Andrew Arias '92, a captain with the New York Police Department, came to the School on January 12, 2018. Mr. Arias spoke to a group of Upper School boys about his life at A-S through the present day. The article, first published in the Blue & Gold Alumni Newsletter, was written by Braden Queen '20, a member of the Upper School Newspaper elective group. Special thanks to Mr. Kersey, Mr. Keats, Ms. Sklow, and Mr. Fennelly and the boys in their elective groups.
The following article was written by Braden Queen '20, a member of the Upper School Newspaper elective group.
On January 12, 2018, Andrew Arias class of ‘92 came to talk to us. He spoke about his life journey from a simple upper school student to an NYPD Captain.
The start of his journey was at A-S, where he had, “the greatest education [he’s] had in [his] life.” He loved Allen-Stevenson. He says he feels fortunate to be an active alumnus. At Allen-Stevenson, he said he learned many important skills that helped him later on, such as kindness, respect and a love for theater. After his education at Allen-Stevenson, he went to the Hill School and Bucknell University. After college, he still didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, so he went to graduate school. He got a degree in political science and history. After graduate school, he still had no idea that he was going to go into law enforcement--until one shocking day.
On a sunny September day, Mr. Arias begrudgingly reported to jury duty. On his way downtown, he received a message that jury duty was canceled. Immediately, he could tell something was amiss, and he noticed a sense of panic in the streets around him. He pondered the cause of the commotion until he saw it for himself when he was walking home: a plane had struck the Twin Towers. As Mr. Arias watched smoke rise from downtown Manhattan, he witnessed a second plane collide with the buildings. When he saw the second tower fall, he wished he could do something to help protect his fellow New Yorkers.
In 2003, Mr. Arias told his mom he wanted to join the NYPD for just two years, and then he would find another job, even though he still works there today.
When Mr. Arias first joined the police department, he was confused. He didn’t know what a police officer did. All he knew was what he saw on TV, which was not the case. When Mr. Arias first started, he patrolled the streets from 11:00 pm to 8:00 am. From this experience, he knew every single homeless person around his beat and their story. He also knew everybody who went to work in the morning. Mr. Arias learned something from this experience. He learned that life doesn’t always go your way. However, he said that people can fight to survive if there is mutual respect. Later, Mr. Arias was promoted to a sergeant. He was what he called, “a prisoner administrator.” Afterwards, he became a Lieutenant and then Captain. From his work, he knew that everything people did had repercussions.
After experience working in South Brooklyn, Mr. Arias said that even in New York’s toughest neighborhoods, “The good far outways the bad however a few bad apples can spoil everything.” Later, he developed his three main rules for being a cop: “Take a leadership role, be ready to roll up your sleeves and say bring it on, and lastly ask for people’s opinions because they want to participate in affecting change.”
Mr. Arias also talked about what to do if he knew someone was guilty, but there wasn’t enough proof to arrest him. Mr. Arias advised trying to, “steer their ship in the good direction.” He said to try to appeal to their sensibilities as a human being and directly confront the accused. Humanity is a channel for resolution. Mr. Arias explained that today, when someone commits a crime, there is usually proof that the criminal committed said crime because of the number of security cameras in New York City. Suspects also usually have smartphones, which can be tracked, so the cops can determine exactly where they were when a crime was committed.
Mr. Arias’ thoughtful and informative remarks are a testament to his bravery and his commitment to keeping people safe. Mr. Arias still serves the NYPD as a Captain in the Detective Bureau, preventing the bad apples from spoiling the Big Apple.
A-S Newspaper Staff: 2017-2018
Lincoln Williams '20
Andrew Greff '20
Braden Queen '20
Lawson Wright '20
Fritz Ross '20
Adam Lipman '20
Harry Mackay '20
Jackson Deans '20
Jack Henry '20
Max West '20
Jackson Collins '20
Faculty Advisor: Mr. Aidan Fennelly, English Department