Kings Park native John Picciano has worn many hats (mostly police caps) in his lifetime. After graduating from Kings Park HS he joined the Washington D.C. Police Department before joining the NYPD. He served 25 years with the NYPD, retiring in 2014. In 1988 John Picciano married his Kings Park sweetheart Kathy. The couple live in Kings Park with their four children: Jackie, John, Kristen and Jennifer. John loves his family and Kings Park.
Picciano, a detective with the NYPD, had a long notable career. He served on the Warrant Squad where his job included hunting fugitives who were often violent. He worked on the NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and was deputized as a U.S. Marshal giving him power to to travel across state and national borders tracking down criminals. John’s work focused on dealing with the “worst of the worst” people and police cases. He acknowledges dealing with murderers, drugs, and worse but he doesn’t like to talk about it. He says his motivation to do his work for so many years was knowing that he was providing closure for families who were facing much pain and uncertainty.
John got his first taste of acting when he appeared on the program Manhunters. After receiving a call and after several interviews he was offered a position as a hunter on the CBS prime time show Hunted ( 2017) . In the show John is on the Golf team and is partnered with Vinny Senzamici. Golf team is one of nine two-person teams of hunters who are tasked with finding two of the 18 hunted people also working in two-person teams. The goal for those being hunted is to escape detection from hunters for 28 days. A prize of $250,000 will go to teams who successfully evade the hunters. The entire season is taped in advance over a one-month period in a 100,000 square mile area in Georgia and Florida.
John is enjoying his role which he describes as being easier than chasing real life criminals. He uses the knowledge and experience he gained from his police work. The hunters understanding of behavioral patterns and digital prints along with the proliferation of cameras and technology makes it difficult for people to avoid being caught. John offered a word of caution “Everything that someone has done online is available forever. Deleting is not what you may think it is, it is always available.” John laughed as he explained how he has gone from not having any digital footprint to having a facebook page, instagram and twitter accounts.
So how is he enjoying his stardom and has anything changed for him? John acknowledges that he is having fun. “Much better than having to chase real criminals and murderers with guns.” When he was on the police force he never brought his work home to his family. The gruesome details of his work was not something he wanted to burden his family with. While in the police department he would get home and unwind by cooking for his family. This hasn’t changed, he still cooks for his family and friends, and is considering opening a restaurant sometime in the future.
Although he doesn’t consider himself a celebrity, he does enjoy the attention he is getting from his kids who are very interested in watching Dad on HUNTED. Having never shared his work horror stories with his kids, now young adults, they are learning a little bit more about their dad’s skills and he is enjoying their questions and comments.
John Picciano has gone from the man who relished bringing closure to suffering families to hunting people in real-time for television and that’s okay with him. He has gone from not talking about his work and chasing people with real weapons to using his skills to track people who just want to win money. John’s newest hat keeps him in police work but even though it is television, John Picciano is serious about catching the team trying to evade him.
I’m guessing he will catch them.
You can watch Hunted on CBS at 8pm Wednesday nights.