Michael McCarthy is about to become the fourth-generation police officer of his family, continuing a family legacy that dates back to the early 20th century.
McCarthy recently graduated from the New York City Police Academy, following in the footsteps of his father, Kevin McCarthy — who is a retired NYPD officer — and his father before him.
It all started with Michael’s great-grandfather, Jeremiah McCarthy, who first immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1912 and worked as a chauffeur in New York before joining the US Army in 1917.
After returning from France after the end of World War I, he joined the NYPD in 1922 and served for 35 years.
Jeremiah’s son, John McCarthy, became a police officer in 1953 as well.
John worked in Manhattan and the Bronx before joining the NYPD’s organized crime bureau as a detective in 1971, where he stayed until his retirement in 1984.
The desire to work in law enforcement was passed to all of John’s children, John, Kevin and Mary, who each became police officers after he retired.
“I never pressured him,” father Kevin McCarthy, who worked as a cop in the Bronx, said of his son. “My father never pushed the job on us, and I didn’t push him.”
Kevin is proud of his son’s accomplishments and is excited for him to start his career.
“He studied real hard and did well in the academy,” Kevin said. “I am proud of him … and he can’t wait to get out there.”
Michael’s grandfather, John, heavily influenced his decision to become a police officer.
“On weekends, my father’s partners would come over they would tell stories of the big arrests they made,” John said. “Through osmosis, I knew I wanted to be a cop since the fourth grade.”
That spirit and passion for law enforcement eventually made its way to the younger generation.
Kevin offered Michael a few pieces of advice before starting his job, such as knowing his location in case he needs to call for backup, following instructions and treating people with respect.
Kevin also acknowledged that being a police officer is a challenging job, but it is essential to have a passion for it.
“Being a police officer is a great job, but it’s a tough job — you have to want to be a cop,” Kevin said. “I just told him to treat people with respect,” he said.
Michael’s graduation from the academy further reinforces his family’s legacy in the NYPD, and they are all proud of his accomplishments.