It was 1964 when 12-year-old Jack Maple walked across 108th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens, determined to get his first job at a neighborhood deli, his sister Anna Marie Schadt recalled.
"He was hired on the spot, his first assignment, quality control of the pickle barrel," Schadt, of Islip, said Monday.
From watching over the gherkins, Maple rose with his single-minded determination to become a transit cop. Eventually, hitching his wagon to the rising star of his friend William Bratton, Maple became a deputy commissioner of the NYPD and in 1994 took a single computer and created the Compstat system of crime reporting, which sparked the modern transformation of the NYPD.
Monday, under a brilliant sun, the very intersection of 108th Street and Park Lane South that Maple crossed for that deli job was named Jack Maple Place in a ceremony presided over by NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and attended by former Mayor David Dinkins, local politicians, police brass, judges and people from the neighborhood. The street sign was unveiled to music from the bagpipes of the NYPD ceremonial unit.
Maple died in August 2001 of colon cancer at age 49.
"In some respects, Jack gave his life for the city . . . because he spent his life focused on saving it and we should all remember that with Compstat we saved NYC," Bratton told the crowd, referring to the revolutionary way Compstat revolutionized policing with timely data collection.
"Jack had a gift for policing that was undeniable and unstoppable," Schadt said.
But he was also a compassionate, generous and caring man.
Added Schadt of her brother: "He was soft steel."