Tony Bouza

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Tony Bouza
Anthony V. Bouza

10 April 1928
NationalitySpanish and American
OccupationUnited States law enforcement, New York City and Minneapolis

Anthony V. Bouza (born 10 April 1928 in Ferrol, Spain) is a Spanish American retired police officer who served in the New York City Police Department and as police chief of the Minneapolis Police Department from 1980 to 1989.


Early years and career of police[edit]

Born on October 4, 1928 in Ferrol, Spain, Bouza came to the United States with his family at age 9. After graduating from Manual High School in Brooklyn and serving in the U.S. Army, Bouza worked briefly in sales in the garment industry in Manhattan before joining the New York City Police Department, eventually becoming commander of police in The Bronx. In 1976, Bouza was featured in the seminal TV documentary The Police Tapes, and became deputy chief of the New York City Transit Police later that year. He was brought to Minneapolis by Mayor Donald Fraser, who when newly elected in 1980, wanted an outsider and a reformer to head the department following a series of scandals under his predecessor. He retained Bouza for a total of three three-year terms.

Bouza had a difficult relationship with the police officers he led in Minneapolis.[1] Within weeks of becoming chief, Bouza reduced the number of police precincts from 6 to 4 and replaced two-member squads with single-member squads in most of the city. Officers blamed the 1981 murder of police officer Richard P. Miller on switch to single-member squads.[2] In a cost-cutting move, he also instituted a promotion freeze that affected hundreds of officers. The citizenry generally noted that Bouza was installed as an agent of change in the police department and that this was a cause of his unpopularity among the rank and file.

After stepping down as chief, Bouza served as Minnesota gaming commissioner from 1989 to 1991 and briefly as director of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence in Washington, D.C.. In 1994, Bouza unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Farmer Labor Party nomination for Governor of Minnesota, with R.T. Rybak (who in 2001 was elected mayor of Minneapolis) as his campaign manager. Bouza was perceived as the frontrunner until about 10 days before the primary election when he called for the confiscation of handguns and his support collapsed.[3] (The winner of the DFL primary went on to lose to Republican incumbent Arne H. Carlson.)

Others titles and trades[edit]

Bouza holds a bachelor's degree in business administration (1965) and a master's degree in public administration (1968) from Baruch University. Bouza is author of four books: The Police Mystique: An Insider's Look at Cops, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System (Da Capo, 1990), A Carpet of Blue: An Ex-Cop Takes a Tough Look at America's Drug Problem (Fairview, 1991), Police Unbound: Corruption, Abuse, and Heroism by the Boys in Blue (Prometheus, 2001), and The Decline and Fall of the American Empire: Corruption, Decadence, and the American Dream (Da Capo Press, 2003). He also wrote two technical books: Police Intelligence: The Operations of an Investigative Unit (AMS Press, 1976) and Police Administration (Elsevier, 1978).

Personal life[edit]

Bouza's wife, Erica Bouza, who was born in Great Britain, was arrested repeatedly for engaging in anti-militarism protests as part of the Honeywell Project while Bouza was Minneapolis police chief. The irony attracted international attention. The Bouzas have two sons, Anthony Jr. and Dominick.


  1. ^ Parsons, Jim (1994-08-19). "Tony Bouza: DFL candidate for governor". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ Parsons, Jim (1994-08-19). "Tony Bouza: DFL candidate for governor". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-24.

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