas - everywhere.

Before long he had received a response from every one he had written. Some weren't hiring, some had residency requirements prior to hiring, etc. There were two choices Baltimore and LA. LA waved the entrance exam because he had a degree. When he called out there, the guy in personnel told him that an interview would pretty much be a formality, with his degree Gary knew he'd get the job. Baltimore told him to come down and that as an out of state applicant, they could process him in one day - written exam, psych exam, interview, the works. Gary would have to had been at Headquarters by 8 am and the process would take all day.

This was 1975. At that time round trip to LA was $300, Baltimore was only $75. Gary's girlfriend at the time (now his wife) decided to check out Baltimore first. The pair came to Baltimore for a week's vacation during that stay Gary had completed the hiring process in or day as promised.

Before he ever had a chance to go to LA, Gary was hired by Baltimore. Now is a good time to point out that Gary had no desire to be a uniform officer, it was merely a stepping stone. But like most, before he knew what hit him, he had fallen in love with the job and the City. We all know Baltimore ain't pretty. So when people used to ask him why, he used to say that Baltimore was sort of like a sexy, sleazy lady, he knew she wasn't good for him, but he just couldn't let her go. I think most city police have met this lady, fallen in love and couldn't leave her.
 

By the way, years later the DEA sent Gary a letter and offering him a job - He would have been an undercover agent in New York City. By then he had married that girlfriend that had traveled with him since the beginning, and stands by his side to this day. With a wife and son at the time he was forced to turn down The DEA's offer, and continue his job as a uniformed police officer.

 

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Retired Officer Gary Provenzano

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Last modified on Sunday, 03 May 2020 14:40