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The Stamford Historical Society Presents

Law & Order: The History of the Stamford Police Department 1830-1956
a 2004 Exhibit and more

Testimonial Dinner and Dance, Saturday April 4, 1970
Honoring Alexander J. Koproski, Sr.


cover page of 1970 Dance and Testimonial Dinner for Al Koproski

More than half century has been dedicated to public service by our honored guest. His dedication to service for others has influenced almost every facet of social endeavor. His efforts has benefited the religious, the social, the athletic and the community life of this city.

Since 1919 Al has been known to the athletic fraternity of Stamford. His long association with the Holy Name Athletic Club began in 1925, as a charter member, of the group that founded this great organization. He has been Chairman of the Board of Directors and Trustee for many years and has served as chairman of many committees- he was voted their "MAN OF THE YEAR" in 1955. With their teams winning many athletic championships down through the years the Holy Name A.C. was known as the "HOME OF CHAMPIONS."

He was honored by the Stamford Old Timer's Association in 1962 - not only for his outstanding contributions to this great organization as a member of their Board of Trustees, and chairman of many of their committees - but as one of Stamford 's all-time great athletes.

He has been for many years a member of the Polish-American Business and Professional Club.

He has contributed his time and effort for many years to the Stamford Police Anchor Club, an organization of Catholic policemen from Stamford. Greenwich . Darien and Norwalk - holding the office of Treasurer.

Al was appointed to the Stamford Police Department on December 5, 1938. and served this city as a conscientious and dedicated officer for thirty-one years. In 1941 he was a charter member of the newly formed Stamford Police Association. From that time the police association has been enriched by his leadership, cooperation and dedication. Without a doubt Al is one of the reasons why today this organization is known as one of the best police organizations of its kind in the country. He has served for many years as a member of the Board of Trustees, and his chairmanship of various committees always guaranteed a successful effort. Words cannot express what his continued assistance has meant to this organization.

Whenever youth activity programs, testimonials and other affairs are sponsored by the above groups, they have called for the Koproski touch to act as either chairman, or co-chairman.

No history of our honored guest would be complete without a review of his outstanding athletic career. Al was born on October 25, 1904. on Ann Street . the family moving to the South End in 1905, where he attended the Henry Street and the Holy Name of Jesus Parochial Schools; he also attended High School.

His athletic career began on the sandlots in 1919, when he organized and played shortstop for the Harbor Giants, a successor to the old Hoytville Club. Al will talk about the Fourth of July game in 1922, when the team walked to Noroton to play St. John's at 11 o'clock in the morning, winning 5-3; then walking the tracks to Sound Beach to play at 3 p.m.. defeating them 2-1, with Al hitting two homers.

In 1924 the same group - Billy and Benny Duda, Jim and Al Koproski, Moe Wilkes, Bing Miller, Al Tomczyk, and Barney Slesh, to name a few - became known as the Red Sox and entered the City League (American Storage Battery, Cove A.C., St. John's, and Aberdeen A.C.). In the playoffs they were defeated for the title by the Cove A.C.

From 1920 to 1924 Al was active in the Y.M.C.A. circles and represented the "Y" in the track and field events, wrestling, and boxing against other "Y" teams in the State. The local team compiled an outstanding record in the various tournaments, and in 1924 Al finished second to Tommy Rector, a Stamfordite, representing Argentina in the Decathlon in the Yale Bowl. In a "Y" boxing event the same year at South Park. Hartford . he lost a close decision for the State Light Heavyweight title. He also promoted boxing, putting on three shows in 1924 at the old Mission Street Hall for the benefit of the Holy Name Church Building Fund.

In 1925 Al, along with fifteen others of Polish extraction, organized the Holy Name Athletic Club. With a current membership of 400, it is recognized as one of the outstanding athletic groups in the State. The first Holy Name baseball team appeared that year, with games being played at Woodside and Halloween Parks. This was the forerunner of many championship teams to come from this group, with Al playing shortstop or first base through 1931 against local and traveling teams, and Sundays found them playing at Brewster, Sing Sing, Scarsdale, upstate and Westchester County.

In 1932, Al, along with playing, managed the Holy Name Club in the Bi-State League with McKesson-Robbins, Danbury. Brewster, Mt. Kisco. and Lake Mahopac . They gave a good account of themselves, always a contender, and in 1933 finished second to McKesson-Robbins for the title.

Motorcycle Officer Alexander J. Koproski in Winter uniform, 1940s
Motorcycle Officer Alexander J. Koproski in Winter Uniform, 1940s

With Al at the helm the Holy Names entered the Twilight League in 1934 with a roster of Pantas, Czarnecki, Bujalos, Reynolds, Baron, Miller, Sebastian and Wilkes. At the completion of the schedule there was a three-way deadlock for first place which the Namers gained. In the playoffs they bumped off the American Battery, and to clinch the title stopped the Gas and Electric for the highest honors in the League. Al continued managing the team until the end of the 1941 season. In closing his active playing career he was with the Police Department's softball team which won the State title in 1940.

In reviewing the sports history of Stamford. it is doubtful whether any family can compare with the accomplishments of the Koproskis over the passing years. The natives of the South End and all of Stamford will sing the praises of this group: Jim, a catcher with the old Harbor Giants and the Holy Name Club; Frank (Coke), rated the finest curve ball artist of Stamford and of the State; Joe (Scotty), star baseball and footballer at High School and Villanova, and semi-pro baseball; Julius (Boop), a present member of the Detective Bureau of the Police Department, won laurels at High School in baseball and football, and at Upsala College was the nation's highest point scoring fullback in the late '40s; Alice gained fame as a smart infielder with the Nutmeg Girls' Softball team, New England Champions.

Al is married to the former Gladys J. Kryger, and their son Alexander, Jr. married the former Patricia Vellequet - they have four children; Leisa 7, Susan 6, Gregory 3, and Beth 2. His daughter Joan is married to William Fitzpatrick and they have four children; Allison 8, Scott 6, Brett 5, and Kristin 1.

Al was officially retired from the Stamford Police Department on January 1, 1970. We wish Al and his lovely wife many years of Health and Happiness, and the enjoyment of their wonderful grandchildren.

organizing committees for the testimonial dinner

Courtesy Alexander A. Koproski

Introduction to the Exhibit
History of the Stamford Police Department
Annotated Timeline
The Political Life of a Connecticut Town 1868-1893
Police Department 1909 (The Daily Advocate)
The Police Department As It Was And As It Is 1894-1917
A History of the Stamford Police Department, April 1946
List of Constables 1865-1892
Police Roster 1894-1917
Staff images as of 1917
Police Roster 1953
Police Committees 1830-1956
Testimonial Dinner & Dance 1970 for Alexander J. Koproski, Sr.
Police Anchor Club Brochures
Police Department Website
Fallen Heroes Memorial Page
Stamford Police Association