Chief of schmooze

Published June 30, 2023 | 5 min read

“Whaddya got?”

That was how Charles Scholl greeted me. He used the same line on everyone.

He was a cop who loved to gossip — skilled at collecting and disseminating news, tidbits, insights.  Scholl worked for the NYPD but lived like a reporter, chatting up anyone who happened to catch his interest, from officers of all ranks to the denizens of the districts he patrolled.

When you wanted to know what was going on, he was your man. When you learned something newsworthy, he was the guy to tell.

For more than two decades, Scholl provided an extraordinary stream of intel. During my years working as a reporter in Brooklyn, and later at the New York Post, he offered a pipeline of invaluable info, from local precicnts to the highest levels of the puzzle palace, as One Police Plaza was known.

I lost count of how often I relied on him for scoops.

Charles Scholl, on the day he retired from the NYPD, left an extraordinary legacy: a man who could talk to anyone.

Scholl, who passed away unexpectedly a year ago this month, lived half a block from me in Carroll Gardens and grew up on my street, Nelson. He knew the history of the neighborhood, and once served as the second-in-command at the 76th precinct. I would run into him or call him on his cell a few times a week.

“Brad Hamilton!” he would announce with glee. “Whaddya got?”

A man who expressed amusement and outrage in equal parts, Scholl ranks as the most engaging chatterbox the NYPD has ever known. Low-key and soft-spoken, he positioned himself into an unassuming powerbroker in the department, a deputy chief who happily got along with just about everyone and gently nudged his superiors into making good decisions.

His influence was largely unknown until his death at 64 on June 17 2022.

On that day, I was looking forward to the wedding of a good friend on Long Island.






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