George Ripley: Detective and magician

“Magic has become one of the things I do to build rapport with people,” says George Ripley of the York City Police Detective Bureau.

Presented by: Our York Media

George Ripley links his fingers together and leans in across the interrogation table, a serious look in his eyes and he asks, “Can I show you a magic trick?”

Most people who walk into the York City Police Detective Bureau are there for a bad reason, says the 20-year York City Police veteran. They’re either the witness to a crime, a suspect or the family of a victim. Most of them are nervous and their shoulders are heavy with anxiety.

At times, his coin or card tricks are the force that brings a sense of commonality to a situation or breaks language barriers. It makes children feel safe in scary situations. It helps him relieve the stress of a job that can weigh on the heart and mind long after he clocks out.

“Magic has become one of the things I do to build rapport with people,” he says. “It’s given me confidence. I love the psychology of it. And if I can help someone go on a journey and forget their troubles, even for three minutes, I know I’ve done something good that day.”

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