When I began reading the post about Edelman's Pistol Service, like a waterfall, memories of that big store in Farmingdale were released from the archives of my brain, and put up on the big screen.
It was about 35 years ago and I haven't given them a thought since, but there were a bunch of strange salespeople working in that busy place, and it held a certain fascination for me at the time. They had their pistol license service then, along with an indoor range in Levittown.
I was a PBA delegate during the mid 70's, and Edelman's was going full steam ahead. It advertised heavily in Newsday and the Sunday Daily News, so it drew so many people on weekends, that many had to wait outside for customers to come out, before they could go in.
There was always a mob of people, who came from the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Rockland counties, and even New Jersey and Connecticut, to purchase sporting goods, at huge savings. In fact, an enterprising hotdog vendor requested permission to bring his cart into their parking lot, and sell food and drinks to the crowd. Parking on Sherwood Avenue was prohibited.
Permission was granted, but Edelman's took a 20% kickback on every sale, and put a sales clerk, with a calculator, next to the cart, to deter the vendor from cheating.
Meanwhile, the owner of Edelman's, who was located in Pennsylvania, heard that there was a hotshot available, who knew the police equipment business like the back of his hand. Mr. Leslie Edelman instructed his junior partner, Robert, who was in charge of running the Farmingdale store, to hire this guy right away, before somebody else did.
The offer must've been very sweet, because this guy showed up on the scene, and put Edelman's in the police equipment business. After all, it was a natural, with weapons being the common denominator, between sporting-goods and Police Department customers.
Since's Edelman's first opened its doors, we were receiving reports that they were selling miniature PBA badges and other similar items, in their store. We let it go, because we didn't think it was very pervasive. However, as these reports became more frequent, we began to pay more attention.
Edelman's had a reputation in police circles, as being borderline "sleazy". We had no reason to believe otherwise, and they were selling our badges. So, when we heard that they had a showcase filled with counterfeit full-sized badges of our department, as well as those from other major departments in this area, that received our immediate attention.
I accompanied my NCPD PBA president, two detectives from Special Investigations, and a crime scene detective with his camera, to Edelman's. We identified ourselves, and requested to see the Honcho, running the newly established police division. We were told that he was out for lunch, but should be back in about 15 minutes. While we waited, we looked at the showcases, that the counterfeit badges were displayed in, and CSU took pictures of everything.
The store manager said "that's Mr. Richards, coming in right now." I remember this moment because we all did a double take when we saw that Mr. Richards was accompanied by our Chief Of Detectives, the SCPD Chief of Detectives, and the SCPD Chief Inspector. Our chief addressed his detectives by saying "What's up Boys?" There was a pregnant pause that lasted at least 30 seconds, after which the chief introduced his colleagues, and Mr. Richards, like they were all pals.
As it turned out, they were all pals. The Chief Inspector told us that whatever Edelman's may or may not have done before Mr. Richard's arrival, no longer mattered. Now that he's here, everyone should know that he will never tolerate any shady activities during his tenure. Our Chief of Detectives pointed out that none of the full sized badges that were displayed in the showcases, were counterfeit. they were all 100% official and authentic, and Edelman's doesn't sell them to anyone, at any price, at any time.
Edelman's police division had become the new official supplier of badges to the Nassau County, Suffolk County, New York City, Port Authority, and other major police departments throughout the country. We sheepishly left, and never heard a bad word about Edelman's police equipment again.
There is more to this story, but I've never posted on these boards before, and I don't wish to bore anyone with more trivia, if you don't find this post to be worthy of continuing.
I'll wait for feedback from ya'all before proceeding.