Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 1, 2013

Shamrock leaves a solid foundation with Falls police

Niagara Gazette — For Falls Police Captain Morris Shamrock it's all about sound foundations.

It's what he always tried to set for his detectives and officers in the Narcotics Investigations Division. But it's also what he built his 43-year law enforcement career on.

"It's the people who shape you along the course of your career. When I came on the job, I was partnered with (Officer) Charlie Passanesse," Shamrock said. "He taught me the basics. He told me be quiet, observe, learn. He gave me a solid foundation."

Shamrock left the Falls police force on Friday. Despite commanding the high-flying Roving Anti-Crime Unit and the headline-making narcotics squad, he departed police headquarters as he entered, quietly.

That doesn't mean his departure went unnoticed.

"How could we not notice?" said Narcotics Detective John Faso. "He had this presence in the office. He ran (the squad) like a supervisor, but he treated us like family."

Faso spent 11 years under Shamrock's command and said he did lay "the foundation" for all his detectives and officers.

"He was a mentor to all of us," Faso said. "He had a wealth of knowledge. He was someone you could always go to for advice."

Shamrock's experience was so highly regarded by his investigators that they even coined an expression to refer to it. The expression was, "He's always right."

"No matter what you'd ask him, he was always right on the money," Detective Joe Giaquinto said. "We'd have our opinions about (investigations) and he'd tell us it wouldn't go down like that and two or three weeks later it would turn out he was right. No matter how wrong we'd think he was, he was always right."

Shamrock was a Buffalo boy who served in the military in the 1960s. When he came home he took a job "working on the railroad."

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