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Tony Curtin
  Irish Voice  


Background
Native of Listowel, Co. Kerry. Emigrated to the U.S. in 1987. Resides in Orange County, New York.

Family
Wife Maureen, three-year old son Chris, four-month-old son Owen.

NYPD background
"When I came out to the U.S. I was doing construction work, and playing football at the time as well. I thought if something ever happened to me I'd be going home because I had no insurance - if I broke my leg that would be that. One day I saw an NYPD van go by and on the side it said '212-RECRUIT.' I thought I'd try it, so I called up and got the application. Things just kind of went from there. That was in 1994.

"When the detectives in the precinct identify who did a crime but they can't find them, they send the case over to us. It's an interesting job. I like what I'm doing a lot."

Describe your September 11 experience
"I was on my way to work when the first tower got hit. I heard a newsflash on the radio. When I was on the Tappan Zee Bridge I could see the two towers in flames. I got into uniform when I got to the precinct and went down. "How to describe what we saw? It was like driving into the gates of hell. We were doing everything we could -- digging, trying to rescue bodies, recovery, just anything. I used to work in street crime, and one of the guys I worked with, Steve Driscoll, was killed.

"It's slowing down now. It's a clean-up now, really. I've been out in Fresh Kills. We do that about once a week, looking for body parts. It's not something I could have ever imagined, not in my wildest dreams."

What are your post-September 11 thoughts?
"You have to keep going. If you stop living, or stop going about your daily routine, the terrorists win, and that's what they want. September 11 has made me more determined to continue to enjoy life."

Are you proud to be a member of the NYPD?
"People on the streets stop you to say thanks. Just regular people wanting to express their gratitude. Before September 11 they'd argue with you. I wonder how long it's going to last. "It's a great job. Sometimes I sit back and say to myself, 'This is a long way from milking cows in Clounmacon.'"


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