The great-grandnephew of Lieutenant Joe Petrosino (1860-1909), founder of the New York Police Department's Italian Squad and the only city police officer to be killed in the line of duty while overseas, Joseph Michael Petrosino has been approved for appointment to the force. He could be appointed as early as this week, as a new Police Academy class is sworn in.
Joseph Michael's father, also named Joseph, has been an organized crime prosecutor in Brooklyn.
Lieutenant Petrosino (right) was sent to Italy in 1909 to gather evidence on Italian fugitives believed to be living in the U.S. He was murdered in Palermo's Piazza Marina as he awaited an underworld informant. As many as 200,000 New Yorkers lined city streets for his funeral.