A Rome native who began his career as a private and law enforcement investigator and would later found The Transparency Project to aid victims of violent crimes, has released a new book, “Survivors: Shocking true stories about America’s pursuit of police transparency and justice.”
Dennis N. Griffin, who has authored several fictional crime novels, was born in Rome in 1945. After being honorably discharged from the United States Navy in 1966, he returned to central New York. He and his wife have four grown children, and the couple now splits their time between New York and Las Vegas, Nev.
Griffin began his career in investigations and law enforcement in 1975, when Pinkerton, Inc. hired him as a private investigator. His duties included insurance fraud, missing persons, financial and background investigations, as well as undercover operations.
In 1979 the Madison County Department of Social Services hired him as a Senior Child Support investigator. He was responsible for locating and conducting financial investigations of those failing to provide legally-mandated child support.
In 1981, he joined the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and attained the rank of sergeant. He was a shift supervisor and public information officer. During the same time, Griffin said he moonlighted as a patrolman in the villages of Chittenango, Cazenovia and Canastota.
Then in 1987, Griffin was hired by the state Department of Health as director of investigations at the Wadsworth Center. The primary mission of his unit was to investigate violations of the Public Health Law relating to clinical and environmental laboratories, and health care fraud. He was responsible for hiring and training investigators, case assignments and general supervision. In addition, he personally handled the more difficult and complex investigations. Many of these cases received both local and national media attention. Griffin would retire in 1995.
The author is an active member of the Police Writers Association and the Las Vegas Valley Writers Group. He attended Onondaga Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College and the Central New York Regional Academy for Police Training.
Writing became a second career in Griffin’s retirement. Other books he has authored include, “The Morgue” (his first novel released in 1996), “Red Gold,” “Killer in Pair-A-Dice,” “One-Armed Bandit,” “Vegas Vixen,” “Blood Money,” “Cullotta: The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness” and “The Battle for Las Vegas: The Law Vs. The Mob.”
Griffin said “Survivors,” a work of non-fiction, serves to expose the shortcomings of the nation’s justice system.
“I am the founder of The Transparency Project, dedicated to helping survivors of victims of murder and suspicious death obtain resolution for themselves and justice for the victims,” said the author. “It is our goal to generate public awareness of the plight of the survivors that will lead to changes in the system that will help to balance the playing field.”
The goal of TTP is to help families who are survivors of victims of murder or suspicious death, to gain access to police records related to the investigation of the death of their loved one. This primarily involves making sure the police agency involved is complying in full with the Sunshine or Open Records laws in effect in their particular jurisdiction. It can include filing appeals when requests for records are denied, or recommending changes to existing laws that are overly restrictive.
In “Survivors,” Griffin takes readers inside the world of real crime cases to expose the shocking truth behind the alarming number of unsolved murders and suspicious deaths classified as accidental, self-inflicted, or natural — with little to no investigation, according to the book description.
The author also hosts Blog Talk Radio podcasts, “Crime Wire,” and “The Transparency Project Radio Show,” and serves as a true crime consultant.
“”The primary goal of this book is not to solve the specific cold cases you will read about,” said Griffin. “These stories do, however, serve to illustrate and bring attention to problems within the justice system that need to be addressed.”
He said, “It is my hope that through public awareness and legislation — such as Molly’s Law — the playing field can be leveled and give these contributors and all the other forgotten victims out there (and future survivors), a better opportunity to obtain true justice.”
“Survivors” is available on Amazon.com and through the TTP website: www.thetransparencyprojects.com. Griffin is also scheduled to be a featured speaker at the CUE Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington, N.C. March 26-29.