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NYPD Officer Who Sued To Join Department At 48 Retires At 68

March 04, 2019 - 10:25 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — It had been a lifelong dream for Michael Cusumano to become a New York City police officer.

“I had gone to college for criminal justice. I wanted to go into the law enforcement field. I ended up staying in a family business,” Cusumano explains.

At 48-years-old, he left that job and decided to pursue his passion and become an officer. He passed all written and physical tests but was rejected because of his age.

“The city’s argument was, ‘you’re too old, you can’t do the job, there’s no way you can keep up. What if you get sick? What if you have a heart attack? What if this, what if that,’” he told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

The age limit for new recruits was 35-years-old, so Cusumano and 39 others filed a class action lawsuit to change that rule and join the force.

They won and Cusumano served on the NYPD for 20 years, eventually being promoted to detective.

In his career, he served on President George W. Bush’s security force and protected several other heads of state. He says he has no regrets and will cherish his time on the force.

He says he will miss “being able to work with good cops, good detectives who were good investigators and learning a lot about police work— real police work, you know, not what you see on TV with somebody sucking a lollipop. Also the comradery— you do become a band of brothers.”

Cusumano retired on Thursday at 68-years-old.